Trained as a watercolorist, the artist’s love affair with water media began as a youngster growing up in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, only a few miles from Canada, where she was surrounded by the beauty of nature. Informed by this early experience, she has traveled the globe, studying, painting, teaching and exhibiting her work, while embracing the customs and colors of the diverse cultures of Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia, Mexico and South America.
Ridgeway’s formal art studies at Russell Sage College, New York School of Interior Design and the Art Students League gave her the basic tools in the use of materials and technique. Her personal style, however, was a long time in development. Always and artist, she postponed her art career to raise her family and hold a job. While working in Washington DC as Executive Director of Very Special Arts, an educational affiliate of the JF Kennedy Center, which provides arts programs for disabled children and youth, she was fortunate to meet internationally acclaimed artist, Paul Jenkins. This was a life-changing experience. Jenkins became a friend and mentor, encouraging the artist to work large and focus on color, space, time and emotions.
Ridgeway took Jenkins’ advice and spent the next 25 years developing her unusual technique in which she uses many layers of thin, transparent acrylics on linen and canvas to produce a fluidity and viscosity similar to traditional watercolor. The effect is both sensual and powerful. Her signature poured paintings have gained her widespread acclaim from collectors, art lovers and students, world-wide.
Ridgeway’s contemporary artwork is featured in many books, among them: “International Contemporary Masters 2010” published by World Wide Art Books, “100 Artists of the Southwest,” published by Schiffer Books, “Masters of Today” and “100 Famous Contemporary Artists” both published by WOA Publishing, Stockholm Sweden. The artist’s book, “Talent is Just the Beginning – an Artist’s Guide to Marketing in the 21st Century,” has received rave reviews and may be purchased at Amazon in both hard and digital formats.
The artist is represented by several US galleries and her instructional DVD “Layering Light” continues to receive widespread attention from collectors, students and art aficionados. The artist’s work is included in many public and private collections including the John Deere Corporate Collection, the Federal Reserve Bank, Criteria Communications, the Mayo Clinic and Northwest College. Actor, Tim Allen has two of Ridgeway’s paintings in his personal art collection.