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Into the mind of a young Chicago artist

This summer I had the opportunity to catch-up with an old high school pal and I’m glad I did. Little did I know how inspired I would be after hearing about her passion as an artist. It’s neat when your creativity is sparked by people who surround you.

This pal of mine is Sarah Ruttgers, a 20-year-old Chicagoan! Sarah’s mind is always working and full of creative ideas when she’s painting, drawing, doing pottery, or simply photographing subjects.

Sarah has been surrounded by art since a very young age, inspired by her grandmother who sells paintings and collages for a living. It was Sarah’s grandmother who encouraged her to express herself creatively through art.

Sarah says that her favorite thing to draw and paint are people. She’s fascinated with the tiny details in a person’s face and how those details make everyone unique. She finds this is what inspires her and I’m sure other artists as well.

Sarah also enjoys drawing and painting cityscapes. Who wouldn’t in Chicago! As a city girl, she’s constantly inspired by the shapes and shadows of the windows and buildings observed. Sarah’s mood is usually reflected in her art, so next time you see her work, take a closer look - you might identify with her mood.

As you can see in the pictures, Sarah’s work is truly unique and extraordinarily creative. This girl has her own style. Recently, Sarah has been inspired by the work of Bryant Giles, a Chicago artist and designer. Bryant Giles’ art piece called “Anything” is Sarah’s most favorite piece. She loves his style and the random overlapping of figures. If you haven’t checked-out Bryant Giles’ work – you should!!

This chi-town artist loves using different art techniques. She’s gone from using lose-handed techniques in which she uses a brush style marker to using watercolor pencils dipped in water. However, her all-time favorite technique is the use of ultra-fine, black tipped pens to capture her thoughts on paper. However, Sarah will admit that her artistic abilities have improved over time, and that she is getting better with proportions, the blending of colors and markers, highlights and shadows.

I asked Sarah what her own favorite art piece was and why. She said it was a painting she did for an art class at the University of Vermont, where she attends school. It was a painting for which she only used black oil paint and a rag. She said it took a week outside of class to finish and that by the time she had finished the painting, she had become very close to the woman she was painting. Her professor complimented her on her work, stating that it was an exceptional painting and that she was amazed with the highlights and shadows in the painting using only black paint. The professor’s comments boosted the confidence of this young artist, as she was in a class of incredibly talented artists. ( if Sarah wasn’t extremely talented herself!)

You can follow Sarah’s work on Instagram @sarahruttgers and art is also available for sale.

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