Ruth Hayden


I wrestle within myself and my paintings are a reflection of this inner emotional dialogue...The goal is to allow others to feel seen and known in a way that they didn't know they needed.

Ruth Hayden grew up in a small rural town in New Hampshire and has lived all along the East Coast now calling Saint Augustine, Florida her home. She received a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Oil Painting from the University of New Hampshire in 2009. She had the opportunity to study abroad in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. As a young girl her favorite artists were Degas and Monet and then throughout her studies she became fascinated with Cubism and Surrealism. The necessity to understand the foundation of classical form allowed for the deconstruction to its simplest form and expression. She relates this to her study of classical piano and jazz piano and how understanding classical structure allows for greater freedom to explore one's own improvisation. Her style can vary depending on the subject, but most of her paintings depict dreams or imagined landscapes and shapes. Her latest series How It Feels is Abstract Emotionalism depicting the ethereal subject of emotions through abstract forms. She has shown her work in Portsmouth and Dover, NH, Burlington, VT, New York City, NY, and Ascoli Piceno, Italy, Saint Augustine, Florida.

The 2020 Pandemic and quarantine were a defining experience for every single human on earth. The world stopped but everything in me seemed to speed up. There were too many things to feel and not enough places to go to work them out, so I began painting.

These paintings show how it feels to be overwhelmed and tangled inside with pressure outside. Each canvas gives an opportunity for people to respond, react, disagree, dialogue about how they feel, how the paintings make them feel, and how this past year has made them feel.

It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being honest.