Renfrow serves as muse for granddaughter |

Renfrow serves as muse for granddaughter

By Lorraine Jewett | Special to The Union

At age 100, Ruth Renfrow lives with her granddaughter, Nevada City artist Lisa Deniz. She calls her grandmother ”Gg.”

“Gg is my muse,” said Deniz, whose media include paintings, fused glass, metal sculpture, encaustics, and jewelry. “For instance, I completed a Dahlia oil painting with Gg by my side. She played the piano while I painted. Another of my paintings, ‘Reflections,’ is based on a photograph captured while Gg and I were enjoying the lake floating on a dock together.

“She is a team player and helps me select bead combinations for my BoHo and Leather Jewelry line. Gg loves butterflies and colored glass, and playing with color combinations.”

Renfrow is happy to help, but said she knows her limitations.

“I like most of her art, but some of it is a little too bizarre for me and puzzles me,” said Renfrow. “I do enjoy looking at beads and choosing them. It’s always fun, and there’s such a variety.

“I guess I inspire Lisa to create, so at least I serve for something.”

Lisa Deniz, whose artwork includes paintings, fused glass, metal sculpture, encaustics, and jewelry, is inspired by her grandmother Ruth Renfrow.
Lorraine Jewett

Deniz has received recognition for her collection entitled, “Marking the Moment.”

“This collection benchmarks my time and experience having returned home to my Nevada City roots to care for my grandmother,” said Deniz. “These artworks give me opportunity to mark the moment of time in which they were created, including precious time with my Gg.”

Deniz and her husband Myles Deniz, both Nevada Union High School 1987 graduates, returned to Nevada City five years ago after successful careers in the Folsom area and elsewhere. Deniz’s mother, Suellen Brattin, is also an accomplished Nevada City artist.

An online tour of Deniz’s work is at

Lorraine Jewett is a Nevada County freelance writer. She can be reached at

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