Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Why we run away to the seaside and Matlock Bath

Ruth Gray Matlock Bath. 2020.

Let me state here first I have not been running anywhere! I'm a #stayathomecreative! But this last weekend there have been so many images of folks going in their droves to the coast and Matlock Bath among many other places. These are scary times and my recent research into chip shops has revealed that chip shops, childhood, and seaside all mean a lot to us as cherished memories.
The queuing that has been witnessed outside of chippies have been epic but not good for the health of the nation! Maybe it is our need for something familiar, and happy that has seen this flight.

I'm longing for the day I can nip out to the chip shop safe in the knowledge that I'm not going to die in the process but for now, I'm content with collecting more of your chip shop memories via my surveys.

If you have any time on your hands could you fill out this SURVEY for me it is really helpful towards my dissertation!

The painting above is a finished demonstration that I started at my workshop a couple of weeks ago when we were allowed out! I have painted this before a long time ago but I love the image so much I gave it another go!

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Not the time for self pity.

Last week I wrote a blog post called the ABC of doom I have since deleted it because quite frankly it was a self-pity fest!  I was scared and panicked about the onset of this changing situation that has since last week completely engulfed all of us equally and for me to be only thinking of my situation as I was then is terrible because we are definitely all in this together.

My situation is that as a sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis I have to stay home and keep a distance this for me is not so difficult as by nature I'm a homebody and love nothing better than being inside writing or painting etc both activities that require vast amounts of silence and time. I'm also lucky that I have two beautiful boys that occupy themselves and apply themselves to homework without the need for nagging.

So far so good but although I'm a character that tries to find the positive side I do find that the prolonged amount of time ahead of us is quite overwhelming and if allowed to contemplate this prospect I can become quite sad. So I am actively practicing mindfulness and being in the now and knowing I can only control my own actions.

It's easy to become consumed by social media posts and I have found myself plunged back into Facebook/ Twitter as a way to keep in touch but it is with caution as others fears and sorrows can be catching as can other peoples ways of homeschooling and filling time all of a sudden there are experts on everything telling us we should use this or that resource or our kids will fall behind. I find myself wondering if I measure up to them.  But if our children do what their own school is recommending that's all that is needed my main concern is their mental well being as they adjust to all of this I'm not going to push them until they are ready.

I believe we should take a step back and assess how we alone truly feel about this situation and decide what is the best way we are going to cope before rushing into anything. This is so we can do the best thing by our own family and by extension the rest of society.

Art groups have each taken their own time to cancel their events we must have patience while we wait for the realities to dawn on individuals. This time last week it was unthinkable that we would be closing down pubs and cafes etc but the way I see it there is more to come and adjust we must and fast.

The hardest part is that the weather is improving and folk want to be out and about, if only it was pouring with rain we'd all stay home but like I say I can only control my own actions. People's personalities are going to be magnified at this time the selfish will be seen for what they are the kind will shine.

This blog post is really an outpouring of thoughts that are mine alone we each have our ways of coping and as usual art will be my crutch through this time. As an artist, it is my disposition to observe and contemplate the effects all this will have on us, so far I have seen some really positive actions taking place in the country for the collective and not the self this is encouraging. If you are feeling sad you won't be celebrating an anniversary, birthday or some such event remember it is not forever and ever but it is for now.  Patience and kindness is required with each other and for each other.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Workshops and Art Groups 2020

First, let me wish you all a happy and prosperous new year. I hope you have all had a great holiday, while it is still the very beginning lets make some space to create before everything else takes over. So if you have been planning to schedule in some painting time I have some dates below just for you. I have also some dates for inspirational learning using the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site for inspiration.  

Belper Sunday Painters 
Session Dates 2020 Sundays 10.30 am – 12.30 pm £5 on the door.

