We had the good fortune of connecting with Catherine Ruane and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Catherine, what role has risk played in your life or career?
There are no guarantees in life so why not jump into the deep end of the pool and take the ride into the unknown. I’ve approached much of my life with this attitude and so far I have ended up in places I never imagined I would go. Both awful and terrific. Being a visual artist is an unpredictable profession but if I wasn’t pursuing that I would be part of the “walking dead”. Risk is simply part of the equation and I have learned to live with it. There have been times when the path has gotten rough but it would have been even more rough if I had to be working in a cubicle with a boring job. I had that sort of a job at one point and quit within a week. Taking chances often involves rebuilding things when I fall flat but even then I get a step closer to my goal so I can see a reason for the madness. As I look back I can see I would not have achieved some of my highest goals had I not taken the risk. It is all baked in.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
A story told is never forgotten. There are many trees who have stories to tell and I draw their history. There are collections of older trees who through no choice of their own, have been in the middle of tragic human events. These trees are referred to as Witness Trees. Think of the Sycamore trees on the Antietam Civil War battlefield which are thriving today despite their trunks still riddled with bullets. We can see that despite the slings and arrows of life can prevail. My formal education includes earning two masters of fine arts degrees and a year of extended study in Florence, Italy. My drawings and paintings are included in corporate collections including Disney Corp., British Motor Works, Boeing Corp and the private collection of the Crown Prince of Sadia Arabia.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would start out visiting my studio in downtown LA arts district, check out nearby galleries, shop for unusual art supplies at Artist and Craftsman Supply, and finally have dinner at Zinc Cafe and Wine Bar which are all in my studio neighborhood. On another day we would hike Griffith Park exploring trails, visiting the Autry Museum of the American West, have a picnic, and then off for a horseback ride at Sunset Ranch Hollywood stables. The evening would be spent exploring the Griffith Observatory and finally end with pizza at nearby Palermo’s. A visit to LA must include a hike up to (or near) the Hollywood sign. The hiking trail brings everyone up behind the sign’s 45-foot-tall backward aluminum letters, where everyone can look out over a windswept vista, the towers of downtown Los Angeles, and, on a clear day, the blue Pacific Ocean. Another nearby foot trail will take us to the Adam West’s Bat Cave, home of the Batmobile in the 60’s Batman TV series. Dinner would be at Loteria for their awesome, killer Mole Poblano. All of this followed by an evening walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There has to be an early day where we hike the bluffs of Palo Verdes with a view of the Catalina Island. Followed by a brunch at Nelson’s enjoying more ocean views along with a watermelon margarita and swordfish tacos.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Both my Mother and my maternal Grandmother taught me significant skills like tenacity and consistency. It was also both of them who worked hard to earn their respective college degrees and showed by example the value of an education and the persistence to get one. My husband Michael, has done anything and everything to help me along my way. I have two sons who have stood beside me from their very tender ages to the present. My circle of friends comprising artists, curators, writers, gallerists, and critics have all supported me in a thousand ways. No way could I function without them. As the saying goes, “It takes a village.”