Story of Ruth


Completed: July 8, 1991
Image size: 21¼” x 27¾”
Edition Size: 280 Prints
Paper: Velin Arches Blanc, Mould-made
Archival 100% Cotton-Rag Paper
Media: Serigraph, 48 colors printed


Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you!
For wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge,
Your people shall be my people and your God my God.
Book of Ruth 1:16

Artist’s Notes

Ruth’s journey is a testimony to moving forward boldly. What prompted Ruth to take this journey with Naomi? She knew that she would be among strangers in the city of Naomi, not welcomed, and likely mistreated. Also there were dangers in this long journey of many miles by two uprooted women. Ruth trusted Naomi and listened to her plans, even though she was unfamiliar with the customs and language of the place they travelled to.

The Book of Ruth is a beautiful and ancient narrative, yet I feel it is contemporary in its content. Through the individuals in the story, we can learn about compassion, tolerance, commitment, bonding, generosity, the feminine, respect, closeness to the earth, and love. This is a story of refugees and very poor people who take part in the plans God.

I began to study this Biblical book, considering which episodes would be the most visual, in spring of 1990, with sketches and drawings. I completed a painting late that summer.

Story of Ruth (Painting, 1990)
Story of Ruth (Watercolor sketch)

The Story of Ruth connects us with (and helps us to reconsider) our ancestors and our histories. The twelve panels are unified into a single image through a continuity of horizontal lines: in the first four panels the hills, then of barley fields in the second row of panels, and finally the patterns of the arches in the third row. I tried to saturate each of the episodes with warm rich colors, patterns, and embellishments of gold and metallic inks.

Each time we retell the old story, we can find new encouragement for our present day lives. I hope that my interpretation of this tale of loss, famine, journey, work, and abundance, will touch you.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
ee cummings, 1952

Additional information

Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 36 × 7 × 7 in