Movie,Oregon,Wine Writer

Meeting someone extraordinary ~ beyond Karen Stanton is Ginny Ruffner

[Images are from the Ginny Ruffner The Movie Website. Ginny Ruffner is on the right.]

I couldn’t wait to meet Paul Gregutt, of Wine Enthusiast magazine. We’ve known each other over the miles for what seems like forever. Who knows when it all began. He’s a writer in the Seattle area, and it’s my business (as a wine publicist) to know who’s who and where each person lives.

By organizing the Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium (presented by my client friends at Oak Knoll Winery), and understanding the importance of an “A” list keynote speaker (thank you Laurie Jones of Concannon Vineyard), I knew that Paul Gregutt was going to be an extraordinary hit. And… he delivered… PG on PG.

So… meeting his wife, whom he affectionately calls Mrs. G., was almost the icing on the cake. Why I say almost is because Mrs. G. (aka Karen Stanton) brought a gift to me. It’s a film that culminates two years of Karen’s life. It’s called a not so still life; and it was edited and directed by Karen Stanton.

I watched it as soon as I got home, and then got really busy. We have two new babies in the family, and I have all of my day job assignments, plus I had to get my garden finally into the ground. I had to let it go for a bit, as life just happened around me.

Now, it’s the 4th of July weekend, and I have my friend Ada Levy visiting from Longboat Key, Florida. We just watched it… for me the second time, for Ada the first. We both cried together, because… besides everyone else that’s in this blog posting, all of whom are extraordinary, along comes Ginny Ruffner into my life, and this is who this posting is about.

Wine leads to lifestyle. Lifestyle equals all of the arts for me. Ginny Ruffner is a visual artist. If you’re not familiar with Ginny Ruffner’s work, you’ve not yet lived. Click on this a not so still life link, and take a second to see what rocked my world.

This is an award winning film, which will come as no surprise once you’ve watched it.

  • Seattle International Film Festival: Co-Winner Golden Space Needle Audience Choice Award – Best Documentary
  • Palm Springs International Film Festival: Official Best of the Fest Selection
  • Sonoma International Film Festival: OFFICIAL Selection
  • San Luis Obispo International Film Festival: OFFICIAL Selection
  • Newport Beach International Film Festival: OFFICIAL Selection

So… what makes Ginny Ruffner so extraordinary?

At the end of the movie, my friend Ada called her a “blooming flower that never stops blooming.” I get it. She’s of the Southern belle type… Her free spirit is revisited several times throughout the film, but the essence of it is captured in childhood images. (Great Job, Karen!) When Ginny speaks with joy in her voice, which is quite often, I couldn’t help but be drawn in and was smiling with her. I looked over, and Ada was also smiling. Ginny’s spirit is infectious. In fact, when the film began, it immediately and audibly took Ada’s breath away. (It’s that great!)

In the film, Ginny talks about the fact that, when she’s creating her art, she’s having adventures with her alter ego. Cool! I love how Ginny Ruffner cracks herself up, while she’s humanizing art for all of us.

I loved this movie of Ginny Ruffner’s life, because she’s a free spirit who loves to experiment with different mediums. Ginny herself states in this film that she wants her art to invite people in. Surely it does that very well.

Ginny Ruffner: “I’m an idealist… Making art is sheer unadulterated idealism, and it spills over into other parts of your life… You just have to be careful what parts of it it spills into.”

Watching the film takes you on a journey from South Carolina to Seattle, to New York and back to Seattle.  She’s part of the Chihuly glass generation that was a sensation in Seattle during those wonderful hippy dippy daze. Ginny Ruffner’s artwork is an amazing representation of that time, and uniquely hers. What she’s creating today is absolutely sensational… Now, I’d love to have one of the flowers from her garden.

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3 Responses to “Meeting someone extraordinary ~ beyond Karen Stanton is Ginny Ruffner”

  1. PaulG says:

    Jo, thank you for this wonderful post. In my (admittedly biased) view, only my talented wife could have made this film. As remarkable as Ginny is – and she is truly an inspiring and multi-talented individual – it took someone equally talented and remarkable to capture her essence in a 90 minute film. How it was done, and the amount of creativity, hard work and simple determination it required to make this film, very few people will ever know. But the fact that it reached out and touched you, and inspired you to write such a lovely essay, means as much or more than any “official” reward. Thank you so very much!

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Paul, you’re exactly right. Only someone who’s as equally talented as Ginny cold have possibly put all of the elements of the design together. What an amazing woman you’ve married, and thanks for sharing her with us all, while we were in Portland together… A highlight of my career.

  3. […] an inspiration for me. I’ve written about a film that she directed and produced entitled, A Not So Still Life. The story is about the famous glass artist Ginny Ruffner, and is a provocative approach for living […]

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