Karen Ruane | Art Watch | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Coverage for Central Oregon, by Central Oregonians.
100% Local. No Paywalls.

Every day, the Source publishes a mix of locally reported stories on our website, keeping you up to date on developments in news, food, music and the arts. We’re committed to covering this city where we live, this city that we love, and we hear regularly from readers who appreciate our ability to put breaking news in context.

The Source has been a free publication for its 22 years. It has been free as a print version and continued that way when we began to publish online, on social media and through our newsletters.

But, as most of our readers know, times are different for local journalism. Tech giants are hoovering up small businesses and small-business advertising—which has been the staple for locally owned media. Without these resources, journalism struggles to bring coverage of community news, arts and entertainment that social media cannot deliver.

Please consider becoming a supporter of locally owned journalism through our Source Insider program. Learn more about our program’s benefits by clicking through today.

Support Us Here

Culture » Art Watch

Karen Ruane

Alcohol inks, evoking watercolors


  • Submitted

Karen Ruane never had a knack for watercolors, which is why her art may surprise you. It's not watercolors that she works with. Instead, she uses alcohol inks, which leave you with the same feeling: free and light.

Ruane grew up in the desert and has a deep love for it. She and her family found their way to Bend in 2014. Shortly before her move, she began exploring her interest in painting again, specifically marbling. By the time she got to Bend, she was marbling full time. "Every time you pivot, it informs your other work. I think it helps with everything you do and keeps everything fresh," Ruane says.

  • Karen Ruane

Recently, Ruane has found her main success selling on Instagram, which she says is the best way for an artist to sell their work. She's now joined up with seven other artists to start an Instagram-based grant for emerging female American artists. Launched in January, Ruane and the other seven artists each post their own work for sale and give 50 percent of the sale proceeds to the grant. When they reach $500, they announce a recipient for the money. The group helps by not just providing funds, but also by sharing the recipient's work via Instagram—with the hope of boosting exposure for the emerging artist.

Ruane is working on opening her own studio upstairs from Townshend's Bend Teahouse, where she'll host an open studio during First Friday in April and hopefully be able to showcase other artists' work. She's also working on a new mixed media series that explores grief. Having lost her father recently, Ruane says she's learned so much from the grieving process that it has given her clarity on finding beauty in the grief. While her work will continue to be largely abstract, she's still toying with the idea of bringing some elements of figures back in her work.

Karen Ruane Studio

835 Bond St., Suite 200, Bend

Open for First Friday in April!

Showing at The Bend Store through March



About The Author

Teafly Peterson

For the last 20 years, I have been working as an artist and an educator. Some days I am better at one than the other. The good days are when I am excellent at both simultaneously. I love those days. I teach a variety of mediums– painting, drawing, photography, writing, film making. Mostly what I teach is how to...

Speaking of Artwatch, teafly Peterson

Add a comment

More by Teafly Peterson