Sarah (Skinner) Ruh is a contemporary painter with roots in the Midwestern US. Born in Kansas in 1978, her family moved multiple times during her childhood, ending up in West Lafayette, Indiana for high school. She earned a BA in Fine Arts from Purdue University in 2000 where she focused on drawing, painting, and printmaking.

After college, she moved to Austin, Texas with her husband, and began a career in graphic design, web design, and marketing communications. One decade and two children later, there was little time for art. Realizing this was unsustainable, she launched a freelance web design business and began working from home. With more control over her time, she was able to pick up her paintbrushes again, and has never stopped painting since.

In early 2015, tired of the intense Texas heat and endless hours trapped in traffic, the family moved back to West Lafayette, where Ruh now has a painting studio.


Artist’s Statement

My artwork is influenced by a personal interest in geology and other natural sciences. I am fascinated by the effects of water, wind, and time on both natural and manufactured structures.

My recent work has included both more traditional landscape imagery, as well as a series of paintings based on satellite imagery from Google Earth, and aerial views as seen from airplanes.

In some ways, the process of creating my paintings mirrors the creation of the subject matter itself. As I gradually build up layers of paint and then scrape it away again, it reflects the processes of sedimentation and erosion, creating complex surfaces that offer glimpses of what lies beneath. I like the way that unexpected textures can add an element of chaos and turbulence to the application of the next layer of paint. The end result is a composition that contains many subtle details, encouraging the viewer to discover something new with each encounter.