Helene Ruiz: Making Visual Art of the Otherwise Unseen and Collaborating With Other Artists

Today I am so excited to introduce you to Helene Ruiz, an acrylic painter based in the United States. At the age of 57, she is not certain the exact moment she began to use her medium of choice - acrylic paints. She does recall this story tracing back to her childhood:

"My father always taught me to think creatively and he himself was an artist. When I was a kid and wanted colors I extracted colors from comic strips, nature, coffee, teas, etc. My first painting kit was not actually purchased until I was about 11 years old when my father took me to Pearl Paint in Chinatown, Manhattan and bought me watercolors and brushes, of which I still have some of the brushes for memory's sake. I played with them until I discovered oil paint, which I found each time I used it - I would get sick.  Apparently I am allergic to them. So then, when I used acrylic for the first time, I fell in love with them. They were perfect for me! The fact that I paint a lot and live in a small space makes acrylic a perfect match for someone like myself, since they dry so fast." 

Acrylic painting on black background with two clowns dancing around sad face balloon with heart hanging in center
Send in the Clowns, © Helene Ruiz

Jester or fool garbed sleeping or dead character reposed in yellow bathtub with heart outside of chest on black background
Expired Fool, © Helene Ruiz

Helene is working on a collaborative project with artists all over the world, that I find so very fascinating. This interview will delve into that in detail since it is an event taking place Now.  If you are an artist who wants to participate, find out how by reading on. First, let's get to know Helene Ruiz, the artist, a little better - she assures me there is an entire book's worth of uncharted stories within her...

Would you tell us about your most memorable artworks? 

I have used so many materials... it is actually difficult to say which would be my most memorable pieces. I suppose those are the ones I do to try and show what is unseen. I try to express my take on life and how I perceive life's take on others as well. Anything can trigger me... environment, politics, love, pain, illness, etc

What has been the most unexpected thing that has happened in relation to your creating art? 

Funny, I find this question here, especially now at the end of April 2015. Because just about a month ago, on March 28th, I almost lost my life and was rushed into emergency surgery. I am still recovering and doctors say it could be six months before I actually do recover fully. I have another surgery to go through in June to put me back together again so I can feel human. So, this experience, right now, is the most challenging of all life's events thus far!  Only today have I attempted to begin to sketch out a painting... it will not be easy. I will be forced to do it in small steps, but it will be the first since March 28th. For me, I usually do at least two or more pieces per month, so this has been a long spell of not creating art for me. 

The Art of Selling Art

By Rept0n1x (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0via Wikimedia Commons

The aim of these five tips is to help you talk about your artworks, and sell them. Artists anxious in regards to speaking about their art should definitely pay heed to these ideas presented in this article. Many artists find it is not easy to discuss the meanings and themes within their artworks due to the personal nature of the artistic process. However, it is the artist’s own story that is most compelling and intriguing when it comes to their own art. So, in order properly promote you own artworks it is imperative to keep in mind that buyers wish to understand the art they add to their collections.

  1. If you hope to effectively speak about your art, first write down what your art is about. The exercise of writing forces one to articulate what goes on in your creative minds. Include whatever is important to you processes. If you feel that your story must tell how you came to work in your current medium, what your primary techniques are, who influenced your work, if you use themes, what your art education is, or who has taught you methods and skills that you use now then include these things and anything else that comes to mind when thinking of your art.  Putting this information down on paper will help you find what points you wish to emphasize in telling the story behind your work.

I, Ritter: Gorg Huff, Science Fiction, Magic and The Final Frontier!

Talented author Gorg David Huff of Austin, Texas has agreed to an interview to tell us about his adventures in writing.  This is a road not traveled alone and he reveals to us how others have affected his writing career along the way. Rather than be a man of many trades, he decided to put his all into writing and it has become his life's work.
1636: The Viennese Waltz (The Ring of Fire) Gorg Huff
Book #18 in the multiple New York Times
 best-selling Ring of Fire series

What is your genre? 

Now that's a question that is subject to interpretation. If you mean writing, painting, sculpting, music, then it's mostly writing with a bit of cartography and some painting. As to type of writing, it's science fiction, mostly alternate history, but also magic and space opera. The painting is mostly impressionism to abstract.

What can you tell us about "Ritter" in particular?

A decent respect for the opinions of mankind compels me to define Ritter. A ritter, in this case, is not a German knight, but a writer who can't spell. Not being able to spell, as you might imagine, makes the writing process somewhat more difficult. It makes or made for most of my life, being published not just impossible but unthinkable. Even now with the literally amazing advances in spell checking, I'm still close to unpublishable without my co-author Paula Goodlett, who can spell as well as find the many and varied other errors that creep into anything I write.

How long have you considered yourself a writer?

From the moment someone paid me for a story. In my case that was the publication of "The Sewing Circle" in the first Grantville Gazette electronic version. If I recall correctly, I was paid two and a half cents a word. The paper version of GGI was published in 2004, so the electronic magazine was probably in '02 or '03.