Ruth Kurisu

Ruth Kurisu

As an only child growing up in a small town in New Jersey my creativity and imagination were sometimes my only playmates. I spent many cold, dreary winter days with my crayons creating brightly colored flowers reminiscent of summers past and springs to come.  My dreams of being an artist had to be placed on hold while I went to college, got my MBA, started, ran and subsequently sold a highly successful business in the electronics industry.  Finally, I had the opportunity to pursue my passion.

I began my personal artistic journey as a photographer in the late nineties.   I studied with National Geographic photographer Chris Rainier and began exhibiting in galleries across Southern California where I still reside.  My award-winning photography appears in private collections and coffee table books.

As I selected photographs for exhibit, I always thought about my childhood paintings and had an overwhelming desire to move from crayons to paints.  I wanted to recreate the light, shadow and the vibrant colors that I captured on film, while adding the rich texture and patterns that are sometimes lost in photography.

I began my formal study of painting in 2008 and experimented with different mediums.  Two years ago I discovered the lush and vibrant colors of pastels and fell in love.   Using my own photographs as reference, I work with textured papers, layering colors to achieve richness, texture and depth.

My pastel floral portraits capture a very brief moment in time, a bud ready to burst open or a flower in full bloom.  I have been told that they bring a Zen-like sense of peace and a smile in appreciation of the beauty that only nature can bring.  These floral portraits are unlike any other floral paintings, as I focus on just one bloom and use only the paper as background.

My “colorscapes” vibrate with artistic energy, capture the play of light and shadow, and entertain the eye.  I am drawn to details, vibrant colors and interesting objects.  I always seek the extraordinary in the ordinary and focus on the uniqueness of the scene.  I use pastels on watercolor paper with an alcohol wash to develop the subtle and varied hues of sunsets.

I travel extensively and try to photographically capture a sense of place and time, the little details that many never see, the objects that tell an interesting story, a market place, and of course, flowers, whether in formal gardens, an old pot or growing wild along the side of the road.  I work with these images back in my studio and hope to convey the same sense of wonder that I experienced.

I am an exhibiting member of Orange County Fine Arts, Anaheim Arts Association, Orange Arts Association and the Saddleback Art League. I am is also represented by Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona. My paintings, photographs and commissioned works are on display in libraries community centers, businesses and private collections throughout the United States.


Honors and Awards

2nd Place, “White Moths”, 54th Annual Juried Open Art Competition, September 2017, MuzeO Carnegie Gallery

Special Merit Award, “Orange Poppy, Light, Space & Time, Botanicals 2017 Art Exhibition

Special Recognition Award, “Dad”, Light, Space & Time, Animals 2017 Art Exhibition

Laguna Niguel artist’s pastels on display at John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Community Focus Space Solo Exhibition, January 2017

Special Merit, 2016 “Seasons”, Light, Space & Time Gallery

Special Merit, 2016 “Botanicals”, Light, Space & Time Gallery

Special Merit, 2015 “Botanicals”, Light, Space & Time Gallery

Special Recognition, 2014 “Botanicals”, Light, Space & Time Gallery

Special Recognition, 2015 “Seasons”, Light Space & Time Gallery

Honorable Mention, “Cambria Sunset”, 19th Annual Artist’s Eye All Media 2015 Judged Exhibition, Showcase Gallery

Third Place, “This Old House”, 19th Annual Artist’s Eye All Media 2015 Judged Exhibition, Showcase Gallery

Honorable Mention, “Poached Egg”, 52nd Annual Open Juried Art Competition, June 2015, MuzeO Carnegie Gallery