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Sally Rugala was born near Chicago and spend her early years in Michigan. There, she captured her first photographs and quietly observed nature. When she was 12 her family relocated to New Mexico, a great contrast; however, she soon appreciated the expansive desert, clouds, and sky.

Sally attended New Mexico State University and then the University of Maryland. She worked at a museum and then an art store while obtaining a degree in Computer Science, started her career, moved several times and during spare time she made photographs and studied black and white darkroom techniques. In Santa Fe she learned to make sterling silver jewelry and began utilizing Adobe Photoshop. She moved to Albuquerque in 2003. Software development was creative work, but after 19 years, she was ready to focus exclusively on her artwork. In 2012 Sally finally explored painting. It was love at first brush stroke. She began by painting flowers and outdoor scenes, and quickly moved into a more abstract realm.

In April of 2016 she was invited to join Amapola Galllery, an artist’s cooperative in Albuquerque. Her work is currently on display there. In addition, she has had artwork displayed at the New Mexico State Fair and won photographic awards in Indiana.

Artist Statement

My artwork has been described as peaceful, atmospheric, vibrant, and expressive. My painted drawings are created on artist quality paper with artist pigment paint pens. The ideas often come from nature, the happenings of the day, and feelings or emotions.

I create the painted drawings by allowing myself to be free. I do not concern myself with long stages of planning or allow myself to stress over the details. I simply sit down, quiet myself, and start drawing. They are a direct reflection of my current state and the moment by moment decisions I make. Creating these drawings is the purest form of “being present.” A process not unlike our daily lives, made up of sequential tiny miracles that unfold over time. When combined, a finished artwork presents itself. I usually do not complete them in one sitting.

Because this artwork is predominantly abstract, the meaning is left to the interpretation of the viewer. Everything we see is the direct result of light waves. They bounce off objects, travel into our eyes, and are interpreted by our brains. It is amazing that such a mechanical process can also be so visceral. And because we all arrive at this moment with many varied experiences, we all respond to the same things in emotionally different ways. I hope that my artwork transcends your current state and makes you feel something familiar, yet new.

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