|Mary Ruth Barnes by her 5th wheel in Rockport, TX (Julianne G. Crane)|
|Artist Mary Ruth Barnes in outdoor studio. (Julianne G. Crane)|
"Art has been a heritage I learned from my grandfather, a Chickasaw story teller," says Mary Ruth. "He would often paint beautiful pictures in my mind as he taught me about love and caring, enkindling nature as the basis for love."
"My art is my passage into my history and my culture. I paint to revive the stories he told me and give a continuation of my culture to my children and my grandchildren."
|'Color Me Native,' gouache watercolor - Mary Ruth Barnes|
"It is a time for me to bring honor to all the Chickasaw people by creating art that is more than something just seen; art is color depicted from my heart and visually displayed on canvas to honor our forefathers. It is my legacy and my continuum in being the best Native American I can be."
|'Native Free' watercolor on paper - Mary Ruth Barnes|
One of her short stories and watercolors were featured in the Spring issue of the Chickasaw History and Culture Ishtunowa journal. She was honored as a Chickasaw Artist in the July 2015 issue of Distinctly Oklahoma magazine. She was selected for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Chickasaw Dynamic Woman Forum.
During the months of January and February 2017, "Native Free," (see left) a watercolor on paper, was on exhibit at the Center for the Arts in Rockport, Texas.
Her paintings can be seen hanging in the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center; new Artesian Hotel; Davis, Oklahoma, Welcome Center; and Chickasaw Nation offices in Oklahoma City.
|Painting on buffalo head - Mary Ruth Barnes|
To read more about Mary Ruth and Mike Barnes' RVing to the gulf coast of Texas, click here.
-- Text and photos by Julianne G. Crane (Click on images to enlarge.)
To read more about the RV lifestyle go to RVWheelLife.com.