Qcc Artist Directory

Ruby Sofrae

Wild pigments and found objects make transformative works.


About the Art

Ruby was drawn to a creative practice as a process of self discovery. “It is what helps me continue to know myself through this ever changing life,” she reports.

Drawing with pencil and painting with acrylic were her initial mediums. She now uses natural mediums such as charcoal, handmade oil paints with earth pigments, natural found objects, fiber, plant dyes and clay.

Her exploration of the natural environment as a source of supplies and tools has even led her to make brushes with her own hair. She collects pigments in the Questa area and when traveling to other locales. The collecting comes naturally to her during hikes and other endeavors rather than being a planned chore. She doesn’t process the pigments into paint until she’s ready to use them. The colors she can’t harvest are obtained from a pigment company called Natural Earth Paints. Ruby also harvests color from the area in the form of plants for natural dying and has begun to grow her own dye garden.

She usually moves between one work and another, switching mediums as her mood dictates. Often one medium will call to her or she will feel a need to work in 3 dimensions after getting stuck for inspiration with a painting. This creates a fresh perspective that can free the creative impulses. She loves working in collaboration with others, such as with mural painting, but when alone, likes the silence to surround her or maybe just some instrumental music as she processes the feelings that had inspired her creative impulse. Being a new mom has made her practice a little different and time spent creating art has become necessarily more sporadic.

Ruby’s current practice is quite diverse. She divides her creative work between serving others such as with local mural painting and dying/sewing, and, a personal practice that has been newly exploring themes of pregnancy and motherhood. The body of work exhibited in 2023’s Questa Art Tour is called Matrescence, a word coined by anthropologist Dana Raphael to describe the process of becoming a mother. These new works explore themes of transmuting trauma, the mastery of self love, and transformational letting go in order to let new life unfold.


Ruby began drawing at age 6 and by age 7 was taking painting lessons from a muralist who her mother had connected with, one who painted all the art and murals in the Catholic church in a neighboring town. This was in the tiny north Florida town of High Springs. After graduating from high school, Ruby took a gap year and traveled through Europe, Africa and Australia. Then returned to get her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Florida. “I’d say I learned way more from my travels, than from my formal studies!” she says.

While studying art in College, she became sick from the toxic ingredients in some paints. This motivated her determined shift to find natural materials to work with. Ruby found deeper meaning and connection to her body and the earth by using these earth-given art supplies. She is a new mama, and her creative work has been a way of transitioning into this new level of existence.


Ruby Sofrae

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