Catherine Ruddell is a Printmaker, Textile Artist & Passive House Advocate with a deep interest in social impact.
She believes in the positive effect of creative activity on the social fabric of our communities and the well-being of individuals and families.
Art and Making is a tool for personal development and self-expression, as well as a platform for exploring ideas related to sustainable living. Creatively Sustained evolved as a brand and a business after Catherine completed an Artist Residency in a Passive House.
As the Ambassadors of a Demonstration Passive House, she and her partner facilitated tours of this public conservation education project for almost two years. The project and home were recognized for leadership in sustainability with awards from the Canada Green Building Council, and the Canadian Wood Council, among others. Although no longer living in the home she and her partner remain committed to expanding awareness of high performance buildings across North America.
Through her innovation and creativity, Catherine has built her career from a passion to inspire change and a desire to promote inclusivity through her work. She is known for her dynamic and empathetic leadership style and she engages her community with compelling content that informs, educates and inspires action.
The themes below illustrate my philosophy for living Creatively Sustained. They emerged as a way to help me focus both my personal life and my creative work with integrity. I am learning my greatest contribution to the world may be to take better care of myself - to better manage my own finite resources while growing my brand and business with intention.
These building blocks have personal significance and are inspired by traditional Amish quilt block patterns. This seemed an appropriate mix to communicate a simplified approach to living a creative life - and perhaps homes and buildings too!
As the cornerstone that will influence all others, this star block represents creative energy emanating in all directions of life, through a form that subtly suggests order. This has proved true for me in real life my creativity thrives with a bit of constraint to guide my work in new directions. Without a bit of structure I feel untethered and overwhelmed by the many fascinating directions my attention might travel.
In order to feel good day to day, there are four basic needs that must be met. It seems too simple, but we often neglect one or more of these areas and then wonder why we feel badly. They are: sleeping well, eating real food, engaging in physical movement, and also relaxation (a no device/no objective activity.) Being mindful of these elements helps to keep me in balance, and if I’m feeling out of sorts at least I have a starting point to troubleshoot what area needs some attention. This block is a variation of the traditional fan pattern, and infers movement like the spokes radiating from the hub of a bicycle wheel.
In school I hated having to choose ‘what to be,' so when I heard the term ‘life long learner’ I breathed a sigh of relief! I’m thankful to experience our current age of technology, where everything evolves, often quickly. My curiosity keeps me reading and learning and applying my knowledge in life to keep moving forward. Much like the pinwheel pattern that emerges from this block, if you're feeling stuck in a rut, I suggest you get curious and start learning a new topic or skill - it might propel you towards new opportunities. That’s exactly how I found myself living in a passive house...
The traditional log cabin block may resembles the logs of a cabin wall, or rows of cultivated land. It represents an awareness of home and habitat, or the dual aspects of where we live. Whether natural or built, the environments we inhabit are connected to the greater ecosystem of our planet and feel the effects of all our activities. My greater goal with my business is to become more involved in doing good, rather than just doing less harm; that we may thrive together, not just exist or survive. I believe we can innovate and create positive solutions in our world!
The double wedding ring block symbolizes the interconnections of community. Relationships between other peole and our inner selves are complex, and we rely on our relationships for our continued existence. This pattern appears both ordered and overwhelming to navigate - this is true of relationships too. Moving multiple times over the past couple of years has revealed the connections we’ve left behind, and the (good) work that’s required to establish new new connections in new places. I’m thankful for this awareness, and more resolved than ever to build a community around shared values (online and off.)