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My paintings are inspired by a plethora of exceptional experiences, books, dreams, visions, the natural environment and TRAVEL.  In addition to living in Niger, Africa for 2 years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, I annually spend two months each year 'independently' backpacking through countries in Central and South America. From 'urban jungles' (with incredible galleries and museums) - to remote communities in the Amazon Basin - to villages high in the Andes Mountains - I wander slowly with a thirsty mind. I often travel solo, using local buses, eating in busy markets, staying in simple accommodations, and hiking through the countryside or national parks. I  take a lot of photos - using them as references for future paintings. My desire is to express my spiritual nature and to surrealistically document indigenous cultures within natural environments that are rapidly changing. Over the years, I have embraced 'leaving my classroom' in the U.S. each summer and head south to become THE STUDENT. The people whom I have been honored to meet, and the natural environments in which they dwell, have been funneled back into my well as back into my ART classroom at Greeley Central High School, CO. Having recently retired from teaching, I am now able to focus on my painting and traveling near and far. The evolution of my artwork continues to be an intimate spiritual journey and 'a labor of love'. Each painting begins with a VISION and the desire to create 'Art for Art's Sake'.

My artwork has won numerous awards at local, state, and national levels. I have been a recipient of several artist grants, as well as the prestigious 'Colorado Grant for Individual Artists'. My artwork can also be found in private and public collections in the U.S. and overseas.

Ruth Wydeven_2013-04-07_7255.jpg

Title: 'Paradigm Shifting'   40 X 30"

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