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 Manuel Ruiz  (1920 - 2010)

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Lived/Active: Quebec / Canada/Spain      Known for: Land-and seascape painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Manuel Ruiz (1920-2010)

A land-and seascape painter, Ruiz is known for creating a mood as well as staying true to the image he is depicting. He achieves this through the blending of colors and the use of light and shade. Already as a youngster, he studied master paintings at the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Born in Madrid, Spain in 1920, Ruiz had his first public exhibition of 24 paintings copied from the great masters Velazquez and Goya at the Prado Museum. Ruiz earned an Honorable Mention, and shortly thereafter, became one of the youngest artists ever to gain scholarship entrance into the Madrid Academy of Fine Arts.

Through the years, Ruiz traveled throughout Spain, becoming particularly attracted by the warmth and light of the Mediterranean Coast. He specialized in seascapes where he combined the classical techniques with a personal use of brush and palette knife.

In 1961, Ruiz came to Canada and established his home in Montreal with his wife and nine month old daughter. It was shortly afterward that he began to shift from oils to watercolors.

"I have a preference for watercolor as I find this medium to be more challenging than oil because there is so little margin for error. It also helps me to capture the subtleties of the sky and sea. Working with watercolors allows me to play with light and color in a way I had not been able to do before, as through it, I try to convey a sense of time and place."

The colorful countryside in the fall, its dramatic change in winter, the solitude of an old farm or the charm of a street in old Montreal became new sources of inspiration and new challenges for his art. Ruiz has exhibited in art galleries in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. Many of his works can be seen today in private collections in Europe and America.

In the early sixties he became a member of the Lakeshore Artists Association. In 1978 he won first prize among 50 competitors, for his painting titled Grove Hotel. This competition was sponsored by the Royal Bank where he was given the honors by the Mayor of Beaconsfield.  His painting was hung at the Beaconsfield Council Chamber.

In 1981 he received an Honorable Mention in the International Artists in Watercolor Competition held in London, England and in 1982, Air Canada featured four of his paintings on their first class menus. During this decade, Ruiz opened his own school and became a member of the Societe Canadienne de l'Aquarelle.

He distinguished himself as a watercolorist by winning various awards since and has taught workshops in watercolor techniques in local art communities.

Manuel Ruiz passed away on January 1, 2010.
Information provided by Ana Ruiz, who has created a website in her father's honor.

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