Sunday, 29 July 2018

Its All About Belper


I'm writing this listening to the rain and how glorious that sound is after some very hot days but the light we have had this Summer has meant that my home town of Belper has looked rather splendid. An evening and some early morning strolls has left me with some great images to work from. I love the stone work of the buildings it reflects and glistens when the light shines on it. These paintings will be framed and available at my solo exhibition at Cromford Studio and Gallery in December, and I will have prints done as requested. 








Its the Summer Holidays now which means weeks of travel and family fun and then in September I start my university course MA Public History and Heritage, at weekends I will be selling my work at various locations listed here as you can see I'm keeping things very local for the moment as I concentrate on my studies. 

New for 2019 will be Belper Sunday Painters a group I hope to set up to enable a space for six of us to scheduled painting we all get so busy that sometimes having a dedicated time in the diary means we can pencil in a few dates. Details are here about booking and cost. 




Friday, 13 July 2018

Mapping it Out, New Work for St John Street Gallery

I sourced an old ordnance survey map of Derbyshire on line, to use as part of a new series of work for St John Street Gallery my intention was to literally tear it up into sections and stick it down and then see what happened next.


By chance I was left with a small corner of the map of the Staffordshire Moorlands and after layering ink and mediums on to the initial layer of maps I again tore up the corner and placed that on to the canvas and from that I looked at the names on those pieces and found some wonderful locations which I have painted below.
The surfaces are full of texture and character of the maps it was certainly an interesting way to create new work.

Near Calton Green


Detail of Near Calton Green






Devils Staircase

Detail For Devils Staircase

Ipstones Edge

Detail of Ipstones Edge

Near Kingsley Holt

Detail of Near Kingsley Holt

Weaver Hills

Detail of Weaver Hills


You can view the new pieces at St John Street Gallery Ashbourne from August 1st. They are all 30 x 30 cm on box canvas £300 each contact the gallery to make a purchase.
My last show before summer is a charity event at The Belper Games where I will be selling a range of greeting cards and my #100dayproject cards.

Monday, 18 June 2018

Be a bit more Rock n Roll!

This weekend and last weekend Ive been attending some big concerts first one The Rolling Stones and then Alice Coopers new band The Hollywood Vampires and tomorrow The Foo Fighters.
The audiences are so old I am happy to take my kids along what they make of it I'm not sure but I think they just take pity on us for liking these Dad bands.

As I was watching Alice and Mick on stage it made me think about the need to keep on keeping on why do these multi millionaire rockers put themselves through night after night of this, they don't have too they could be putting their feet up and toasting a job well done and watch the clock tick by.
But that's not very rock n roll bloody boring actually I listen to folk who cant wait till they retire and I'm like and then what? Do what you should be doing now why wait?
Alice's new band is cool they sing only the songs of their dead drunk friends Keith Moon ,Lemmy , The Doors etc.... the list goes on all those who wasted their talent or fell by the wayside too early.
I'm sentimental and seeing a photo of Bowie while Johnny Depp sang Hero's was too much heartbreaking actually.

So much talent still to share so much creativity not yet unleashed.
Here's the thing we all die yep amazing revelation huh! But seriously what are you waiting for get the knitting needles ,out cross stitch , make music ,paint, make stuff , draw stuff who cares what you do , what it looks like just do something that is for you and not logical or has great depth.

The thing is by making and creating we are giving something to the world adding layers , happiness and increasing the possibilities of meeting other people who also share in your madness. When we meet other creative souls it enriches our lives up and down the country there are folk sitting in village halls doing alsorts of mad creative stuff of no consequence having a great time doing it. It takes effort to get out of the house it takes effort to change it takes effort to create but its a beautiful thing.

It doesn't have to be serious you know all this art malarky is brilliant we don't have to have huge meaning behind everything we do. Don't worry that your workshop leader will think you are rubbish they don't they are terribly grateful you booked on the course so they can buy more paint. 

Imagine the buzz Mick Jagger gets when his songs are sang back to him he keeps going because its a beautiful thing to be heard and to be creative, sod the ageist naysayers who would have him retired what a loss to the world. All the folk Ive been watching on stage have had their fair share of bad press and criticism but the core thing that keeps them going is creativity they would do this anyway it just happens they made it and the critic's are jealous because all they can do is write about them.
I see it on social media too jealousy what a pointless exercise be happy for that friend who makes it help the ones who need it be a bit more rock n roll don't wallow in misery get up and enjoy the party that creativity will bring you life is for living NOW!



Saturday, 26 May 2018

An Academic Change

May has been a great month for me lots of sales and new contacts. But apart from the art I have decided to go back to University (again! The picture above is ten years ago!) to study an MA part time, in Public History and Heritage . I am studying part time and I hope it will compliment my work as a painter of heritage buildings and areas.
I often found myself lacking in knowledge when trying to explain the World Heritage Site where I live and it will be great to really understand why something is classed as having a heritage  who has deemed that classification and what it means for those living under the banner of World Heritage. I also would like to find work locally where I can combine all my interests when I'm not doing the school run anymore in two years time!
It will not effect my work as an artist it will enhance it but I will have to slow down on many of the things I have been voluntarily doing in order to give fully to the studies.
Below are two recent works from the Clusters area of Belper.


Having said that there seems to be no slowing down as I have just agreed to have a solo show at The Guild Hall in Derby from September to December at Gallery 5. So I will be busy preparing for that over summer.
Right now I am setting up for a week at The Gothic Warehouse Cromford Mills May 26th - June 3rd where I will be showing work with 8 other artists and makers for Derbyshire Open Arts. I hope some of you can come along and say hello.


Bye For Now
Ruth x

Friday, 6 April 2018

Ashbourne Workshop in the Rain.

A couple of weeks ago I ran my workshop at St John Street Gallery in Ashbourne, in my head I had the idea that March would be the perfect time to get outside and do a bit of sketching!
Well as you all know its been brutal weather in Derbyshire and standing outside in pouring rain was not ideal.
Although actually looking back you get some interesting results and memories.
I managed to find us shelter in a doorway and we actually got some decent sketches and funny looks as we tried to capture the scene in front of us.
 Today I revisited the painting I started and totally destoryed it and brought it back again I think this captures how blumin cold and wet and freezing we were!

A Late Winter in Ashbourne by Ruth Gray.


The next date for a street scene workshop is June 12th details here hopefully not pouring down but glorious sunshine.

Id love you to book on so we can have a great creative day together.  Any abilities are welcome.

While you are here I have a brand new mailing list be great if you could sign up no more than six a year! Subscribe Here

Sunday, 1 April 2018

GDPR what Im doing,

Happy Easter to you all.
The EU General Data Protection Regulation is a lengthy read for anyone but what it means for small businesses like myself is that I must ensure that I have consent to keep data on a mailing list.
I have decided to create a new mailing list with double opt ins to ensure I am compling with the new regulation, it means I will probaly lose a lot of old subscribers some of which I have had for four years since I set up my list. 
But I believe the time is right for me to do this anyway as I am planning some big changes to what I do with my art going forward so its important to me that I have connections who really care about my work. Newsletters are a personal connection much more so than social media. 
I use my newsletters to share new work and news before anywhere else, no more than six a year. If you would like to subscribe you can do so here. http://eepurl.com/dp08in

Meanwhile below are some of the events I have coming up it would be lovely to see some of you there.
Bye for now Ruth x






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