Ruth Faison Shaw selling finger paintings at an impromptu art exhibit
When did you start making art? I started making art while watching my mother, Gwyn Finley Reece and her friend Ruth Faison Shaw, at the age of six. We made art by finger painting (Ruth patented the finger paint methods that are still used today) and hung our art up on a chain link fence to create an impromptu exhibit. I sold my first pieces during that time. Did you always want to be an artist? What are some other jobs you have had? I guess I always wanted to be an artist. I pursued and received an art degree from San Francisco Art Institute but along the way I taught school in Wales, the Crow Reservation, and cowboyed a little. In the 1970’s I was a bicycle messenger in San Francisco, when single gear bikes were still the norm.
How did you end up in Livingston? I followed a woman to Montana and I stayed to pursue my passion becoming the Director of the Danforth and then opening my own gallery.
Who inspires you? I am inspired by my surroundings, my friends, and family, especially my son, Myers, and my new grandson, Fisher.
What is your soundtrack while you work? I have about two hundred (300?) CDs in my multi-play machine. When I want to get in the zone I start around #141 and let it go.
What’s your favorite thing about Livingston? I like the proximity to wild country and wild people. I like being close to Yellowstone National Park and its good to be close to Bozeman – the university, the airport. Anything else? (hidden talents? Best pets? Are you a magician?) My dog, Rosie, was once named President of the Gallery Association since she attended more meetings than I did.