(Editor's note: This is the second in a six-part series by students from the P.I. Reed School of Journalism at West Virginia University. The students traveled to Elkins in January as part of their West Virginia Uncovered Immersion Weekend project.)
Ruth Blackwell Rogers says that she has always led a spiritual life.
She always believed that everything on this world was connected, both inside and out.
Rogers has been all over the world and has encountered numerous cultures and beliefs.
But, in 1994, she read about Shamanism and felt a different kind of connection with it.
Rogers enrolled in classes to become a Shamanic healer, where she was taught to access the spirit world and use it to help others in times of need.
TIME CONSUMING — Ruth Rogers spends as many as four hours at a time on her paintings and a completed work could take anywhere from one to four weeks.
GOOD VIEW — Ruth Rogers stands on a table to get a good view of her most recent painting. She looks to see if it matches the vision of the Shamanic journey that inspired it.
ON DISPLAY — One of Ruth Rogers’ paintings, ‘Welcome Home’, hangs in the Randolph Community Arts Center. It was one of 31 Rogers’ paintings that were on display as part of the Heart of the World and other recent series solo exhibits.
TOOLS — Ruth Rogers uses a number of different brushes and mainly acrylic paints in her art work.
INSPIRATION — A bulletin board in Ruth Rogers’ studio shows a number of different influences that inspire her faith and paintings. (Photo by Trevor Gerard)
She uses these spiritual journeys as inspiration for her paintings.
Each stroke of the paintbrush or dot of color is meaningfully placed, representing the places she goes in her mind when she meditates.
In addition to her work as a healer, Rogers said that these paintings can be a source of Shamanic healing for all those who see them.
Rogers, who lives with her husband, Hugh Rogers, in Kerens, recently showed her collection of paintings entitled Heart of the World and Other Recent Series at the Randolph Community Arts Center.