Artist Carlos Ruano stood in front of a painting he named "Solitude," a lone gold fish in a bowl and said, laughing, "It's a self-portrait."
"I am alone now," said Ruano.
The 85-year-old, Cuban-born artist recently gave an informal tour of his exhibit, "Expressions," on view at the Washington County Arts Council's downtown gallery through Thursday, Sept. 30.
An opening reception is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4.
Artistically, Ruano's 22 paintings explore his interest in abstract impressionism via subtle use of color and shapes that at times seem to convey an idea -- like a collection of city buildings -- then melt into one another to form layers of color. He uses blocks of red or black paint as a base layer.
Acrylic is his preferred medium, though many of his paintings incorporate pastels and collage.
But there are some elements of Ruano's personal life that show through the layers of paint. He was born in Cuba but raised in Mexico, where he studied under well-known Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. He's now a resident of Hagerstown.