Ruth Nygard's Main Artery - artist - visual fine arts

Ruth Nygard is a Canadian artist who is currently finishing her BFA at UBCO.  

It is left to the viewer to discover the true essence of each painting displayed on this site. But as the artist I will describe a bit about my processing while painting. The following best describes my view of the values I have tried to incorporate within my last few years of art projects. ’The works reveal many styles that encompasses a multi-mixer of styles in painting, as there are hints of realism, modern styles of cubism, expressionism, and reconstruction of forms that morph the recognizable into stylized abstractions. My studies of the old masters and gifted contemporary artists have influenced my in profound ways.  I believe my in-depth studies and practices have helped to create an engaging work. This overlapping of styles are used to enhance the aesthetics within each painting.  This is clearly depicted in the Commonage barn scene further down this page, anyone familiar with that barn will recognize the scene but know that it is heavily stylized by enhancing and stylizing different aspects of the area. (And yes, to you who know this barn, it is actually red not blue.) The description of geometrical undertones and/or overtones produce a multitude of layering which creates pathways not only into the paintings but hopefully create interesting dramatic depths to the images. 



“ A Piece Of Paris”. The new painting above is of the Odette pastry shop is Paris. 30 x 24 inch acrylic on canvas. Just finished for Christmas 2018

Ruth Nygard 
please  have a look around and enjoy the presentation of many of my art images below.


Below  are some new paintings depicting the Okanagan Valley. These are just a few of the paintings that I am working on that represent the ingenuity of the British Columbia and especially the Okanagan community. It is amazing that the farmers are farming on our rolling hills as it would probably be much easier to relocate to a flatter location, but they love this area to met the challenge, but made sure to leave a lot of the natural surrounding land alone which creates a beautiful contrasting vista of patterns enter-twining the wilderness. That is the strength of the Okanagan. My purpose in these paintings is  that we acknowledge this beautiful sense of harmony that is yet unspoiled and protect this gift and heritage of beauty that is associated with British Columbia. 

"Hiding In Plain Sight Study “  Could the answer be to see Ogopogo, we must look at the lake, not in it.

The Paintings directly below are presently being working on in the last few months. They have been described as similar to Salvador Dali. I can’t however take any credit on studying him in depth or deliberately emulating his fantastic work as I studied him and his work only briefly in my first year of university. After a few of these paintings were complete however, I delved into his work and studied his flamboyant, larger than  life personality. That is what I love about art. We can either do our own thing and study later who our brain storms closely simulates. Likewise  I also like to study different artist technique and at those times I purposefully emulate their techniques into my art, but this is usually with very small practice canvases. I suspect I will develop more within the cubism and roundism discipline. I envision some exciting challenges and I think the art is quite beautiful with endless possibilities.  I appreciate Jean Metzinger  and his curving shapes incorporated into earlier cubism and contemporary artist Corne Akkar whose art is defined as roundism. Please have a look and they are for sell. I made these to not overwhelm a wall but I will be creating larger ones as well.

 All artwork displayed on this website and created by this artist is authentic, original artwork.

All copyright and reproduction rights are reserved by the artist.

These paintings are a bit different from the usual Okanagan landscape paintings. There are many artists who do lovely paintings of our beautiful landscapes of the Okanagan, but perhaps because I was raised in this area I feet compelled to try to capture the character and architecture of the town. Then as I go beyond the city scapes my landscapes although possibly scenic are more of a stylized representation.

To bring the strong sense of the charismatic character of the town the focal area I chose to depict in the cityscape paintings encompasses the 29 st - 30 ave area. This area is an intersect of popular hang outs like the Bean Scene Coffee House, the Towne Theatre along with the menagerie of  outside restaurants, old book stores, pubs add to the atmosphere of a welcoming camaraderie and sense of community, which is lacking in so many areas of our fastpaced lives . When one sits and listens while at the Bean Scene or surrounding venues, they will hear communication that can within minutes range from concerns about the neighbourhood dog to world affairs, while others enjoy sitting peacefully engrossed in a book, newspaper or on a computer. What is refreshing is that the people socializing with one another are of all ages and backgrounds. In depicting the Okanagan, I have included the architecture as some of these buildings have been meeting places for Vernonites and visitors for decades, and some for over 100 years. If only these walls could talk, I bet we would get quite the education. I have traveled and lived in many places , but I can say without reservation that Vernon is the most fantastic of places. For me this appreciation is possibly because I have lived, loved, cried, laughed and grown here.

