Jerry Ruthven was born and raised in Blue Branch, a small community in Texas. A middle child in a family of six, Ruthven practically lived outdoors. Although an active boy, who played both football and track, Ruthven had begun to sketch at a very early age. Indeed, his penchant for drawing during his study time got him in trouble quite a few times. However, his parents recognized his talent, and encouraged him by presenting him with art supplies whenever a gift was in order. This, combined with his love of the outdoors, led Ruthven to work at capturing the beautiful Texas countryside that surrounded him.
Once out of school, Ruthven faced a common problem among young artists: how to make a living while trying to establish his reputation as a painter. Although he worked briefly as a commercial artist in an attempt to support himself, Ruthven was unable to put aside his dream of painting the Texas landscape.
When he was twenty, he decided to try firefighting. During the two days of free time between every twenty-four hours of duty, Ruthven painted and studied the works of contemporary masters. Nine years later, he left the department to devote his full time and energy to painting.
Although he is now known chiefly for his Texas hill country landscapes, Ruthven and his wife, Gini, became fascinated with the terrain of northern New Mexico and Colorado. Whether his paintings are set in Texas or further west, however, his works contain a sense of quiet realism. His landscapes give viewers the feeling that they can step right into the scenes. One can practically smell the rain, feel the cool wetness of hill country streams, or bake in the scorching sun.
When he isn’t painting, Ruthven can be found in a hole three feet deep, digging for arrowheads and other Indian artifacts, or possibly in a corner, playing old Marty Robbins tunes on his guitar. No matter what he is doing, however, some part of his mind is always working toward a better, more perfect painting.
Reference: artist publication