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Wild and Scenic 2021

As you know, my theme for this year and what I have been creatively contemplating while I paint, sculpt, or envision a new art piece come alive is ‘Resilience’. Three of my works grounded in this theme were chosen for Nevada County’s famous film festival and exhibition, The Wild and Scenic Film Festival 2021 Virtual Art Exhibition. I am honored that not only was one chosen to be featured, but three! This is a time of true resilience.

Featured Works in Wild and Scenic 2021

Resilience, A Call to Rise
Guardians of Resilience
Bear Carries Stories of Resilience

View The Wild and Scenic Gallery

I'm curious if this theme resonates with you, or even, what your own definition of it is? How does the word resilience call to you? How do you envision it? What comes alive?

Resilience,
A Call to Rise

It is remarkable and indeed wonderful how the reindeer, elk, and deer have survived throughout history. Amazing art found hidden on cave walls in Europe show that these animals lived and thrived so long ago as well as still exist today. This is “Resilience by Nature”. Can we learn from this example and not only protect their continued existence but be able to self-examine how we can rise to the call of resilience now?

Guardians of Resilience

Can we sincerely learn and be willing to seek eco-friendly and earth-awareness means from the intelligent beings and elements that guard the nature surrounding us? We must look to the guardians already existing, humbly listen, learn, and put into practice in order to thrive together.

Bear Carries Stories
of Resilience

Roots
“Resilience,” said Bear, “That’s a great story!” Throughout time I have collected stories, stories of the people, stories of the land, stories of the heavens. That’s what I do. A long, long time ago when days were considered ancient, I traveled the earth tirelessly collecting these stories…How the waters ran freely, the wind whispered whimsically, and the trees danced magically while the heavens smiled and its light guided. 

Power and the Forgotten Time
The people had wonderful and imaginative stories! Some were very comical, others taught lessons and some were scary. They new their roots, cultivated and loved them. They cooperated and collaborated building homes into villages, and villages into towns, and some into great cities and civilizations. Soon they forgot their roots; these faded into preoccupation with working more to make many things and have many things. They became separate beings disconnected from their origins and their cooperative acceptable selves. Stories of origins and roots were forgotten. Instead these became beliefs in disease, starvation, destruction and confusion. Such ideas fell over the people who began to live isolated lives. 

Resilience
The tales grew heavy, and heavier. The weight of them were a burden. Yet, the Bear that I am is wise. I know that the stories were valuable because of what new understandings can be gained. There is only the need to humble the heart, recall our roots, to glory in the origins of people and of all nature… to remember how everyone is connected, always has been and even still are. So, we shook ourselves free from the weights of belief tales and their myths. We saw everything still, gently remembering, being, and resting in a deeper sense of connection. Now we move to resilience, into embracing different stories and fresh ideas, holding to the roots, once sewn with ancient seeds, no longer forgotten, but give life to new directions, as we gain innovative bearings.

Mixing natural earth minerals into paints, I explore the world of the Ancients in my art.  Integrated into my artworks are the mysteries surrounding their art, techniques and early language roots in signs and pictographs.

Great appreciation and gratitude to Alexandra Carelli for permission to use her song for this video. Beautifully written and sung that brings out the importance of praising our ancient and original roots. 

“Roots”© from Livelli, 2020 – written by Alexandra Carelli

Vocals by Alexandra Carelli & Delaney Albright produced by Basel Khoury

HerStory Exhibition

This month, I received the honor of being invited into the Manhattan Arts International Exhibition “HerStory” –

An Exhibition of Art by Women
December 30, 2020 – March 2, 2021

“Thank You and Congratulations!  Your art has been selected for the Manhattan Arts International ‘HerStory’ 2020-2021 — the best online exhibition and an important milestone for women artists!”

How exciting to open this email on December 31, 2020, after a year where many have felt sadness, anxiety or impact stemming from Covid 19.  For me, it was a sign of greater things to come, the willingness to embrace the new, share inspirations and indulge in creativity.  

This exhibition promotes 90 women artists from around the world.  To be accepted to show art in “HerStory” is an honor.  The honor lies in that each artwork is chosen for the unique quality of its message and expression.  Renee Phillips, the director and curator of Manhattan Arts International, has created a wonderful platform to share and promote these artists. 

The mysteries surrounding these life expressions evolve from the “my-Story” into “HerStory “ by these celebrated women artists. 

Visit this exhibition at: https://manhattanarts.com/herstory-exhibition-2020-2021-page-2/

My art piece is on the second page, the 9th artist as you scroll down the page.  But be sure to look over and take in all the participating artists.  See what speaks to you.

Lastly, here is a video of creating the piece, The Humble Flute Player with Joy and Grace, that is featured in the HerStory exhibit.

Holiday Greeting

Enjoy the Season & Make it Bright!

– RESILIENCE –

This past year has been unpredictable, fearful and difficult at times.  But the strength with-in kept calling me to rise, see it through and feel the presence of being, the existence of gratitude within me.  Powerful ideas, visions and inspirations seemed to expand from my artwork… a series of Resilience.  Not meant to go back to the way things have always seemed to be, but to embrace the present into a forward journey to the new.  Together we can accept, discover and be grateful for the life experiences that generate progression and awareness.  

Sending lots of Love, Joy and Presence,
Jennifer

Guardians of Resilience

Studio Tour 2020

Here it is! This year’s Fall Open Studios is a bit different, but full of spectacular art and phenomenal artwork by 75 artists. Come enjoy an outdoor walk around Art. I will be hosting Art in the Garden at my studio. I’ll be introducing new art works both in natural mineral paints and in clay sculpture with demonstrations of my processes. 

