The artist: Ruth Chase of Nevada County |

The artist: Ruth Chase of Nevada County

What is your job title? I am an artist and designer and a mother of a 2-year-old daughter.

Describe in a sentence or two your art. My art has been described at modern surreal or psychological portraiture. It is oil on canvas.

How long have you been working in this discipline? Twenty years.

Why do you do it? Because it’s spiritual release for me – my therapy.

What do you hope to accomplish? I love completing a series of works; it tells me a lot about where I’m at inside. I also love to see my pieces go to homes that appreciate them. I don’t have a specific goal, but I do feel a connection to other people when I show my work.

Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive and if yes, what is that message? I don’t have a specific message. In fact, I feel my work evolving to have more of a message. I feel each piece is an imprint of my soul, and that will often have a message for the viewer.

Where do you want to be with your art, in terms of part-time versus full-time status, art positions and where your works are seen? I would love to go back to full-time painting. As my daughter grows and goes to school, I would love to dedicate myself to my work and make a living full time.

What kind of special training did you take? I graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1990. Regardless of school, though, I learned how to paint by doing it and relying on my inner and outer vision to guide me.

What’s your favorite part of your endeavors? I love seeing how rich I am spiritually through my work. My work reminds me of my inner strength.

What’s your least favorite part of your endeavors? Seeing my sadness and hurts from the past that come up when I paint. Of course, it’s an opportunity to purge them, as well, so it’s a good thing.

How many hours a day or, if more appropriate, a week do you spend on your work? I paint one to three hours a day when my daughter naps and two extra hours when my girlfriend watches her.

Do you consider it hard work and could anyone do it? Everyone can create. The more relaxed and receptive they are, the more easily it will come.

Any other comments you’d like to include? Come see my art at the Broad Street Bistro and Gallery in Nevada City, Aug. 5 through Oct. 7. The reception is Aug. 17, 7 to 9 p.m. I’ll also be in the Open Studios Tour in October. Visit my Web site at


To suggest a creative talent who should be profiled in this feature, contact Pam Jung at or 477-4232.

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