Friday, 22 March 2019

Why Facebook isnt working.

Granya Australia (sold) 

Today I've been contemplating my decision to come off facebook as a personal page it's been about eights months now. Last week I had some extremely sad news from a friend and she had lost contact with me because I had come off facebook she found me via my business page, I'm glad she did find me and this has lead me to consider my actions in coming off the platform. I know I've missed out on many events and new opportunities but I've also missed out on some other things births, deaths, marriages for instance.
For the most part, Facebook is full of dreadful pictures of pets and dinners but it is also a way of connecting to those that mean most to you. My problem was I let it get out of hand and had too many people I didn't know. It was time-consuming and impersonal. 

So where does that leave me now am I about to announce my return? No, not yet I am still in two minds. I believe Facebook is a reflection of real life but magnified it gathers all the data on what you have been looking at online and feeds it back to you in the form of advertising and suggestions leaving little room for the friendships. I hear rumors that it is about to address these issues so I think I will wait until then.

I remember when I first started using Facebook in 2007/8 it was a brilliant way to reach back to my family when I was in Australia and likewise a brilliant way to keep up with friends when I came back to the UK. It was also a good tool to make new friends locally. In real life before social media we use to drift in and out of peoples lives and probably had a core group of people after social media we gather friends, find old school friends, add work friends, add anyone we meet at social gatherings and before you know it there's a huge mix. So it was a funny thing that when I use to open up my newsfeed it was full of people I didn't know Facebook suggested them to me based on what I look at generally which is art but my family are into sport, rambling, cycling, motorbikes all sorts of stuff I don't like so, in the end, Facebook for all its cleverness doesn't work because we are friends with people for other reasons than what we ourselves like to look at online! 

So after this revelation, I will continue to use it for business only and possibly keep missing out on things, but for my own sake, I think that is better than reading a timeline full of suggested stuff. so until Facebook get back to being more personal I will leave it for now.

I Need Your Help!

I've been working recently with Cromford Mills if you have time to help me gather some data for them to run creative workshops I'd be really grateful if you would fill out ten short questions on this survey. 

Friday, 1 February 2019

New Ways of Working

One month down not long till Christmas! I know what am I on about well I've been working on Christmas 2019 already. I've been busy choosing  Christmas cards and painting ready for my exhibition at Cromford Studio and Gallery in December.

University has commenced and results are in from last semester and it is not all bad, obviously, for those who follow this blog there are grammatical errors and I'm trying to learn to write properly!
I have been blogging for nearly nine years and it is a totally different way of writing, the internet is all informal write as you speak and academic writing is definitely not! But I will get there and its fun trying.

I've found that my kids know more about writing properly than I do and I've got an English A level. But back in the dark days of the 80's I can't remember anyone telling me what a clause was, perhaps they did but I haven't been able to retain that information! I do find writing hard it uses a different side of the brain and it takes me a while to get stuff down if it has to be correct.
I've been living in a carefree slap on the paint, write as you speak world for so long its a great kick up the bum.

Public History is a massive subject and I'm glad I'm doing it over two years so I can grasp it, everyone is asking me what is Public History and to be honest, I didn't know a definition to describe it until I watched Danny Dyer  Right Royal Family. I have to say that this programme sums it up, someone relatable presenting their own story. Its had a few snobby reviews on twitter but since when was history just for the elite presented by the elite? The fact is more probably watched that than many other history shows.
So I'm studying different ways to present history to the public, as well as ways to bring in a crowd and get it funded. There's obviously way more to it but I'm not going to bore you any further!
Has it changed my art possibly I'm working on a series for December that is based on the houses of Derbyshire we shall see how much time I get to do many of them but here just for you in this blog are my first few.

If you know where they are, place a comment below!

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Happy New Year Video.

Happy New Year

Hope you had a great New Years Eve and are now enjoying looking forward to new adventures in 2019, personally, I can't believe it is 2019 I'm just getting my head around the 21st century!
I thought I'd give you all a treat for New Years, my article came out in 'Paint' Magazine and I thought you may all like to see the video of the process of painting my new work 'Harrods' enjoy the rest of today and have a fabulous New Year!
Ruth x

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Ex nihilo

Its certainly been an eventful year although I still feel it hasn't begun yet that's probably more to do with age than anything else!

I started this year feeling a bit blah sometimes you get that feeling you have done it all before and my year ahead of me felt like that as I racked my brains to think of new subjects to work on, I had some kind of artists block. One day I just took myself back to bed and decided I needed to think as Winnie the Pooh says 'Something Comes from Nothing' or ex nihilo.

As I lay there I really thought about how I felt about things people, art, my town the next town, the town Id just visited, the treadmill we get ourselves on, the daft way our life is presented on social media the thought we think we know everything about each other yet we know nothing.

I really thought about the feeling I get now walking about in a city that used to be the center of an industry but is now presented as  heritage, the frustration of knowing how thriving the department stores were 'back in the day' and how desolate they are now a shadow of themselves presenting Instagramable experiences to lure in the tech-savvy. It's the same feeling I had in the mid-1990s when I realised the trade I had worked hard to learn was being replaced by computers and sent overseas.

