Soli Deo Arts
We Teach..We Create...ART!
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We are two artists. Two teachers. Two parents. Two grandparents. Creating and teaching is what we do.

Soli Deo Arts located in South Jersey has a vision to encourage children, teens and adults in their God-given creativity, by offering fun and creative art experiences. Soli Deo Arts is created and founded by Jim and Ruth Cottingham.

Both Jim and Ruth have degrees in Art Education and have taught art for many years. They also pursue their own art, selling and exhibiting their work professionally. Jim and Ruth have 8 children and 7 grandchildren. They enjoy kids of all ages!

All workshops, classes & sessions are taught by Jim and Ruth, at their home in Pitman, NJ.


What People are saying…

I just wanted to say thank you for a great week of Art Camp. My daughter had an awesome time and she couldn’t stop talking about how much fun she had!
That being said, we are interested in learning more about your art classes in the fall.
Please let me know once the information is available on your website.
Melissa, Pitman,NJ (summer 2019)

Jim, Just a short note to say Thank You! for the outstanding job you did on the painting of my 1921 Ford Model T Depot Hack.  You exceeded my expectations by capturing the body lines and woodwork with exceptional attention to the smallest detail.  Your work is proudly on display in our family room and has received many compliments by our friends and other artists as well!  Thank you again, as  I look forward to additional commissioned work of other cars in my collection.
Robert S. Cape May, New Jersey

Mrs. Cottingham,
Thank you so much for an incredible art class. The girls have thoroughly enjoyed it. It has been a highlight of their week. Last week their grandmother came to visit and the girls spent over an hour showing off all they have done. It was great to hear them repeat some of the terms they have learned as they were describing what they did to create their masterpieces.. Thank you for providing such a great opportunity for our are truly an asset to the homeschool community.

Maria G. Moorestown, NJ

Mr. Cottingham’s advice has been invaluable to my growth as an artist in the last 2 years. In addition to all the mentoring and feedback he has provided, he also helped me to prepare my portfolio and tailor it to meet the requirements of the medical illustration program at RIT, where I am currently studying. Without his teaching, I would not have been as prepared as I was first going into college.
Max D. Medford,NJ

Ruth, Thank you so much for allowing Joseph to join your program this year. He really enjoyed it and looked forward to it each week. You are doing a wonderful job! We hope to see you in the summer.
Bernadette P.

Studying art with Jim will be an experience you will continue to treasure long after your lessons end. My oldest child began working with Jim early in his senior year of high school. The learning began immediately  - who knew there were so many types and weights of paper?! Jim wasted no time instructing my son on what to choose for which kind of project. This education extended to the various tools, paints, pencils, etc… with explanations of when an artist will want to employ them, and this included what products to avoid.
Beyond the obviously wonderful lessons in materials and technique though, Jim enthusiastically shares his depth of knowledge and experience.  He not only offers exceptional encouragement but he is a straight shooter as well. This is a person who will listen to the student’s goals and then guide them in how to meet them.  When a young artist is grappling with bouts of uncertainty or self-doubt, Jim knows how to first calm the soul and then reset focus and reignite self-confidence.
One anecdote of a tangible benefit my son enjoyed early on in his time with Jim — preparation for National Portfolio Day. As my son prepared what to include, Jim’s insight and advice was right on the mark. My son entered the room calmer and with more confidence because Jim had already talked him through what to expect. Though praised for the quality and variety of mediums and original content in his portfolio, thanks to Jim, my son knew that he would need to submit more hand drawings to include still life content in order to round out his portfolio.
And one last testimony to Jim’s ability to connect with young people - my son, now mid-way through his first year in an acclaimed medical illustration program continues to keep in touch and share his work with this talented, dedicated art instructor.

Christie D. Mount Holly, NJ

  My son has been taking art classes with Ruth for several years, and privately with Jim since 2018. His art skills have improved greatly and he enjoys learning new skills and techniques the Cottinghams have taught him.
  I highly recommend classes or private lessons with such skilled and talented art teachers.

Mollie E.  Marlton, NJ

Jim’s painting truly captures the spirit of my dream car – a 1964 Karmann Ghia convertible.  The jazzy little red convertible image almost jumps out of the frame! The colors of the subject and background are vivid, bright and very fun.  I wish I could jump in the picture, pop open the door and take it for a spin!  This piece is going to be the focal point of our upcoming recreation room renovation.  I am sure it will draw many compliments from family and friends!
Becky C Atlanta, GA