Ruth Oosterman is a Canadian artist currently residing in Toronto where she works out of her downtown studio. As a self taught artist, she began exploring her creative side at a young age and now her work can be found at numerous exhibitions and private collections throughout the world.
Ruth’s work represents the inner workings and chaos of the mind that has spilled over into the creative process. There are two sides of her mind that are in a constant battle. One side holds tightly to realism and it’s need for structured order, while the other is constantly nagging to be let go and to run free.
Her most recent series, "Collaborations with my Toddler" has heavily influenced and inspired Ruth's artistic direction after it reached international fame in 2014, showing her how to truly let go. Before she began collaborating with her two year old daughter, Eve, Ruth's style could be defined as structured and realistic with the occasional abstract flare.
However, after spending the last year collaborating with her toddler, has greatly changed her personal style from soaking in the spontaneous, carefree ideology of seeing art through a child's eyes. Painting side by side with her child, working simultaneously on paintings, has taught her to let go of control and be open to every and any possibility that can happen in the artistic process.
When a child paints there is no such thing as a "mistake" and that very reason is what gives them the freedom from the fear that holds back many artists from reaching their full potential. Being able to slow down and see the canvas from a child's perspective has given Ruth the priceless ability of seeing life in it's true, raw form, something we all lose as we age. Being able to peek into Eve's world of beauty, laughter and love is what motivates and inspires her to continue painting without fear to hold her back. As Picasso so famously said, “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
Ruth strongly believes art is not something to be contained and manipulated but rather meant to draw out inner creativity in a raw, explosive manner. With "Collaborations with my Toddler" the concept is never known beforehand but developed throughout the process. It keeps both artists on their toes and pushes them to adapt to change, as art is always evolving. Mother and daughter have become partners learning each others rhythm and flow in the dance called Art.
These priceless lessons from an unsuspecting teacher, her toddler, has changed the course of direction in regards to Ruth's recent artwork. Her latest watercolor paintings feature explosions of color and shapes filled with evolving, surreal themes that tell a story. Her previous fascination with structure has loosened to accept the unexpected as a vital part of the story she strives to tell through the vibrant brush strokes and untamed pools of color.
Working out of her downtown Toronto studio, Ruth is busy creating an exciting new series of paintings, while continuing to collaborate side by side with her daughter, Eve.
"Collaborations with my Toddler"
Ruth's latest project "Collaborations with my Toddler" began as an experiment but has now bloomed into a beautiful bonding experience with her then two year old daughter, Eve. After gaining international attention she has decided to use their collaborations as a platform to inspire others to not only pursue their passions in life but to share their talents and time with the next generation. To follow Ruth and Eve's journey and see their latest collaborations head over to her blog, The Mischievous Mommy. Watch time lapse videos of their creations coming into existence on YouTube.