I have been on the move since landing in America on September 24, keeping busy with three workshops, six lectures, seven painting demos, and a total of eight shows on my 2019 Fall Tour. So grateful to Margaret Spencer, my US assistant extraordinaire, and Hayley Davis, who guides us from afar in France with telepathy and internet. Thank you to our gracious hosts, loyal collectors and friends old and new for a memorable and successful East Coast Tour!
The tour began in Wolfeboro, NH, where I led a three-day oil painting workshop during the For the Soul Retreat. I was joined by Sergio and Jimmy, who met me in Connecticut for a show at the home of a dear friend, followed by another show at a fabulous restaurant, Gabriele’s of Greenwich. We were welcomed warmly by the non-profits Silvermine Arts Center, Alliance Française, Byram Shubert Library, and the The Longest Day Alzheimer’s Association. Old friends, camp connections, and new collectors braved the rainy weather, and we had two great shows, and celebrated the premiere of the trailer for Jimmy’s documentary Painting the Invisible.
Next, we headed to Manhattan for a talk about my journey with Vincent Van Gogh at the New York Junior League. It was an honor to show my work, and to engage with such a dynamic crowd in the historic Astor House. You can watch my talk online here. The following week, Sergio and I showed our work together at the historic Ross Farm in Basking Ridge, NJ, where I painted on the beautiful grounds and interior during my weeklong stay with my dear friend Hilary Klimek.
The show in Basking Ridge coincided with the wedding of the lovely Ginny McDowell, who was my assistant and right hand 2016-2018. So Sergio, Jimmy, and the extraordinary Hilary with The Friends of the Boudinot-Southard-Ross Estate ran the show, and I flew to Dallas to paint Ginny’s wedding. The turnout to Ross Farm was excellent, with longtime supporters and friends coming from across New Jersey, and from as far as Tennessee! I am grateful for the quality time and fun I shared with many of you during the short time I was in Basking Ridge.
After a short break between New Jersey and our next show, the team spent a week with Mark and Sandi Diehl at breathtaking Stonewall Creek Vineyards in Tiger, GA. I led a workshop at the vineyard, and Sergio and I showed our work in the vineyard tasting room.
The final show of the tour was in Spartanburg, SC where I always feel at home, especially with our hosts Lisa and John Chapman, who were right there with us moving paintings and carrying paintings into the night.
The Georgia Color Plein Air Competition was the last stop on tour, where I gave a talk and a live painting demonstration. Congratulations to the participants, and thank you to the organizers at Georgia Olmstead and the Steffan Thomas Museum of Art. This was Georgia Color’s inaugural year, and my first visit to the Lake Oconee area, and I had the best time. Our hosts were so gracious, and we left inspired and spoiled by our hosts’ fantastic hospitality.
I am blessed for the chance to share my work in a spectrum of incredible places from New Hampshire to Georgia. The Steenhuis-Ruffato team traveled over 1,000 miles with 100 paintings and dozens of sculptures, which was a labor of love and testament to Dodge Grand Caravans and Sergio’s trusty Ford Focus. After six weeks showing my work alongside my sons Sergio and Jimmy (Alt: with Sergio’s sculpture and Jimmy’s film), I am happy to be back home at L’abeille with my studio, animals, and most importantly, Serge.
The shows are for you, the friends, collectors, and art enthusiasts who come to share my poetry, and take part in the dance between you and the paintings. If you went to a talk, workshop, or show this fall, I hope you had as much fun as I did—If we missed each other, be sure to sign up for my email list for updates about my next show dates.
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