CMA Stories

Meet Artist In Residence Ciara Ruddock!

Ciara Marin is a Brooklyn-based Visual Artist working primarily in the form of painting and drawing. Marin received her BA from Saint Mary’s College of California and began her MFA studies at the Marchutz School of Art in France. As an artist, Marin is interested in art that portrays the transitory nature of life, which has led her to working with various dance organizations worldwide, which she incorporates into her abstracted understanding of color and gestural art making. Learn more about Ciara below!

Tell us about your artistic practice and how working with children inspires you. 
My primary training is in observational painting, I had the pleasure of studying at the Marchutz School in France which places great focus upon landscape painting and the observation of nature. I love working in this way, however, due to the nature of my lifestyle in Brooklyn – working as a studio painter is far more convenient. Working in the studio has caused a huge shift in the way that I work, I still pull many of my ideas from nature, but most of my work is rooted in the imagination. I found that working from memory and the imagination proved to be much more of a challenge for me than working in nature, but I often find that for my students the case is quite the opposite. Their minds are exploding with ideas, I regularly find whimsical masterpieces inside of their sketchbooks and it occurred to me that somewhere between childhood and now, I’ve lost touch with my ability to tap into my imagination so readily. So, when I do warm-ups with my students, I join them, and let them take the lead and guide me through their own imagination (little do they know their helping to formulate some of my latest paintings). In this I’ve discovered that the blockade that exists in the mind of adults is expectation, having a preconceived idea of what our work will look like when its “finished,” whereas when we were students, we were beginners, with less expectations and more willingness to take risks. My students inspire me to tap back into this, to take my work less seriously and let my mind run free across the canvas.

Do you have a favorite memory of making art as a child? 
I’ve always loved to draw, I remember in the 3rd grade I had this hilarious little Britney Spears notebook that I used to document my latest runway looks (I wanted to be a designer). I think that the first moment I realized that I was talented was during a project in the 4th grade, we had to design a product of the future and my group decided that we were going to making flying cars – I drew up a few different “models” and remember my teacher being so impressed that she showed them to our principal. Futuristic cars incorporated we called ourselves. I think that must be one of my favorite memories.

What do you enjoy most about working at CMA? 
My favorite part of working at CMA is engaging and brainstorming with my fellow teaching artists. We are so lucky to have such a talented team of artists from such a wide variety of disciplines, it is a truly wonderful support system, if you’re feeling down (or hyped) about your current work there is always another artist around to commiserate or celebrate with – which as an artist is hugely important to existence in this city.

Ciara Ruddock’s feelin’ good workshops take place April 27 and 28. Workshops are free with museum admission. 

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