Beyond the obvious beauty of a place there is the richness in the not so idealized reality and there is beauty in the flawed and that is where the character of the place for me often lies.

Below are a few painting of the Vernon area. One is the 9 foot long triptych of a scene that is repeated every afternoon in front of the Bean Scene (weather permitting). And as everyone knows the weather is always permitting here in the sunny Okanagan. 

Below is Willie holding up the wall of the Naked Pig in downtown Vernon. 

The  paintings above form a triptych which is my tribute to Banksy and his new surprise, Dismaland Bemusement Park. The girls are defiantly in the proper frame of mind for such a fare.



This piece is the completion of a concept I've worked on for several months. In the "Man of Steel” I wished to capture the conflicting elements of our humanness whose intricate complexity of interweaving lines form into a structure that is strong and durable. Our humanness allows us to deeply feel at the drop of a weight as light as a feather; yet, when a great weight of a difficulty challenges us we meet it and persevere often through impossible odds. At these times I marvel at the beauty and strength of being human. Mixed media on canvas 36 x 24 inches. The base background of the painting is acrylic and I later went over the structure with oils to give it a more dynamic appearance.


This is the original triptych without the photoshopped Dismaland accessories of three 24" x 12" deep canvases which will be a part of a body of work I am creating to further the exploration of emotional expressionism in an entertaining and meaningful way. I am developing a technique that requires a free stroke, yet the preparation of the image and background colour must be precise in the execution. I leave these stylized girls and their expressive emotional states to the viewer's interpretation, as I suspect most can relate to them. The total measurements of the triptych is 24" H x 36" W . 

Here is a link to the recent Dismaland Bemusement Park that Banksy and many renowned fellow artist such as Damien Hirst opened in Bristol. Click here DISMALAND

BELOW IS A BREIF VIEWING OF MY ARTISTIC DEVELOPEMENT. Most images on this website have been created between 2011 to present plus a few from earlier years.




An Autobiography (The promotional version is on the biography page):

Ruth Nygard is a Canadian artist currently enrolled in the BFA program at UBC Okanagan.

One of the artists current bodies of work focuses on brings and mingling the past with the present. Using the darker characteristics of nightlife and/or including the past masters’ technique of impressionism create dramatizations of the themes. These techniques are often draw from several different art forms and media and tend to create enhanced dynamic images; thus interesting results often occur from this merging of painting techniques, and there is no shyness away from abstraction as the artist pushes the boundaries of light against shadow, or bend the rules of perspective.

Ruth Nygard, "I am presently working on a few different bodies of work and one is focused on the characteristics of the Okanagan and the other is an ongoing body of work that celebrations the present meeting the past under the dark depths of nightlife. 

Merging different genres of art styles together such as realism and impressionism hopefully enhances my image's emotional qualities. Exaggerating light against shadows for depth and contrast is done to produce dark dramatic attributes, as in  “The Man of Song” painting.

I appreciate artists who incorporate manipulation of linear and atmospheric perspective. It not only intensifies depth but also increases continuity and interest in a painting, thereby significantly transforming a static image into a dynamic work. I first tried this method in a earlier work called the  “The Band” painting, the light grid motifs in and around the musicians provides more depth and balance throughout the painting. However, the new perspective also gives the musicians a transparency which raises the question, did they existing or are they possibly apparitions from memory?

My work often reflects my belief that the past is relevant in today’s cultural discourse; therefore I often combine the elements of the present and past which the “Big Blue Buick ” painting demonstrates. The vintage 1953 Buick, with the old Vernon Towne Theater in the background is not only a signifier of the past, it is also a valued and functioning cinema today. The theater’s preserved style of aesthetically pleasing antiquity complements the area's current cityscape. I often represent the past in the darker film noir stylized nightlife because recalling the past is usually full of nostalgic fantasies, and dramatic connotations. Because our emotions are limitless in our dreams and likewise memories conjure up our forgotten emotions, painting is an excellent way to express and work through feeling. It is for this reason I find painting fascinating plus the benefits of creating is limitless, not only for the personal experience of painting but in viewing others' paintings.

