UNDER the LEAF with artist Ruth Lefko and her

We are so excited to share with you our latest UNDER the LEAF interview with artist Ruth Lefko as we announce her new series release "Wing-ing It." We're including the title of each piece individually. Click on the link to find out more about a specific piece.

"White-Throated Hedge Wren" 

"Night Hummer"

"Yellow-Bellied Honey Sucker"

 "Purple Creeper"

"Tufted Tree Hopper"

Selena: Ruth, thank you for taking the time to share with us these newest artworks AND the inspiration behind them. If I remember correctly, the inspiration for this new series came from some photos you took while traveling, right? Tell me more about that.

Ruth: This the photo that started the whole thing. 🙂 We were in Key Largo in October and this caught my eye.

Selena: What was it about that particular image that...ummmm... "grabbed you?"

Ruth: The colors! (Pause) But I stayed with the shapes. So, maybe it’s the curvy shape?

Selena: Or maybe both?

Ruth: Hmmmmmmm…yeah, definitely both!

Selena: How many times have you used this image as a jumping off point for a new piece?

Ruth: Oh, gosh! Ten plus pieces at least!

Selena: Wow! At least ten times. That's a lot of bang for your buck!

Ruth: Yes, I've played with it quite a bit. In fact, I created four different paintings inspired by that original image that were gouache. On one I used a candle to create a resist on the surface before adding paint. In another one, a gecko showed up!! Seriously a surprise, but I kept him. We saw them all over Key Largo! 

Selena: Using that same image as a jumping off point you started working on the five paintings that became the "Wing-ing It" series. But, what led you to adding birds?

Ruth: Skins! Lol

Selena: Okay Ruth, I know exactly what you’re talking about BUT some of those reading this might be a little concerned. Can you explain “skins?”

Ruth: Acrylic skins are left over paint on the pallet. Looking at mine that day I saw bird shapes. I slid my palette knife under the dried paint "skin" and peeled it on up. I decided to cut the birds out and go with it.


Selena: Okay...there you go!! That crazy creative vision grabs hold and you run with it. I love it! Do you ever create skins specifically to use in your art or all they all just "happy accidents?"

Ruth: They are accidents. However, I have swiped some black to use for crows! You might see those one day. You never know!

Selena:Did you start all of the paintings in this series at the same time or did you do one, then another, then another. I know you went back and forth, working on them at the same time, layer after layer to make them “work,” but did you START all four at the same time?

Ruth: Nothing I do is planned. I don’t like long stories because it’s not that involved. I see things, then surprises pop up and I go in that direction. Sometimes it works and sometimes not so much.

Selena: Essentially, you're creating based on what happens "in the moment."  Tell us about the back and forth you went through with this series. You made several changes along the way.

Ruth: I flipped back and forth several times choosing the background…Iight to dark, and back to light again…then dark! It’s a good thing I like painting negative space! You know the saying, you should enjoy the process! These little paintings have a #$#% load of paint on them!


Ruth: I wanted these unique little birds to be noticed!

Selena: I love them and I think your goal of getting noticed has been successful!!

This new series, titled “Wing-ing It," currently available online would look fantastic hung together on a gallery wall. Check them!

Let us know if you have any questions for specifically for Ruth or any of our artists by sending us a message via "Contact Us."


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