SHIFT: New Work by Ruth Santee

October 11 – November 17, 2018 

Artist’s Reception: 
Friday, November 2nd from 6-9 pm


In what? Thinking? Seeing? Doing? 

I have been making art most of my life. In my professional art practice, I have become accustomed to the ways in which I explore and interpret visual information. But comfort in one’s process often leads to relying on past conclusions (solutions). This may explain why some art is stale.

Typically, when I begin a piece it’s initially based on a narrative. I begin engineering it into a work of art. Size, color scheme, composition, balance, and the like, are questions that I answer as I assemble the work. This is how I create a body or series of works. Over the years I have noticed that I tend to over engineer or over think the pieces at the end of a series. The compositions seem to get tighter and tighter. At this point my frustration builds, usually resulting in unfinished work. The pile of unfinished pieces stand as a monument marking the end of a body of exploration. This is when the “Shift” occurs. 

The Shift involves letting go of past conclusions and venturing out into less familiar territory. Sparked by the freedom and expressive quality of my sketchbooks, this current body of work represents the beginnings of a new adventure. My process will repeat in 2 years or so when I find my work too tight, too engineered, and the need to break free is overwhelming. 

Ruth Santee
September 2018