October 10, 11, 17, 18, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am – 5 pm

Granucci Gallery at Center for the Arts showcases artwork from all artists on Main St. Grass Valley, California and has free guide booklets with maps to the studios. A virtual gallery of artists’ videos are available online!

Jennifer Rugge #21

Opening reception October 8, 5 – 7 pm RSVP required

Health codes by Nevada County are mandatory. 

Resilience with our Ancient Ancestors

Resilience with our Ancient Ancestors from JENNIFER RUGGE on Vimeo.

 Resilience is the ability to recover.  We travel through life seemingly alone, but we are like others, thinking we know the self we are.  Our ancient ancestors experienced this same road. The appearances of difficult times speak loudly to gain our attentions and intentions as throughout history as we continue to uncover its depth, truth and reality.  

So I asked myself, “What do these times tell me about the self I believe to be?  What can I do or change within myself first to find resilience and a future?”  

Beginning with my individual self is the first step to any needed change.  For me it is an awareness of love, a deeper love for my sense of self asking to feel comfort and protection.  To share this with others comes through my art; it influences and directs the internal desire.  I hold this as the basis of resilience for my attentions and intentions and hope that others may find it, see it and connect in some way.  This is where our ability to recover grows.  Tracing the resilience of our ancient ancestors has enabled all of us to be here today, to move forward together.  

This path as an artist has shown me alternative ways to understanding our original roots through my own ancestral DNA trail, the study of Cave Art and artifacts, and the early knowledge of language expressed in signs and pictographs.  Because of my deep interest in historical roots, my digging into the ancient past has led me on an intriguing journey.  It began with the early Italian fresco painters.  The preparations of minerals into paints, writing in the illuminated style, and gold leaf applications that were used to capture the customs, symbols, and stories of the time.  This, then opened my sense of self to another dimension of spiritual perspectives in life as well as the curiosity of our ancestral cave dwellers and sojourners.  Together, these speak through my art along with creating an eco-friendly studio, using natural mineral paints and earth friendly products. 

From my Studio

Another update is underway during these stay-at-home orders —

The Art council here in Nevada County has asked for photos, videos, or poetry/stories of where you spend most of your time during this “stay at home” policy in California. In my studio, at home is where I spend most of my time…preparing, thinking, creating inspirationally… in paintings, writing and sculpting. Enjoy the journey life sets before you. Enjoy!

Chalkin’ It Up: Street Art Challenge Response

I put the challenge out there and YOU have answered! From Coast-to-Coast, street art has been flowing-in as folks all over are taking on the Street-Art-Challenge I put out last month. It’s been such a joy watching all the clips, photos, and videos of your artwork come in over the last month from YOUR STREET to MY STREET, offering such meaningful connection during this strange time. BIG Thank you to all who participated…here’s a compilation of a bit of what I received:

In more news…

Here is a video showing how I begin the process of a painting with mineral paints and gold leaf.

  1. I mix natural minerals from the earth with walnut oil along with softened natural beeswax.
  2. It is applied by using different tools: paintbrush, eco-friendly thinner, palette knife, or rib.
  3. In this painting, handmade and recycled papers are applied with a hand mixed plant based glue and left to dry thoroughly.
  4. The charcoal pencil is used to create a basic sketch of images on the surface.
  5. From here the background and foreground areas are worked with paints to create varying thicknesses of richness in color.

Finished Work is up at this online gallery:

Home Project, Osborn Woods Gallery, Nevada City, Ca. 

Home is Within: Home are the Stories from Within;
who I think and believe I am. 

RuggeJ_StoriesfromHome

From My Street to Yours


I hope all are well and able to deal with the need for distancing, staying at home, and isolating during this unusual time. From deep cleaning and reorganizing tasks to getting out, but staying close to home, we are all learning a different and much needed grounding to just be — be with your own self and close family members.

Recently I took to the streets! Well, I took my chalks to the road outside our home. I drew a large Ancestral reindeer and a cave bear. Then I laid on the road next to these creations while my husband stood on a ladder and took photos. It was a delight to be in the drawing with the Ancestral animals that inspire my work, and actually become a part of the artwork I’m so used to drawing up from my imagination.

Then, neighbors came by…and they took turns taking photos of the artwork and in some cases, adding their children into the art as if they too were riding an ancient reindeer and a cave bear. What a wonderful change of pace! And a way to share with our neighbors…at a distance of course! So with this new inspiration in mind, I’ve got an invitation for you…

Challenge: From my street to yours — create art with giant chalk drawing and place yourself or family member as part of the scene! Share your photos! I’d love to see what captures the imagination!

Be sure to tag me so I can see: @jenniferruggefineartms-instagram-shutterstock-275052920 #somegoodnews #frommyhometoyours #streetart

From out of the Fire

Working with the guidance of artist, Deborah Bridges, who creates phenomenal figurative sculptures in clay, I have taken up the endeavor to bring the images from my paintings into 3-d.

After many experiments with different clay bodies and mineral test tiles, I am creating these images through the process of pit firing. I dug a small pit into one of our raised beds for easy access. Then I built an enclosed space around this pit with fire bricks, stacking them to keep heat inside but a bit of air to breathe. I collected various materials from our surrounding forests for fuel. I waited for cold rainy days to set-in and prepared the pit along with the bisque clay figurines. I added different layers of combustibles under, around, and over each sculpture to encourage variations in the burn process. The fire was kindled. It burned all day, smoking nicely after I placed a metal cover over the top. It smoked throughout the night into the wee morning hours when only heat from the lower part of the pit still felt warm. Then carefully each figure was removed. Aww, the thrill of it all! Such magic!

Statue from the pit

Meet Me in Italy!

I’ve been invited to teach in Italy!

This June,
join me for an Earth Art Immersion at

Cascina Rodiani – Green Hospitality

Click to Download form for Details

REGISTER on ‘Workshops’