An abstract outlook on landscapes

Amber J. Guadez
Staff Writer

An upscale shopping promenade in the city of Rolling Hills Estates is where Ruth Trotter, professor of art at the University of La Verne, currently displays her artwork.

The theme of her exhibit in the Zask Gallery is “Departures.”

There are a total of nine pieces, all which were available for purchase.

Four were priced for more than $3,000 while there other five were priced $800 and below.

The larger of the pieces was displayed near the entrance.

Once guests walk into the doors of the gallery, they can view Trotter’s pieces right away.

These pieces were all full of splashes of multi-colors with a sort of pastel or softer tone.

“I see the landscape as such a common image used throughout art history,” said Trotter.

Trotter said she finds inspiration in taking the physical relationship with the horizon line.

“Flammarion,” one of Trotter’s pieces, uses a harsh horizontal line separating a light mustard color, with splashes of a light blue and light pink from a bottom half of the canvas.

The blues used resembled an ocean with a chaotic splatter of pastels showing the distance between the horizon and sky.

“From my work I hope others would be inspired to see their own roots in the world.”

Trotter has been a professor of art at ULV for about 23 years.

Just two years ago Trotter took a sabbatical to France where she was motivated to create various pieces.

The pieces at Zask Gallery are an extension of her work done during this time.

Peggy Zask, the owner of the gallery, is an artist herself who noticed Trotter’s work five years ago.

She explained how she connected with Trotter, When she visited her studio and participated in a show with her.

“I chose four artists that were really strong in their careers,”  Zask said. “All well established artists and all inspired by nature,”

Another of Trotter’s pieces, “Street Light,” has lighter tones despite the title.

It resembles the urban nature we live in with simple brush strokes for the sky and a mix of peach, gray, yellow and maroon as various parts of a city silhouette.

“She’s very serious about her work and quite generous,” Zask said.

Zask also noticed the type of style and pattern Trotter displays in her work.

“She starts with art history, very conscious image and abstracts with paint, which is similar to a traditional landscape,” Zask said. “You feel you’re familiar with it, and at the same time it’s not obvious and still abstract.”

As a fellow artist, Zask has much praise for Trotter.

“I really respect her as an artist, teacher and person,” Zask said. “I want to be like that myself; she is a good mentor.”

Another artist working the gallery noticed Trotter’s work.

“It is really beautiful and a very modern approach to a landscape,” Eva Matyser Mazvr said.

“The way she puts her color is very dynamic. I like her sensitivity to colors, it’s colorful, yet peaceful and soothing,” Mazvr said.

Amber J. Guadez can be reached at

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