Block 1
• January 12th
• February 9th
• March 8th

Block 2
• May 10th
• June 14th
• July 12th

Block 3
• Sept 13th
• October 11th
• November 8th

DE56 0HS

No need to book just turn up £5 on the door or free to members of Purple and Grey join here: http://purpleandgrey.co.uk

Painting Class:
Learn to express emotion in your artwork with texture and colour. March 11, 10-2 pm £35.08.

Using a variety of media you will paint a piece of art, taking inspiration from the spa town of Matlock Bath.
Naturally mindful painting is a good way to relax and unwind from everyday stress.
This workshop will inspire you to express emotion in your work with texture and colour.
Materials are included but please bring your own canvas or paper, and wear old clothes.
All abilities are welcome, refreshments included but bring a packed lunch. Pay and display parking is available onsite.

The Grand Pavilion Matlock Bath

South Parade

Matlock Dale


Spaces are limited please book here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/painting-class-tickets-87953835289



Details coming soon:

June 6: Cromford Mills Painting Workshop, be inspired by the World Heritage Site and paint Cromford Millls details coming soon. 

 One to One Workshops

You can book me for a one to one workshop too prices are more because of the bespoke attention you will receive, please email me at ruthgrayimages@hotmail.com to arrange.

Hope to see you soon
Kind regards
Ruth Gray

Thursday, 12 December 2019

New Work, Sheffield Dusk and Sheffield Sunset.

It is the moments in between that count I'm sure there's an advert this Christmas about that, (speaking of which, what has happened to Christmas ads they are so samey!) Anyway I digress.

Moments in between are the times in the car or as I was yesterday on a bus traveling back from a fab day in Leeds with nothing to do except stare out of the window. It is so rare I get these moments as I'm usually driving frantically to or from somewhere and you see nothing but a blur.

But yesterday I enjoyed an hour of watching the sunset over our wonderful country. I saw the scars of industry past and future. Cranes building and wind turbines creating clean power, hills of grass that cover the slag heaps of yesteryear. It made me want to paint as the colours were so beautiful deep reds and golds with dark rain-filled grey all amazing and for that moment I could forget all the crap going on in everyday life.
Anyway, this morning before dawn, I was up and at 'em' canvas on the easel and off I went.
And here they are 30 x 30 cm, I will bring them to the Christmas farmers market so you can see them if you are around. 9-1pm Number 28, Market Place Belper.

Sheffield at Dusk

Sheffield at Sunset

Saturday, 23 November 2019

Festive Plumbing, Exhibitions, and Shows

It is been a busy month I've had some amazing commissions and sales and I'm loving how my work has been framed by my client. It has really made me rethink my own framing choices.
As artists, we have to be neutral and cater to all tastes but the treatment of my Ilkeston piece below really impressed me.

I'm not sure about you but Christmas this year seems to have appeared from nowhere one-minute I'm thinking about Autumn leaves next, I'm panic buying gifts again!
At the moment I'm playing catch up with everything it's one of those forth bridge moments in our house as one thing gets fixed four other things break it is like we are not allowed to relax and enjoy the bits in between work! This year has seen every appliance in the kitchen pack up and now it is the plumbings turn. So not only has it been wet beyond belief outside but we've had our own mini downfalls inside and I've not managed to find anyone who will bother to fix it so I'm going to wrap a towel around it, put a bucket under it and tell you about my artwork!

Christmas Cards

Enhancing mantels this year could be the contents of my six-pack of boxed Christmas cards £11.50 for six different designs reply to this email if you want a pack either collect or I can post out to you at standard postage rates.

Cromford Studio and Gallery

The annual event now in its seventh year is my joint  December exhibition with Martin Sloman at his gallery in Cromford. This year I have painted some of the houses and halls of Derbyshire influenced by my work in heritage, I've spent some time this year working surveying the public at a few grand places and its allowed me time in between to really look at the architecture and settings of these wonderful buildings.
I hope you will join us on December 22nd between 10 - 5 pm, call in say hello and have a mince pie and last-minute gift shop in the lovely little gallery that Martin runs so well. The gallery is open Wed-Sun 10 -5 on the Market Place Cromford.


