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Artist spotlight: David Ruimveld

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David Ruimveld features flies in his paintings because, “you can not fly fish without the flies,” he says. PHOTO BY DAVID RUIMVELD

Self-taught artist inspired through outdoor ventures

By Mira Brody EBS STAFF

VICKSBURG, MI – Thirty-five years ago, David Ruimveld caught a Landlock salmon so nice he decided to paint it. He framed his painting, alongside the fly he had used to catch it, and hung it in the restaurant he owned at the time. By chance, a well-known Michigan painter known as R. Scott, came in one day, saw the painting, and invited Ruimveld to his studio. The experience was so inspiring, Ruimveld decided to pursue painting as a full-time career.

Although he enjoyed drawing at a young age, Ruimveld has no formal training in the craft of fine art. An avid fly-fishing, hunting and bird hunting outdoorsman, he let what he knew best guide him on this journey into the world of art.

David Ruimveld paints with acrylic in a watercolor style called “washes,” which adds to the organic and wild nature of his subjects. PHOTO BY DAVID RUIMVELD

Born and raised in Michigan, he first visited Montana when he was 12 on a camping trip with his family. He cherishes a vivid memory of fishing along the Madison River while on a camping trip with his family, learning to tie his first tie and cast with his father.

He returned later as an accomplished artist, when the Federation of Fly Fishers gathered in Livingston for an exhibition back when, he says, “Bozeman had one main street and Livingston was a sleepy little town.”

He paints with acrylic in a watercolor style called “washes,” which adds to the organic and wild nature of his subjects. He specializes in images of angling, sporting and wildlife art and his work has been recognized in galleries, fly shops and homes across the country. Just like his first painting in that restaurant, Ruimveld often incorporates flies into his finished pieces.

“Fly fishing has many aspects to the sport, but you can not fly fish without the flies,” Ruimveld said. “When I attend the shows most of my angling art that is sold or commissioned by clients has or is requested that I place the flies in the shadow boxes below the painting. Art needs to tell a story or rekindle a memory. The flies add to this story.”

Inspiration comes in nature—while casting flies, watching trout rise out of the water for a bite or following his bird dog on a hunt. It’s the small movements, he describes, like the intensity of his dog, or the gentle light falling on the river.

Ruimveld will be featured in the Big Sky Art Auction from July 16 though 18. He says it is crucial for artists to participate in events such as these to build relationships with both new artists and admirers.

“An introduction can turn into great relationships with art collectors, other artists and likeminded friends who you meet through these events,” Ruimveld said.

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