Living the Creative Life: Leonard Ruder

Portland painter Leonard Ruder died a few years ago after a long and productive life as a painter.  He was born in 1917 in Detroit, Michigan, and studied art at The Cranbrook Academy there.  He came west in the 1950’s with his artist friend Hank Kowert to study more, to paint, and to begin his adult life of art, work and family.  The basement studio where he painted for years is still intact, and his children are doing an amazing job of organizing and placing his work.  Take a look…

Art Gym ephemera

studio 1

studio 3

studio 2

When Leonard and Hank first arrived in Portland they had a downtown studio and the photos have just come to light…

old studio 1OS 2OS 3

studio full view


detail 1

"Dance of Chance" ephemeracanvaspaint

Being grid crazy, this painting had a special appeal to me…

grid crazy

especially when I realized it was really plaid…

mad for plaid


In the end though, it was the drawings that drew us in…

drawing filedrawing file 2drawing file 3

and this is the one we chose…


After giving many thanks to Leonard Ruder’s daughter Rhea, we said goodbye…

elderly Mr

and headed out for a coffee to contemplate our visit…



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