Bio and Resume:
photo by Bart Nagel
Isabel Rucker, a visual artist, focuses on narrative drawing and painting, and is a professional silversmith. She owns Isabel Jewelry & Gallery in Pinedale, Wyoming.
She comes from a family of artists, teachers and philosophers. She grew up mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, with younger years in Virginia among other locales and has further expanded her view through United States and international travel. She maintains a strong connection to San Francisco.
Current projects include painting series that when lined up create wordless stories. They draw the viewer into the images’ stories and, due to being wordless, offer chance for participation by international viewers as well. In 2012 she finished Soul Meditation, an 11 panel story drawn on 12x12" squares of paper with acrylic ink and pencil. It takes the viewer from the surface of Earth through the heavens towards the unknown origins of being and back to Earth. It is drawn in a one-point perspective so the viewer feels as if she is flying through a tunnel of stars, galaxies, souls.
Unfurling is her largest work to date, drawn over seven years; three rolls of 150’ paper create a graphic novel. Finished and exhibited in San Francisco in 2009, it recounts her path of following her heart from San Francisco to Wyoming. Panels vary in width from a foot to close to ten feet. As the viewer walks along and reads the story he can see an evolution of drawing style in the project; while it is still the same hand drawing, there is a sense of loosening up by the end as the panels get wider. A large cast of characters and vast scenery comes and goes in the story and the viewer enjoys fancy free scenes but also peeks into personal struggles of the artist. The problem of exhibiting such a physically long piece of work was solved by 'snaking' the work in and out of the gallery's movable walls. In the end this made a good audience piece since viewers would walk back and forth and interact with each other while reading.
Her beginnings of narrative artworks were a comicbook-zine, Fact and Fiction. All thoughts were put into these zines, made up stories, and day in the life recounts, and political, feminist, and silly comments. Fact and Fiction was a laboratory for drawing and storytelling meshing experiments. Isabel was inspired by her love of underground, alternative comics and zines and the DIY ethic of self publishing.
Silversmithing is her professional mainstay and her business is Isabel Jewelry. Over the years there have been groups of metalworks that combine her loves of drawing and using her hands. She has joined metal with cold and hot connections, created hinges, set gemstones, sawn creatures from silver, and followed ideas through shapes and textures. Taking thought and form from the plants in her workshop to the industrial scapes in cities, she finds inspiration in all aspects of life.
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