Ruth Ellen Hoag interview

Ruth Ellen Hoag (born in New York, grew up in St James, NY) is a painter and French horn player living in in Santa Barbara, CA.

How would you describe your artistic process?

Regular! A day without painting, my husband says make me ornery. My process is to have an idea, preferably a good idea, (I keep lists and notes,) and then proceed. As I prepare my paints, I’m thinking. Getting that first brush load down breaks the ice and gives me something to work from. From there I go at a steady pace, then stop and reflect. Repeat. Repeat. If the painting is to continue the next day, it’s helpful to leave notes on the easel so I pick up where I left off not wasting time procrastinating the next day. Finishing can be the hardest part. The last 5% might take 50% of the total time spent on a painting.

Do you have any goals or resolutions for your artistic practice in 2021?

With all we’ve gone through this past year, my goal is to be happy that I get to paint and let the work reflect this. I have a gallery to run and teach classes as well. This is a lot to be happy about!

Can you detail the story behind one of your works selected for the exhibition?

Orange Guy is an example of painting without a preparatory sketch – just a gathering of wits, and begin.  I find orange a most agreeable color. Pairing it with various purples and lavenders was a start. This painting was also experimenting with two characters off to the sides, knowing that be space between them had to be interesting and gorgeous.  This abstracted space between is the mental conversation the two have as they check each other out in passing.