Ruda Anderson is a commercial photographer who lives in the Lochwood neighborhood. But when she has time, she is a painter, and painting has been her true passion for about 30 years. Recently, an upscale apartment high-rise on Cedar Springs, Gables Park 17, purchased 11 of her paintings for the 18th floor. Anderson’s work is hard to describe in a few words. She dabbles in many styles and techniques. But her favorite and most common method is stain on raw canvas. She uses acrylic paint mixed with water, and she pours it onto a canvas that hasn’t been treated with gesso. She uses what’s called No. 10 canvas — very heavy material that’s used to cover truck beds. It is unpredictable, and often leads her in directions she hadn’t expected. “It soaks into the canvas, and you’re using the wet and dry as part of your process,” she says. There are degrees, from soaking wet to bone dry, and the jeans-in-the-dryer level somewhere in between. “It depends on the temperature, the humidity of the day and the phase of the moon,” she says. “I know that sounds weird.” Many of her paintings are abstractions, some have botanical themes, and some are more geometric. And then she makes realistic paintings based on photographs, like the pasture and barn scene she painted after a trip to a friend’s home in Arkansas. Those paintings are big — 5-foot by 6-foot or so. But she also makes smaller paintings, which are part of her gold-leaf series. She makes small poured paintings and lays gold leaf over them. Recently, she pulled out several very large abstract paintings that she did about six years ago, and she realized that they weren’t finished. “It’s fun because I didn’t realize that,” she says. Adding rectangles and splashes of paint to finally complete those works has given Anderson new artistic energy. She takes commissions in which she goes into clients’ homes and gets a feel for the décor, and then creates paintings for the space. “It’s a blast,” she says. “I love it. I would do it all the time if I could.”
See more of Anderson’s paintings at rudaanderson.com.
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