Sources + Design features Ruthie Lowen Custom Artwork

The June/July issue of Sources + Design published an article on the remodel of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs’ pub Clydes featuring Ruthie Lowen’s custom murals. The remodel was designed by Cindy Senger, principal of Senger Design Group, with HB&A architects handling the physical rebuild.

Ruthie created a series of deep red, gold, espresso and black mountain-lion themed artworks for the pub, including a larger-than-life mountain lion crossing road sign in one of the smaller lounge areas.

The back wall of the small stage across from the bar in the dining area is hung with 3 large framed paintings with Ruthie’s signature lettering that tie the space together. Ruthie’s choice of quotes perfectly sum up the ideals behind Clyde the UCCS mascot: courage, bravery and taking on more than you think you can handle.

“Never Tell Me the Sky is the Limit with Footprints on the Moon”
by Ruthie Lowen

Ruthie is also the designer and driving force behind Cottonwood Center for the Arts’ new mural on the West side of the building. Re-branding the dull grey industrial look with an eye-catching retro mural that shouts “Art” in no uncertain terms, Ruthie captured the essence of the downtown art center.

From inspiring a group of mostly non-painting artist volunteers to collaborate to creating a new icon on end of Colorado Avenue, Ruthie has not only produced a 28 foot by 78 foot painting that delights drivers but has brought a sense of community to the more than 50 artists who call Cottonwood Center for the Arts home.

More of Ruthie’s work can be seen at her website: www.ruthielowen.com, her studio #107 at 427 E. Colorado or at Cottonwood on Tejon at 8 S. Tejon in downtown Colorado Springs.

Ruthie Lowen Now An Allied Member of ASAID

Ruthie Lowen is excited to announce that she has been accepted by the American Society of Interior Designers as an allied member. This recognizes that Ruthie is an experienced practitioner who can solve problems, help her clients avoid costly mistakes and, most importantly, create an attractive, affordable space designed specifically to meet their needs.

From creating co-ordinated designs that increase business branding to adding sophistication and style to private residences, Ruthie has excelled at providing innovative and distinctive decoration that suits the client perfectly.

“Art Comes Alive” ~ Ruthie Adds The Finishing Touches to Cottonwood Center for the Arts

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The end of a mural is as difficult as the beginning. The finishing touches need to be done, edges need to be straightened, the perfect paint in grout and brick colors need to be matched and touched up. All of this happens when your back is aching, volunteers have lost their opening enthusiasm and the hydraulic lift is due back at the rental company in moments.

Add in the cable company deciding that morning to trench the alley and the lot filled with cherry pickers, trailers and workman underfoot and you have the recipe for a potential and expensive disaster. That’s where Ruthie comes in, soothing workman, directing traffic and volunteers and finally, 2 minutes before the deadline, finishing up an amazing work of art with her fingers.

The finished mural

Day Two of Ruthie Lowen Mural “Art Comes Alive”

Working outdoors has its own set of challenges. Weather, particularly in Colorado Springs, is a huge unknown factor. Ruthie lost 2 full days of painting time to renegade thunderstorms. That also meant losing 2 days of expensive equipment rental.

 

Luckily, Ruthie chose to rent her hydraulic lift from Bill’s Tool Rentals, who generously credited the two non-working days back to her along with discounting the expensive tool rental.

One of 4 10-15 foot paper cutoutsMore lettering waits for the rain to quite

It isn’t just the time laying paint onto the final surface that needs to be planned for. The behind the scenes preparation adds more than 25% of the time to the final mural.

Assembling, cutting, taping and prepping the 4 versions of the word “ART’ took Ruthie and her Cottonwood volunteers most of a long rainy day.

Choosing and purchasing the right supplies-paint, brushes, masking tape, trays and handles is time-consuming. Ruthie knows that each surface has its own demands and challenges. The dry never painted brick turned out to need 40% more paint than originally planned. The rainstorms also forced more of the painting to happen in the hot afternoon sun, adding to the paint consumption.

More of Ruthie’s commercial designs in Colorado and Texas are here.

Ruthie Lowen Mural “Art Comes Alive” Begins on Colorado Avenue

Ruthie Lowen and Sandy Murphy discuss the plan of attack on Day 1

Designing, organizing and leading a team in painting a mural is much more work than it looks like from the outside. Ruthie Lowen’s 25 by 78 foot work “Art Comes Alive” at 427 E. Colorado has been in the planning stages for nearly a year.

Ruthie starts her ascent up the blank wall on a hydraulic lift

From picking paint colors, persuading and directing Cottonwood’s Studio Artists in laying paint on the bricks, manning scaffolds and hydraulic lifts and battling fierce Colorado Springs thunderstorms, Ruthie juggled the daily difficulties with calmness and professionalism.

Ruthie shows Christine Colvin how to prep a 12 foot cartoon for tracing

Decades of successful commercial murals and residential interior decoration and design showed in Ruthie’s planning and extensive behind the scenes preparation.The end of Day One with some of the background outlined and painted

More of Ruthie’s commercial designs in Colorado and Texas are here.

Both Sides Now ~ Luisa Graff’s Side Walls

Ruthie Lowen’s Left Wall at Luisa Graff’s Diamond Studio

Tucked behind show displays and finely upholstered chairs are the side walls of Ruthie Lowen’s 55 foot mural. Here they are in all their glory sans furniture and before the Grand Opening.

(By the way, the statue’s name is Sarah, goddess of sales.)

Right Side of Ruthie’s Mural

For more of Ruthie’s tour deforce at Luisa Graff’s Diamond Studio, click here. Commercial Designs and installations in Colorado and Texas are here.

Italian Villa in a Broadmoor Dining Room

Broadmoor Area Dining Room by Ruthie Lowen

Adding interest and depth to a small,  dark, formal dining room is one of Ruthie Lowen’s expansive Italian village scenes. Rivers meander between a hilltop village and a baronial wineyard estate. Ready for harvest, trees laden heavily with fruit border the lower stream.

In one of Ruthie’s signature touch, she has painted Lucy, the family pet into the scene, waiting for her owners to catch up to her before she crosses the stone-studded bridge.

All the dining room walls were faux-finished to capture the feel of Tuscany and to wrap the diners in an atmosphere reminiscent of an Italian Villa.