Starroot, a self-taught outsider visionary artist, grew up in Southern Germany and started to create art at an early age. She was inspired by nature, her endless fantasy, and her explorations of conscious dreams.

Having just turned 30 years old, Starroot had a life changing out of body experience during a car accident. She became more open to the visions coming to her until, in 1986, she moved with her two children from Germany to Tennessee, and then on to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

During an illness in 1992 Starroot began painting her healing visions, a series of over 50 large works in acrylic and ink on canvas and wood. Spirit beings such as aliens, angels, fairies, and totem animals appear in her visions of vibrating bright colors. She calls this series “Arcturian Dreams.”


Starroot was invited in 1997 to exhibit 40 of her large paintings at the art department of Radford University in Virginia. She was also invited to teach students about her visionary approach to art, and to speak at a Huichol/Wixárika symposium as a Huichol/Wixárika related artist. Immediately after these events, art collectors began buying her works, including one collector who bought 165 of Starroot’s original paintings over a four year period, many of which from her Spirit Animal series. 

In 1999, Starroot suffered a serious back injury, accompanied by severe pain. In a hospital bed at home, she finished over 26 paintings of new visions that came for her healing. This series is called “Amanita Dreams,” and is accompanied by Starroot’s visionary poetry.

In 2008 Starroot, also a life-long musician, released her music/art video entitled “Visionquest,” and in 2009 she released her art book, “Jam On Mars.”

Starroot has sold many other paintings to collectors in Germany and the US, and has exhibited in the Hard Rock Café in San Francisco (beside Jerry Garcia’s art), in New York at the Liechtenstein studio, and countless art festivals and art shows. Somewhat of an internet pioneer, Starroot has been showing her art online since 1995. To date, she has created over 1000 paintings, most of them showing visions from dreams.

Starroot - Yellow Magnetic Sun
Yellow Magnetic Sun

Two of Starroot’s paintings, “Mirror Goddess” and “Red Feathered Serpent” are in the permanent collection of the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. “Mirror Goddess” hung there at a recent year-long show called “All Things Round: Eyeballs, Karma, Galaxies.” Two of Starroot’s paintings, “Birth of Red Cosmic Dragon” and “Deer Spirit,” are in the permanent collection of the Radford University Art Museum.

Here is the extended label text for “Red Cosmic Dragon,” from the Radford University Art Museum: “Birth of the Red Cosmic Dragon” is one of a series of paintings titled “Arcturian Dreams”by the Bavarian-born artist/poet/musician Ruth Neumann, aka “Starroot,” who moved to the US with her children in 1986—first to Tennessee, and soon thereafter to southwest Virginia. She is now a longtime resident of Floyd County, and has become known as one of the region’s leading “Visionary” or “Outsider” artists. According to Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum (which includes works by Starroot in its permanent collection), Visionary Art is “…produced by self-taught individuals, usually without formal training, whose works arise from an innate personal vision that revels foremost in the creative act itself.” Starroot can also be considered an “Outsider” artist—a term coined in 1972 by the British art critic/scholar, Roger Cardinal, in response to France’s “Art Brut” (Raw Art) movement. “Outsider” artists are generally identified as talented individuals who lack formal training and avoid engaging with the mainstream art conventions and institutions.

Red Cosmic Dragon

Other notable outsider artists include North India’s Nek Chand, Simon Rodia of East Los Angeles, and Howard Finster of Georgia. Here in Southwest Virginia, it was Radford University’s Prof. Art Jones (a longtime Chair of the RU’s Art Department) who was the first art scholar to recognize Starroot’s accomplishments. According to Jones: “In the mid 1990s, I had the pleasure to get acquainted with Starroot—whose dynamic visionary art is genuinely compelled by strong inner-necessary drives. I soon offered her an exhibition in the Art Department’s gallery, where I also shot a video interview with the artist surrounded by her amazing paintings. Over the years, I often used the video when teaching courses on self-taught and outsider art. I’m so delighted that two of her dazzling paintings are now in the Radford University Art Museum.” Earlier this year, Starroot donated this and another painting—titled “Deer Spirit”—to RU Art Museum. Both pictures feature visual allusions to Mayan hieroglyphs along with thematic and aesthetic inspiration drawn from Mexico’s Wixárika yarn paintings— reflecting the artist’s long standing engagement with indigenous American art and religion. In 2024, Starroot’s work will be shown at RU Art Museum’s Tyler Gallery, in an exhibition titled “Iyari: Heart-Memory in the Art of Robert Forman & Starroot.” 

Starroot’s art is not just paintings. While still in Germany, Starroot studied music therapy for children with Gertrud Orff, the daughter of famous composer Carl Orff. She has performed and recorded her music solo and with various bands, in Germany and the US. Her music ranges from world folk spirit songs to rock, ambient alien trance music, kids songs, and recently, a recording of her songs performed in the Bluegrass style.

She released her first audio tape “Follow The Light” in 1990 and got reviews calling her the “female Donovan.” Starroot released 2 “psychoactive” Mayan Dreamspell Calendar related audio tapes “Yellow Magnetic Sun” and “Red Cosmic Dragon.”  She also had a band for children named Somersault, and recorded a children’s CD entitled “Sunny Side Up.” Her most recent record, released in 2024— “Now I Feel Like An American“— is a collection of Bluegrass originals and features a full band.


Starroot opened for the first Lake Eden Arts Festival in Black Mountain, North Carolina with her 8 piece Galactic Band. She also wrote, directed and performed in two multimedia shows in 2000 in Blacksburg, Virginia, named “Visionquest” and “Amanita Spirit,” where the band illustrated giant projections of her art with music. Starroot with her band also performed at the first FloydFest World Music Festival in Floyd, Virginia, and appeared with her kids band Somersault at several subsequent FloydFests. Her current band, Forever Now Band, has performed at various music festivals and area venues, and is currently considering booking requests.

Starroot continuously opens up to receive positive visions and gives them form in new paintings and new songs, every dot and every note are filled with Love, Peace, Hope and Harmony.

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