We’ll start by going back three years ago. I say three years ago because that’s when things in my life and my work really started to make a turn for a new direction. I moved to Arizona and abandoned a stagnant life that I was far done within Alaska. When I moved here I was thrown into the social group of dirty climbers and wild divers(scuba and freedivers alike)….this was all a dramatic change from being hunkered down inside for more than eight months out of the year. These mini societies of rebels of the social norm adopted me in as one of their own and I gladly accepted them with open arms. Naturally this completely shaped my art. The following months and years were crammed trip to trip. Climbing marvelous desert pillars and diving deep underwater has driven me into crazy passionate love for these places that I feel not many People get the opportunity to explore. Painting was something I had done my whole life but now….in such a short time….I’ve found meaning. Sure I can take pictures of these places all day but that doesn’t give you the experience of the place. My work became a weird mix of realism and fantasy. People pick up sea shells and rocks from destinations that they have been to as reminders of them. Reminders of the outside magic the world has to offer is what I feel is the driving force in all of us. I call it magic because it’s the closest thing to describe the rejuvenating feeling to being surrounded by nature. As corny as it sounds i feel like my work captures slivers of the magical unknown everyone seeks and to have something like that you can see everyday when you wake up brings comfort. Maybe people wouldn’t be so sad if they brought some of the outdoors in?
Facebook: Stephie Ruiz