Chronologically, it began around age 5, when Muriel Gudger, her next-door neighbor in El Paso, Texas, demonstrated how to reproduce images by making a grid over an illustration and working one square at a time to recreate the design. Rubie also received lessons from an outstanding watercolorist, Vera Wise, and as a high-school student in Roswell, New Mexico, continued to explore various media and styles, including commercial art, watercolor, sculpture and figure drawing.
At Vassar College she successfully enrolled in a life-painting class, and also took further sculpture and watercolor courses. Graduate school at Tulane to pursue a Masters of Social Work left little time for art, as did her subsequent marriage and motherhood to five, but she managed to work in a number of still lifes, portraits and landscapes.
In later years, Rubie once again returned to painting, both watercolors and large-scale acrylics. This period is characterized by organic shapes, usually inspired by nature. She often does variations on a theme, such as butterflies or abstractions. When questioned about her favorite genre, Rubie says: “I like portraiture. Not many artists do.”
Having spent most of her married years in a historic home in New Orleans’ Garden District, she now resides in San Antonio, where she recently celebrated her 91st birthday. These selections of her work were taken from a retrospective published on that occasion.