The Rural We: Emily Ritz
Emily Ritz is a busy Hudson, New York-based visual artist and musician. Her illustrations, paintings and ceramics, which make up her ongoing “Lumpland” project/lifestyle, are filled with the naturalistic patterns of flora and coral. They’re soothing to the eye and mind, and offer a momentary respite from the terror and insanity currently trying to pull humanity off its axis. Recently Ritz self-published the "Lumpland Coloring Book", her flowing lines awaiting your colored pencils. But it’s as much a high-quality collection of art prints as it is a craft book. The book will be the centerpiece of a Lumpland-inspired craft night, led by Ritz at Hudson’s Drop Forge &Tool Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 6 p.m., as part of their ongoing series of uncommon maker events. The conflict between whether to color each page or frame them is yet another charmingly deep layer to Ritz’s book. Lumpland posits that you can do both. A coloring book as fine art? Why not?
I’m originally from Poughkeepsie. I moved out to the Bay area for school and spent nine years there. I moved back to Hudson in 2016. It’s great to have places around like Drop Forge and Tool that support artists and makers.
I’ve been doing Lumpland paintings and ceramics for a while. All of my work is very detail oriented and time consuming, which I love, but the time commitment makes it hard to get it out there. The coloring book was a good way to get my work in front of people so I could invite them into this world. Lumpland is about bliss and meditation and play and for me the process of creating art is the best part. The coloring book allows me to share that. It’s really fun and unique to see how people color them in.
I self-published and that allowed me to have control over the quality. It’s on really nice paper and it’s perforated so it’s also a book full of prints of my work.
I can’t imagine my life without the ability to make art and music. It’s everything to me. We all have different coping mechanisms. I know how healing and powerful art can be. I’ve had a lot of support through my life to be able to do what I do. Not everyone has that. People doubt their art and their ability. I want to help people see that they can create their own world.
In many ways, humans are a plague on this earth. We are clearly not meant to last. We have a lot to offer but we are so destructive. There is love but we are innately selfish and greedy. Art is a way to add your beauty back into the world. It can be an expression of yourself in a healthy way. I feel very lucky to be able to share it.
We can, as individuals, help other people, your community or all humankind but it’s important to heal yourself, as well. You’re supposed to put others first but you can’t if you’re not taking care of yourself.
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