Tamara Ruiz is a contemporary artist working in a number of mediums, primarily mixed- media. She lives on a small farm in Nebraska with her husband Bob and a menagerie of rescued animals. Living in the Midwest her entire life - Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, and now Nebraska - has impacted both the style and subject matter of her work.
Tamara works in two different, but related styles; mixed media collage featuring vintage photographs, and oil painting on a mixed media background. Her mixed media collages start with a background of vintage ephemera combined with modern aspects of paint and surface design. An enlarged vintage photograph comprises the focal element of the collages. Tamara’s oil paintings begin in a similar way, with a mixed media background,
but then differ as the focal element is a bold, stylized oil painting of iconic western imagery.
She constantly experiments with new techniques, but starts each work with the same focus
on shape, composition and color. Layers of paper and paint - distressed with sandpaper throughout the process - allow her collage process to show through. She says, “Many of the photos I use show people having a good time and expressing a sense of humor. I like that. I want people to smile when they look at my work.”