About the Artist

People Places and things 


I describe my work- portrait, still life, landscape, or mixed media as contemporary, impressionistic realism.


My work reflects my initial response to what I see and how I interpret it.  I see the painting in my mind’s eye before me.  Light, color, and design of space reflect my initial reaction to the piece.  That is the visual statement I strive to transmit from artist to viewer.


Ruth Kates, ImageAs a child, my Saturdays were spent at MFA, drawing from a live model.  My attraction in depicting people, all colors, shapes, and sizes, continue to intrigue me.  My involvement with the “portrait” developed in the Margaret Fitzhugh Browne Studio, Boston as a novice painter.  There, I worked, Saturdays from the model and the “still life”.  The stimulation of how to communicate that which was before me with my personal vision opened a new world of excitement and motivation for me.  In the interim, my studies with Paul Rahilly, George Nick, Charles Movalli (Landscape) and Arthur Polonsky greatly influenced my development and philosophy, as well as paintings by Sorolla, Henri, Fairfield Porter, and Hopper.


I entered art school when my daughter was in high school and my son in college after much thoughtfulness, deliberation, and positive reinforcement from my husband.  I received my graduate degree in 1978, and have been teaching ever since.

I feel that if the viewer has to intellectualize, analyze, and search for the meaning in order to understand what he sees, the painting has lost its impact, abstract or realistic.  The work is the vehicle to creatively impart the thinking process of the artist.


Paul Gauguin said “I shut my eyes in order to see.  A picture should enlighten the soul.” To me, this is the heartbeat and the essence of painting.


Commisioned Painting

 Ruth Kates’s work is represented in private collections in Connecticut, Florida, California, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Paris.      

  For commissioned inquiries, please email the artist at:   ruth@ruthkates.com