Here's the Bones of my bio:

I started my life as a DP.  Back when I was born, a refugee was called a Displaced Person - someone without a country, someone without a voice.  The challenge to find where I truly belonged, to find my own unique voice, has been a central theme in my life.

I was born in a refugee camp in Germany.  My parents, fleeing the Russian occupation of their homeland, Latvia, found a safe but temporary shelter there.  Four years later my family, under the sponsorship of the Lutheran Church, made their way to Ellis Island. From there we traveled to a farm in Michigan, where members of the same church took us into our first American home and gave my parents their first American job.

Chicago was next.  That is where I grew up, finished school and attained my citizenship.  A summer job in Denver, Colorado paved a path for a lifetime career in mental health.  I loved Denver right from the start and have happily lived there to this day.   

Here's the Heart of my bio:

All  my life I have had two big passions: art in its many forms and the understanding of human behavior, including my own.

For years I focused on my second passion by earning a Masters degree in Social Work and then working in mental health agencies and with the dying in hospices.  I created a private therapy practice and taught classes and workshops in the fields of spirituality and human empowerment.  I still have a part time private practice and love it!

As for my first passion, I wanted to paint but truthfully, whenever I did, nothing I created met my own expectations.  I was in love with the work of other artists but I couldn't love my own.

And then one day, one of my teachers said to me: "Rudite, you are extremely creative but you're using only a tiny fraction of that creativity and that, my friend, is taking a serious toll on your spirit.  If you don't step up to the plate and start using that which is inside you, a part of you will wither and die.  You need to create as much as you need to breathe."

The next day I started to paint again.  It still wasn't easy, the inner voices remained relentless in their negativity, but I simply took the next step and then the next and as I did, something in myself ignited.  The passion grew and grew until I could no longer imagine a life without my art.



It's all about finding your own unique artist's voice.

I knew what I loved and admired in other artists' work, but when I stood in front of my own easel, everything went blank.  I could imitate what others created really well but it wasn't my own voice.  I experimented with all kinds of techniques and mediums but I was never satisfied -- everything I created felt too controlled and rigid.

All that quite magically changed when I discovered high flow acrylics and YUPO paper.  Because the paper is synthetic and waterproof,  it doesn't absorb the paint.  The paint flows where it wants to flow, it seems to have a life of its own.  I no longer think about "how"  to paint or "what" to paint (if I do, it simply doesn't work), no longer try to control anything.  I put down my paintbrushes, pick up bottles of paint and get out of my own way.

 I step into the Unknown.  I surrender to the process, I am "the instrument through which the paint creates."

Sometimes when I put the paint bottles down, the colors keep flowing all on their own and I just watch in fascination.  Often I'm in awe of what unfolds right in front of my eyes -- creatures show up, gardens and seascapes pop up - none of which I was consciously creating.

To me, it's a constant practice of surrendering and trusting in the process.  Trusting that out of the chaos an order will emerge.  The trust part is not always easy but I keep practicing.  And I must say - I'm in love with the whole process!


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