The fun that is Medley it gets better every year we work together, here's what you need to know, Its November 30 - December 8th 10 - 4 at weekends and 10 - 3 in the week, I'm not there Tues, Wed, or Thursday so if you want to avoid me those are the days to come but otherwise it would be a joy to see you! 

If you come to Medley in the first few days and say
'You're a cracker'
to me, you have the chance of winning an A4 print of your choice as I have 10 Christmas Crackers to pull and one of them will contain a voucher for one A4 print. First come first served!
Hope to see you there!

Another event in December is the Belpers Christmas Farmers Market Saturday, December 14th, 9-1 pm. Number 28.

Support your local galleries this Christmas

Duffield Gallery Belper
Hall of Frames Belper
Two Birds in Castle Donington
Suki Gallery Tutbury
St Johns Street Gallery Ashbourne
Cromford Studio and Gallery
Out Framed Ripley

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Shows and Events

Where has the time gone but seriously I can't keep up another birthday has come and gone and now it's back to screaming at the kids to get up and go to school and also for me to start thinking about upcoming exhibitions and what I'm going to do when I grow up!
One exhibition I have been planning for some time is my show at Cromford Studio and Gallery in December this year I decided to start painting the halls of Derbyshire so far I have eight and if I get time I will add some more.
They are all framed beautifully by Hall of Frames in Belper and I'm really looking forward to them all hanging together. see the rest on my website: http://ruthgrayimages.com

Elvaston Castle

My Derwent Valley work is on show till - February 2020 INNOVATE EXHIBITION, A CELEBRATION OF THE REGION’S INDUSTRIAL HERITAGE Derby Royal Hospital.

University starts at the end of this month so I feel like I've got a few weeks spare to enjoy just being an artist. I'm combining my efforts by painting and studying chip shop history for my MA dissertation and my kids are so thrilled at being driven to chip shops all over the country! I need to come up with 15,000 words on-chip shops so if you know any let me have them!!!!

Bamfords Chippe Scarborough

Show dates

Next weekend I'm taking part in a quick pop up show at Cromford Mill with Medley we will be in the Gothic Warehouse at the end of the canal Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10 - 5 pm. A glorious spot to come and visit and enjoy the last of the warm rays before the frost sets in.

The week after I'm planning on being at the fourth Duffield Art Festival 21-22 September in Ecclesbourne School Duffield see the brochure for all the exciting things happening at Duffield that weekend. https://storage.googleapis.com/wzukusers/user-19208159/documents/b75bd14938e24ecf9136948cc9f1b287/DAF%20programme%202019.pdfBelow are some more dates for your diary:

October 20th Arkwrights Artisan Market Cromford Mill

November 16 - 17th Arkwrights Artisan Market Cromford Mill

November 23 - 24 Elvaston Castle Christmas Market Mad Hatters Events

Dec 7-15th Medley at The Gothic Warehouse

December 1st – 31st Joint exhibition with Martin Sloman at Cromford Studio and Gallery.
December 22nd Meet the artist at Cromford Studio and Gallery.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Best Chip Shop in the World.

Chip shops who knew they could be so interesting, I've just painted number 8 and it was one my husband took me to see in Chesterfield, it looks just like a house no signage or any hint its a chip shop but who needs signage when you are 'Margaret's Chippy best chip shop in the world' according to facebook reviews, I found the website and Margaret ran it for 52 years and is now enjoying just greeting old customers while its run by a new couple. Regulars return and are prepared to queue for as long as it takes.
An interesting thought if your product is good enough and you are consistent no need to shout and cover yourself in neon lights! 

Margaret's Chippy, Duke Street Chesterfield 20 x 20 cm acrylic on canvas
If you have any chip shops you love let me know!
See all my other chip shop paintings on my website: http://ruthgrayimages.com