If you had to choose a color from a box of Crayola Crayons that you would like to use for the day, what color would it be? I’m not talking the small box… I’m saying the big box~64 crayons. For me, it would be blue. I love how cool blue is and how it calms my heart and soul. My favorite thing to do is to sit on a sunny day when the sky is as blue and wide as the eye can see, looking out over the ocean. The sound of the blue water crashing is very calming and peaceful to me.
But I asked my friend this question the other day and her smile became brighter as she lit up the room searching for an answer. “All of them”, she finally said.
Meet Ruxi Darie!
Ruxi is a friend of mine I met through the International Women’s Club of Eindhoven. Her quiet but dynamic personality was like a beacon calling to me to get to know her. First we sat next to each other at a few meetings of the club enjoying our time chatting. Next I found myself in an art appreciation class with Ruxi and loved hearing not only her accent but her take on the art that was being discussed. I had heard that Ruxi was an artist but when I saw her work, I was shocked! She is an amazing artist!
Ruxi invited me to her home to share a cup of coffee and a chance for me to see some of her work. I had been to her home once before with mutual friends. It was then and there that I fell in love with her amazing style.
But today as I walked into her home, colors splashed about the room and leapt from painting to painting beckoning me to look at one painting after the other. My eyes wandered from a painting of
a fish with silver gills glistening through the water,
to a girl with an earring,
to the streets of New York,
to the blob in Eindhoven
and back to canals in and around the streets of Amsterdam.
Ruxi was born and raised in Romania. As a child she would doodle with her pencil and paper during school, occupying her mind as she listened carefully to her teachers. I asked Ruxi when she or her parents knew she had artistic talent. She said she was always drawing as a child. Just little things here or there, but her first memory is of a painting she did of a still life when she was only eleven. She had been told by someone that it was hard to do a still life and that it probably wouldn’t turn out. Game on! Her inner artist burst out and that painting still hangs at her mother’s home in Romania.
Ruxi continued to draw through her teens. Growing up in Romania, fashion was very conservative at the time but Ruxi made sure to leave her mark. She would design her own dresses for dances. Flare and color were a big part of those designs and fabrics. She remembers designing a green leopard dress for one ball. Her mother was shocked that she would leave the house in a dress so bright with color and different from the other girls at her school. Now today, people think nothing of wearing leopard print or bright vibrant colors. Little did Ruxi know, color would become a major influence in her life.
In 2001, Ruxi and her husband took an exciting work opportunity, leaving Romania and headed to The Netherlands ready to explore new international opportunities. Searching for an international connection, she joined the International Women’s Club of Eindhoven and eventually joined the board as Special Activities Coordinator.
Eleven years ago a friend of Ruxi’s from the International Women’s Club of Eindhoven inspired Ruxi to start painting. Jenny Bertenshaw was a very positive influence in her life with her kind words and encouragement and helped to put Ruxi in contact with her first gallery experience here in The Netherlands.
During college, Ruxi had developed a fascination with buildings. She earned her degree in Civil Engineering and now as an artist, she is able to keep that love of line and angles in her work. With the privilege of being an artist, she is able to add what she wants to her work. She likes to add color and feelings to the buildings she paints, whether it’s the row houses in Amsterdam or the Blob in Eindhoven.
Ruxi feels that she needs a personal connection with her work. When she paints something, she has to love it or have feeling for it. She will only paint something she has seen. For example, Ruxi would never paint a picture of my childhood cottage in Michigan. I could tell her about the emotional feelings I have with my cottage and the smell of the pines and the sound of the whippoorwills, but she needs to feel the emotion. Without seeing a place or a person, there would be no emotion, and without emotion, she knows it would not turn out the way she would like. Once Ruxi has decided what she would like to work on, she takes a lot of pictures of her subject catching the different light and angles. She will leave the photos up and research her subject. “Then one day, I can come back to it and look at it. And it hits me! That’s what I want to paint!” said Ruxi.
Ruxi enjoys finding things to paint near where she lives. Having the beautiful landscape, the history, the striking buildings and the wonderful history of famous artist like Vermeer, Van Gogh and others surrounding her all are such an inspiration for her. That is simply what makes her happy.
Ruxi says, “Once a person decides to be an artist, you have to develop your own style.” She likes to mix medias and experiment with different materials and techniques. She also enjoys layering different pieces into her work. If you look closely, you might find a ticket stub or a clipping from a newspaper in her paintings. Ruxi says she of course is influenced by everything around her. She just finished her classes at the Knust Academie in Arendonk. There she was able to learn how to intertwine free graphics into her paintings.
In Ruxi’s life, color means feelings and happiness. It could be a rainy day and you look at a piece with color and it can change your emotions. There are a lot of rainy days here in The Netherlands. She wants others to see the amazing colors here in The Netherlands, not just the grey.
Ruxi loves living in The Netherlands. It’s such an inspiration to her. She has done many paintings of Amsterdam, canals, and fields but right now she is focused on Eindhoven. She loves how Eindhoven is building its own personality where old meets new. She is fascinated with how The Blob sits right along with other buildings that are older. Ruxi enjoys how organic and rectangular forms are able to work together to make Eindhoven the dynamic city it has become. She says, even if you don’t love The Blob, you know where it is and it’s a focal point in the Centrum. Just like she enjoys mixing her medias, she also enjoys the buildings who’s ages are intertwined. It provides a lot of interest in her artistic view. Other cities may be finished with the building of their city but Eindhoven is a work in progress. Eindhoven is such an inspiration.
As the pages of life go on, Ruxi decided to begin a new chapter by joining me, Lisa, at Blueberry Pancake Publishing. We are both so excited that she is illustrating the pictures for the books I am writing.
We both knew right from the beginning that we had a unique, dynamic connection. Working together is a wonderful way for us to always be connected, no matter how far apart we live. Ruxi is now living in Boston, Massachusetts where she is finding new inspiration by way of the American cityscapes and the beautiful nature that surrounds her life. The little girl from Romania and the little girl from America... creating books together for little ones around the world.
Ruxie Darie~ Story teller of life with the use of color.
Ruxi’s work has been shown in France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Canada, Hungary, Romania and America.