“I have recently found myself intrigued by small bits of the greater scene; the corner of a building, an edge of marsh, a little glimpse down that narrow path. I prefer to capture these moments en plein air - to represent the essence of that something which made me stop and go back. This current body of work was created during several years of transition; trading in the commotion and energy of a small village for the peace and scholarly solitude of the woods. During this time, I find myself Finding Home in each painting; a quiet corner, solitary shadow, or sympathetic quality of light. Home seems to find me - in the mountains or in a tidal marsh - each place reveals its own slice of the familiar.”
Kari Ganoung Ruiz was raised at the edge of The Finger Lakes National Forest in Central New York State, which set the stage for her deep connection to the natural landscape. After receiving her BS in Fine Art Painting from Ashland University in Ohio, Kari and her husband Stereo Photographer Diego Ruiz opened a picture framing studio and Gallery featuring fine art. An encouraging response to her work prompted more space at the boutique to be used to display paintings, and eventually the move to a much larger location. At this time, Kari began to focus on plein air work; feeling the need to learn about light and shadow directly from the natural world. In 2014, the couple moved the gallery online in order to allow both of them to travel and move forward with their artistic careers.
Kari and Diego now travel the US capturing the landscape as they experience it. Whether having a stare down with a wolf in Yellowstone, camping outside a panadería in Santa Cruz for Champurrado, rolling down the palm tree and sea grape lined A1A in Florida, or sleeping through a tornado in Missouri… It's always an adventure! Awards include Grand Prize Two Rivers Plein Air Festival in Texas 2019, Grand Prize Adirondack Plein Air in New York in 2020, Grand Prize Monuments And Canyons Plein Air Colorado in 2021, and Best In Show Paint Grand Traverse in Michigan 2022. Kari’s work is held in public and private collections across the United States and Canada, most recently added to the collection of the Bureau of Land Management in Colorado.
Meet the Artist
What has plein air painting taught you about yourself? That focus is good for the soul
What is the furthest you have traveled for your art/plein air paint? Ocean to ocean!
Can you share a fond, or unusual, memory of plein air painting? painting a sunset out in the desert - then coyotes started calling... from all around us!
What is a recent thing that you painted or drew a picture of? snow in the Grand Canyon!
What is your favorite plein air subject, location or time of the year to plein air paint? The Adirondack Mountains in New York State have a piece of my heart
What is something that looks fun that you want to try? More hard-core hiking to get to hidden-gem painting locations!