A few artists from the past and present have influenced my art style. The French painter Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) intrigues me because he blended realism with impressionism and also his use of perspective in paintings such as, “Un balcon” (1880) invites the viewer into the scene. Another artist I admire is Edward Hopper, the painter of “Nighthawks” for his dark film noir paintings, who best sums up why I paint in his quote, “If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.”

My life experiences have also influenced my current creative style and interests. I had developed an interest in visual arts early in my life, and displayed potential abilities of becoming an artist throughout my school years. That, and graduating with honors, has been beneficial in my development as an artist and in my present academic challenge as a Bachelor of Fine Arts student at the University of British Colombia. I gained experience as a co-collaborator of public art events and gallery administrative duties by volunteering at the Vernon Public Art Gallery. A solo exhibition and several group presentations have resulted in local exposure. I operated a small business where I created anything from business cards to large murals. I also had the honour of being commissioned to paint several paintings for the first Africa Days that are held in Calgary each summer. I was also commissioned to complete several murals for Vernon's hundredth centennial. In my youth spending a summer visiting art museums, architecture, and sculptures around Paris, Geneva, and The Hague, was a great experience as it exposed me to many original art works, and it influenced my artistic interests.

ADDED THOUGHTS : I feel paintings serve as windows looking into, or out to, our lives, world, and realities; therefore artists do not only capture just the aesthetic beauty or dreams, but also our pain and our struggles. I feel paintings can open up the walls they occupy, and our minds by leading us into many experiences or other worlds and possibilities. More importantly not only has art been useful in pointing out controversial issues. but recently many artists have strived to create models of possible answers to issue. This is very exiting, as the description of what art is, has become more than just the process of decorating or amusing the world, as it has become a way to solutions. To add even more significance to the role of contemporary art, artist have moved into developement in the digital world.

     I used to think that having talent in the arts was a useless thing, although I loved it, but now I realize that without this ability to create we would have nothing, because creativity is what pushes us forward. It builds, it heels, it remembers. All the way back since the cave man created his first weapon for hunting or drew his first image to guide his tribe on the cave walls and stones art has played an important part. Everything we have was conceptualized and created by someone with a vision, so it is not too far fetch to say art has helped us survive and thrive.

In looking through these images, one might notice, my artwork has become quite diverse throughout the years, this in part is due to experimentation and also I am trying to develop and incorporate more multifaceted features within the paintings yet not create confusion but to enhance the focal point. And that to put it simply is one heck of a challenge. Too ofter people think that an accomplished artist sticks to one subject and style. However, celebrated masters worked through many genres, methods, and styles throughout their life’s work, this is evident when studying  their  entire collective works. Van Gogh painted much more than just sunflowers. Matisse painted more than flat red rooms. All the artists in the turn of the 1900 century, who tried different movements such as cubism, fauvism etc where not expected to stick to the one genre, and if they had, art would not have progressed very far. Also truly fantastic art transfers that excitement and joy the artist has when they are discovering and passionately involved. Therefore I try not to creating a body of work just because I am following some rule that enslaves me to one theme or style, but rather I and I think other artists are often working out and practicing a certain style or theme. Often I am incorporating several methods or genres together to make a vision realized, In saying that however I do usually have a theme or style that is present in a body of work and I appreciate todays exhibits with multi media depictions that have a powerful correlation like a well choreographed dance and I feel the artist must have this goal in mind to achieve success. Gallery curator deserve our gratitude as they can help in this process. 

Below are Small Acrylic paintings and all exept 2 areof the Bean Scene Employees from the 2011 show. They are quick studies that took a couple of hours at the most to complete.  

Additional Information

I also have worked on many projects that are commercial in nature, signs, posters, logos design etc.

I am developing a blog at

You can see us and please like us on Facebook at and I am on facebook at!/ 

 I often stretch my own canvases on stretchers which  I build myself. They are all gallery wrap  finished and the gesso is excellent for acrylic or oil . Feel free to look through my portfolio for samples of my work. If you have any questions, please contact me.

The Bent Duck post is a blog and comments page so please leave your comments there if you wish. Plus it will have activities and lists of upcoming events.