Catherine Ruane received her M.F.A. from the Otis-Parsons School of Design and both her M.A. and B.A. from San Diego State University. She has also studied at the University of California, the University of Southern California, the University of Oregon, and the Santa Reparata Graphics Studio in Florence, Italy.
Strongly influenced by Japanese art and the Japanese philosophy of the ‘floating world’ (a constantly shifting format of images that appear in daily life), Ruane works mostly outside in the nearly perpetual sunlight of Southern California. Ruane says, “I found my “floating world” in simple trays of water. I use large, deep plastic trays of water to soak paper for the intaglio printing process. These trays sit under big elm trees, and of course the leaves fall into the trays. I noticed how beautiful these leaves appeared as they floated across the submerged paper, creating shadows and new, mysterious shapes. I had found my ‘floating world’ in my own backyard.”
The artist also makes extensive use in her work of crushed mica and metallic powders to give it movement and an intense, light shimmering luster. Writer Merry Eklins comments about Ruane’s work, “They seem to be in constant motion...These figures are awash in a sea of gold and silver metallic specks that seem to jump off their paper and attach themselves to the sunshine.”