Ronnie Tuft, b. 1928, a native New Yorker, is a painter, a writer and a poet. She attended Bethany College (WVA) and NYU, graduating with a degree in Fine Arts. Her earliest work was in television, publishing, and later in graphic arts. Yet, from childhood through her adulthood, she managed to create a space to do art. Her childhood bedroom, a corner of her first ‘married’ apartment, her grown-up suburban basement, all became her studio. During ten years that she lived in Washington D.C and tended to her growing family, she painted in her first, full-fledged basement studio. During that period, among other DC artists she became a Feminist activist, and a “Founding Mother” of the Washington Women’s Art Center - a center promoting and encouraging women artists, art curators, art historians, writers and poets. She became its first Executive Director.
Ronnie Tuft is a self-taught artist. She learned her craft mostly by looking closely at her favorite artists’ hanging in various galleries of the world’s greatest museums in New York. (Scenario: Peering closely. “what is it that I love so much about this painting? Why does it make me want to scream with joy? or cry?”). Among the painters who most influenced her growth are Modigliani, Gorky, Van Gogh, Matisse and Diebenkorn, and as a group, the German Expressionists.
No matter what the subject or style, Ronnie creates each painting for the painting’s sake, for the movement of line, for the interest of shape and form, for the play of color and light. Although she favors making “people paintings”, she also enjoys painting pure abstractions. She writes: “I sometimes paint pure abstractions just for the music inside them. I take physical pleasure in the act of painting, the movement of paint being pushed across the canvas. My paintings are ‘painterly’ in that the act of painting is right there on the surface for the viewer to see and feel. This physicality is akin to the creation of music or dance which I feel when I am painting. Often I sing or hum while painting, but when I become very quiet and work intensely — watch out!”
Ronnie has participated in several workshops recently. In the summer of 2007, she participated in an Il Chiostro workshop in Tuscany, Italy, and in 2010 at the Art Workshop International in Assisi, Italy.