Presented by Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA)
“Enriching and Connecting our Island Community”

Liz Ruest

“There have been lots of artists who’ve stopped me in my tracks (Monet and Rothko come to mind)” reflected December’s Artist of the Month, Liz Ruest. Her artwork generates the same reaction in many who see it. When you stop to examine her work closely you will see individual elements and marks, specific to a time and place, which are obscured by layers of paper and texture. With each piece of art, Liz is asking you to come with her on a journey of recognition as “we all try to find our place in the world.” Liz is inspired by anything that distills an idea to its simplest, yet still fascinating form. “I’m perpetually happy trying to pursue that ideal: to take the edge off a particular photograph so that it becomes the idea instead of the thing, or, more abstractly, to build a composition that is barely landscape but still draws you in.”

 

Liz creates textured, abstracted work with warm colors by combining layers of photography, printmaking, and collage on her computer. “By capturing images and layering collage elements, I create abstracted viewpoints that explore timelessness, familiarity, and recognition. I’m always looking, experimenting, and scanning,” said Liz. “While some layers are photographs, others are scanned images from my printmaking, handmade collage, or ephemera collections.” She has family documents, old dictionaries, history textbooks, and family photos to pull in a sense of history. “I explore painting and mark-making, and anything that has potential gets plopped on the scanner.” Liz likes to have fun and experiment. She’s even tried grabbing images from a digital microscope.

 

While the layering process of her work is done on the computer, the finished product sometimes uses an ancient technique. Liz shared “I sometimes use encaustic wax to coat my pieces. I print on paper, then mount the paper on a wooden panel, and slowly add layers of wax, melding each layer to the one beneath. This technique suits softer pieces and creates a lovely, muted translucence. My current encaustic setup is in the garage on Guemes! Nothing like the smell of warm beeswax, and it’s a great way to take the edge off a cool morning.”

 

Liz Ruest (pronounced ROO-ay) hails from Canada and has been living in and around Seattle since 1989. Her art endeavors were briefly interrupted by a career in tech, which got her to the area, and now she’s happy to have art back in the forefront. At this point, art has seeped into most of her life. But for a break, or to take in new ideas, she loves finding great storytelling in a book, movie, or series, or digging into the stories of her own family, through her French-Canadian genealogy. 

 

In the middle of her tech career, she and her husband were looking for a quiet place: beautiful views, no computers. They found it on Guemes and later added the computers back in! “I grew up near Ottawa, but well outside the city, and being on Guemes and in Skagit County brings me back to that quiet, peaceful state of mind.”

 

Liz comes by her computer expertise after much hard work. She went to the University of Waterloo for computer science, at a time when women were at their peak enrollment percentage — around one-third. It was a great career plan at the time, and that tech knowledge helps her now, in creating art, and keeping track of everything.

 

“It’s always an honor to have my art in people’s homes!” If you would like to add a Liz original to your collection, you can find her larger pieces through her Seattle gallery, Lynn Hanson, and smaller, print-on-demand items through Redbubble. Her website lists where each piece can be purchased. She’s always up for a chat about art on social media. She’s on Instagram and other platforms as @lizruest.

“There have been lots of artists who’ve stopped me in my tracks (Monet and Rothko come to mind)” reflected December’s Artist of the Month, Liz Ruest. Her artwork generates the same reaction in many who see it. When you stop to examine her work closely you will see individual elements and marks, specific to a time and place, which are obscured by layers of paper and texture. With each piece of art, Liz is asking you to come with her on a journey of recognition as “we all try to find our place in the world.” Liz is inspired by anything that distills an idea to its simplest, yet still fascinating form. “I’m perpetually happy trying to pursue that ideal: to take the edge off a particular photograph so that it becomes the idea instead of the thing, or, more abstractly, to build a composition that is barely landscape but still draws you in.”

 

Liz creates textured, abstracted work with warm colors by combining layers of photography, printmaking, and collage on her computer. “By capturing images and layering collage elements, I create abstracted viewpoints that explore timelessness, familiarity, and recognition. I’m always looking, experimenting, and scanning,” said Liz. “While some layers are photographs, others are scanned images from my printmaking, handmade collage, or ephemera collections.” She has family documents, old dictionaries, history textbooks, and family photos to pull in a sense of history. “I explore painting and mark-making, and anything that has potential gets plopped on the scanner.” Liz likes to have fun and experiment. She’s even tried grabbing images from a digital microscope.

 

While the layering process of her work is done on the computer, the finished product sometimes uses an ancient technique. Liz shared “I sometimes use encaustic wax to coat my pieces. I print on paper, then mount the paper on a wooden panel, and slowly add layers of wax, melding each layer to the one beneath. This technique suits softer pieces and creates a lovely, muted translucence. My current encaustic setup is in the garage on Guemes! Nothing like the smell of warm beeswax, and it’s a great way to take the edge off a cool morning.”

 

Liz Ruest (pronounced ROO-ay) hails from Canada and has been living in and around Seattle since 1989. Her art endeavors were briefly interrupted by a career in tech, which got her to the area, and now she’s happy to have art back in the forefront. At this point, art has seeped into most of her life. But for a break, or to take in new ideas, she loves finding great storytelling in a book, movie, or series, or digging into the stories of her own family, through her French-Canadian genealogy. 

 

In the middle of her tech career, she and her husband were looking for a quiet place: beautiful views, no computers. They found it on Guemes and later added the computers back in! “I grew up near Ottawa, but well outside the city, and being on Guemes and in Skagit County brings me back to that quiet, peaceful state of mind.”

 

Liz comes by her computer expertise after much hard work. She went to the University of Waterloo for computer science, at a time when women were at their peak enrollment percentage — around one-third. It was a great career plan at the time, and that tech knowledge helps her now, in creating art, and keeping track of everything.

 

“It’s always an honor to have my art in people’s homes!” If you would like to add a Liz original to your collection, you can find her larger pieces through her Seattle gallery, Lynn Hanson, and smaller, print-on-demand items through Redbubble. Her website lists where each piece can be purchased. She’s always up for a chat about art on social media. She’s on Instagram and other platforms as @lizruest.

Find more examples of her work HERE!