Hi! My name is Ruth Korch, and I’m a visual artist based in the beautiful coastal town of Santa Cruz, California. I love being inspired by the beauty around me, beach walks with my doodle, gardening, music, traveling, and good times with family and friends. From my earliest and happiest days of coloring books and drawing, I somehow knew art was part of me and destined to be in my future.
When I entered school and was introduced to the alphabet, a new fascination entered the equation. I found an illustrated card I made for my mom when I was six (yes – she saved those early drawings!!), and it shows I was already trying to “draw” chunky letters as part of my design. By the time handwriting was introduced, it became one of my favorite subjects as well as art. Somehow aiming for consistent letter loops within that pale, blue-lined practice paper brought great satisfaction.
Through the years, I enjoyed exploring many different mediums and art forms, but I was always drawn to watercolor as my favorite – loving its qualities of light, versatility and accessibility. While pursuing my Fine Arts degree in college, I discovered an additional love. One of my electives was a Calligraphy course. From this unique art form, I found I could create beauty not only out of individual letterforms, but by extension, the words they composed.
It was like an entirely new world of artistic expression opened up, and my love affair connecting script and imagery took hold. It was the beginning of what was to become my signature style and that has led to paintings and ongoing commission work to this day. I’ve been blessed to have my artwork adorn homes and offices around the globe.
Community has been crucial in my artistic journey. Other amazing and gifted artists have consistently motivated me to grow and develop. When I joined a community of artists a number of years ago, I was challenged to keep a daily journal for an entire month.
I had kept journals before but suddenly something clicked, and that “aha” moment cemented in my mind. My “signature style” had a new landing place. Bringing together watercolor and designed text on a journal page became the perfect pairing for me!
It’s also been primarily through community and fellow artists that I’ve collected my favorite materials and supplies. Through reading a Doodlewash article, I learned about Schmincke Horadam watercolors. That little travel set has been my trusted friend throughout trips to Europe and around the States.
My home palette consists mainly of Daniel Smith and Winsor & Newton pigments, with an emphasis more and more on transparent colors. Then naturally, someone will mention a color like Holbein’s Brilliant Orange or Peacock Blue, and I can’t help but add them to my collection as well. For my calligraphy dip pens, my standby ink is Higgins Eternal. For ease of use and permanence I absolutely love Tombow’s Fudenosuke hard tip brush pen – not only for script but also for expressive sketching.
Now as I contemplate capturing images in my art journals, I view them as only half done. “What words can I design,” I wonder, “which will elevate this composition?” To me, it’s rather like accessorizing an outfit… “What script or hand lettering style will best match this imagery? Or, how can I add text to the page so that it’s designed into the layout and not just “sitting” at the bottom of the page?”
Not only that… I have found by, including quotes, poems, descriptions, song lyrics, and scripture in my journals, I have a beautiful record of my life stories and memories! I can’t think of a more suited and perfect pairing, can you?
As a professional artist, calligrapher and art instructor, teaching in-person classes in the Santa Cruz area has been a true gift. Encouraging and passing on to others what I love and what I’ve learned bring me great joy. Conversely, I treasure learning from others. The give-and-take of community is so inspiring. When the 2020 pandemic hit, it provided a catalyst for me to realize another dream – to reach more creatives. By launching Ruth Korch Art, an online teaching platform, I’m now looking forward to growing a unique, supportive and collaborative art community, exploring imagery, words and letterforms together.
It’s back to that joy of community and connection where there are no limits to how many artists can fit around my “virtual dining room table” – …the sky’s the limit!Recommended3 recommendationsPublished in