Thomas Ruckstuhl was born in 1969 in Mannheim, Germany. In regular art classes at high school his little paintings received quite some attention and many compliments. This kind of work felt so effortless to him that he could hardly understand and acknowledge the great feedback. He never considered art as a hobby, not to speak of a potential profession. Ruckstuhl studied physics and received his PhD degree in 1999. With his work in research in the area of optical microscopy he felt increasingly unfulfilled which culminated in an identity crises in early 2012. This crisis, however, offered him a great opportunity. Finally he took the time to think what he really wanted in his life. It did not take one week from the first idea of becoming a fine art painter to his decision. "The sudden new prospects of seeing myself as an artist in the future was the greatest sensation of my life". It was mainly his structured way of scientific thinking that lead him into the next period: systematically learning about art and how to paint. In June 2012 he bought his first set of oil paints and signed into the Virtual Art Academy, a four year apprentice online program by Barry John Raybould. Ruckstuhl worked himself through the program and also studied under Barry's instruction in the Tuscany.
"I can't stress enough how much Barry Raybould has helped me to become a professional painter and how thankful I am to him". Ruckstuhl has direct and loose style in capturing his perceiption on canvas. Using few economical brushstrokes he suggests the form of his observations instead of painting objects smoothly and with much detail. "I like to invite the viewer onto a journey. The eyes should not just travel across the painting to discover what is there but I ask the viewer to look at my paintings at close and then gradually step back. The abstract color pattern of the brushmarks will step by step fuse into a realistic picture of the scene. I think this change of perspective passes on my perceiption best, along with my joy at finding the beauty in ordinary things."
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