Paintings by Ruth

Feedback from students (plein air outings and ongoing classes at The Artists' Workshop in New Smyrna Beach)

Joyce M

What is so wonderful about this journey is that I feel like I am unraveling.  When I first started, I was overwhelmed, had too much and too many unknowns presented.  I was more told a few tips and then told to re-create a picture.  My mind was abuzz with HOW DO I DO THIS????   
With your instruction, I learned to get back to the start.  Like you said, the first line is pretty critical.  But more so, you kept emphasizing the need to do the sketching, to take the time in the beginning, to do the practicing, to do the reflection.  I learned to NOT jump in but to step back and truly think about what I was preparing to do and how I would accomplish it.  I liked that we could do as much as we could do, not rushed to complete a certain amount.  It felt like the most important part was me getting to understand and not producing a finished piece.  So now, the knots of frustration  have loosened and disappeared.  I am at the beginning of being open to seeing.  I am acquiring the strategies . techniques and princiicples to see and and the tools to create or re-create.  
Thanks, again, for your teaching method of taking us back to the beginning, slowing us down, making us really look at basics, providing detailed specifics and variety of approach using different mediums.  This has been a terrific, and freeing, "backwards" journey= back to the beginning.


Wow, so glad for the breakdown of your recent picture.  This piece is soooo fantastic.!  I have learned so much (without straining my brain) by watching and listening to your easy to understand way of teaching.  Thanks.


I wanted to say that your teaching strategy of showing us "how to" at the beginning and then allowing us to do work while you fascilitate is very helpful.  My present class in VT is done with intsruction on a part-by-part demo, do it, then get more instruction as a class.  It ends up that some students go quickly, then the teacher instructs, while others fall behind and miss the later instruction.  I prefer your method. 

Cynthia H.

My brother in law loves it (my current painting) and said he would love to have it framed and hang it in his room. That was a nice compliment. I know I have lots to learn from you, Ruth. Your classes are awesome. 

Below is a list of materials that I advocate from my years of trying different things.

Easel: Pochade box or French easel. Something easy and light to carry, even though we usually find parking right at the spot.
Ground: Gessoed masonite panels (at Hobby Lobby or Michael's for about $2-4 per panel). Gesso the panel you buy, otherwise the surface will be way too slick. I personally don't like canvas, and I have seen a lot of artists fight with the texture of the weave. I recommend trying the masonite panels. I recommend 8x10 or 11x14, not larger than that. We intend to finish a painting in 2-3 hours!
Paints: Oil or acrylic paints, whatever brand you have.
Brushes: Nylon hairs, long handles. About 2-4 sizes. Brights or flats are the best, maybe a liner. Also get a good metal painting knife, one short diamond blade, and one larger one if possible.
Medium: I only use turpentine. By the time you get home, the painting will be almost dry. Water if you paint with acrylics.
Colors: I use a very limited palette, and it makes everything much easier. You need only about 8 tubes of paint, which consist of the 3 main colors (one cool, one warm) plus white.
Titanium White
Naples Yellow (a substitute for white to make colors lighter)
Red: Burnt Sienna AND Venetian or Indian red (warm), Cadmium red (cool)
Blue: Ultramarine blue (warm), Phtalo blue (cool - I have almost never found any use for it, you can skip this particular blue)
Yellow: Cadmium yellow medium (warm), Cadmium yellow light (cool)
Black (for making nice greens), but not necessary.

Also pack some papertowels, a small garbage bag, a snack, some drinking water, sunblock, and a hat or umbrella for the easel.

I charge a small fee of $20 per outing/per person.

Please contact me at for more information.


I occasionally conduct informal lessons during the year (usually a Saturday or Sunday morning) in the local area. I send emails to the students who signed up and let them pick the location and/or subject. We usually don't travel more than 10-15 miles from the Daytona area, and we can also carpool. Send me an email at if you want to be added to the email list.

I also love to do demos - if your organization would like to have me do a 1-2 hour demo (in studio or on site outside, or during your meetings), send me an email!

Contact me at



I was born in 1970 in Würzburg, Germany. I grew up in the small village of Unterwittighausen about one hour from Frankfurt. In 1991 I moved to the States, where I settled in the Daytona Beach area on the east coast of Florida. Since then I have been employed as a graphic designer in various companies, and now I own and run my own sign and design company in Central Florida.
I have always been interested in drawing and painting. Throughout my teenage years I focused on pencil drawing, then moved to watercolors to settle on acrylics for quite some time. About 20 years ago I rediscovered my oils and have been painting in this versatile medium ever since. I am completely self-taught, reading books, looking at art wherever possible, and especially reading on the internet. My favorite site and forum is, where I am an active member and which I credit for my steep learning curve in the past years.

My parents exposed me to art and culture from an early age, taking vacations around Europe and visiting museums and historical sites in France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Romania, Turkey, Denmark and all over Germany. I have tried every medium and every subject matter, until finally settling on landscape painting in oils about 15 years ago. In 2008 a plein air workshop directed me to painting on location, and the wonderful weather in Florida makes it possible for me to pursue this type of painting all year long.

Additionally I love to use my sketchbook and pen/ink with gouache when I travel, and have recently fallen in love with mixed media,.
I live in Port Orange near Daytona Beach with my very supportive husband and our kids.