We are at a crossroads in our towns a moment before they are turned into either a preserved museum of the past full of coffee shops and gift emporiums or into housing. We are having the last gasp at convincing the population that shopping is fun but in truth, we all know that if we want an item we just type in the words and there it is not many have time to seek out and search.

If you have been standing a stall this year you may have felt like an exhibit in a zoo people are coming for the show but are they coming for the goods? Sometimes they do and bless them!
I have found my sales are coming from different sources this year mainly online inquiries and you all maybe have found that too.

What are we to do? We can't change progress and we shouldn't want to it is all about adapting to new things and I certainly have had to do that in my life. I still think folk are spending money but they want to do stuff see things and experience events its time to change.

Funny what comes out of nothing! It is precisely these thoughts that have led me on a new path of learning this year, I just wanted to know more about the human race and understand from what has happened before and see if I can work out what may happen next. It is not enough to stay the same we have to evolve and my art will also evolve although where I don't know yet although I am learning that the subjects that I want to write about are not what I thought they would be social justice issues have begun to surface as my main interest.

So 2018 has been a slow year of change for me full of letting go and new beginnings I'm still not doing facebook and learning of the way they are using our data I feel I made the right decision but of course, I'm on Twitter and Instagram @ruthgrayimages and I'm happy and that is the main thing in life and feeling quite calm and excited for the new year.
So something has come from nothing and I thoroughly recommend taking to your bed and doing nothing for a while I think its called 'mindfulness with thoughts' because stopping and working out what is important to you and really taking a wide-open eye view of the world can really be enlightening!
See you next week! Itll be an experience! See below.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

December Exhibition News


Hello, I hope you are all well not sure if the festiveness has started yet from meeting some of you its too early for some and coming round to fast for others! Whatever it will soon be time to think about buying the gifts etc...


I have a couple of shows before Christmas that you may want to come along too in between online shopping and other such things!  I must confess I have made the most of online this year. My neighbors are also online shopping and as I work from home I seem to be the local delivery point for them! I will be finishing off my gift buying at my two events as there is nothing better than local handmade products.

My annual joint exhibition with Martin Sloman starts December 1st until New Years Day on display will be all the original street scenes that I have been working on throughout the year depicting Belper, Manchester, Sheffield, Chesterfield, and Derby. We have a Christmas event you can come along to and share in some refreshments and possibly a mince pie or two! Details below:

East Mill Belper.

The other show is Medley where I will be sharing my time with lovely talented friends for nine days! I can't wait.
I will be having a small studio sale and will have a full range of cards and prints no calendar, this year time has swept by so very quickly I just didn't get to create one! Details of the show below:
I really hope you can come it is always so lovely to see you all and catch up. The Medley show is open weekends 10 - 5 pm and weekdays 11- 3 pm and Cromford Studio and Gallery is open Wed-Sun 10 - 5 pm.

New Group for the New Year Belper Sunday Painters

For artists to meet and bring along work in all the popular mediums - oil, watercolour, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, and pencil as well as for people with an interest in art. All abilities are catered for and beginners are encouraged to join to further their ambitions.
Facilitated by myself advice given as required and the sessions are a mix of directed and non-directed as needed by the group.
Session Dates Sundays 10.30am – 12.30pm
Block 1
•    January 13th
•    February 10th
•    March 10th
Block 2
•    May 12th
•    June 9th
•    July 14th
Block 3
•    Sept 8th
•    October 13th
•    November 10th
Maximum participants are six, booking for the three two-hour sessions is in advance, taken through Creartii: cost £40 for a block of three sessions. An ideal Christmas gift for yourself or an arty friend! 

To book click here

Bye for now

Monday, 29 October 2018

Remarkable News!

Its been a very busy Autumn, I've now started my MA at the University of Derby and I am loving every minute of it, so nice to be back in a learning environment especially when it's all about my favorite subjects of history and heritage. Its only one day a week of taught work but there's a lot of reading to be done in between and writing! The other students are very knowledgeable its great to be around them all. It is giving me a lot of information that will be valuable to my artwork.
This time of year is always about preparation for the Christmas shows and they start next weekend  so please do come along its going to be a lovely event  run by Purple and Grey at The Remarkable Hare  Pub Dale Road Matlock there are about nine artists and makers there will be food and drink available to purchase so you can spend some time chatting to us all and enjoying the ambiance of this wonderful pub.
Below are my November events, I'm looking forward to them all I had my wedding reception at The Farmhouse at Mackworth and it's a beautiful venue so come and enjoy some early festive spirit with me!

November 10th - Belper Farmers Market No. 28
November 24th - Glebe Centre Crich Christmas Fair 1.30 - 3.30 pm

November 25th - The Farmhouse at Mackworth Christmas Market 11-3pm

New Group for the New Year Belper Sunday Painters

For artists to meet and bring along work in all the popular mediums - oil, watercolour, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, and pencil as well as for people with an interest in art. All abilities are catered for and beginners are encouraged to join to further their ambitions.
Facilitated by myself advice given as required and the sessions are a mix of directed and non-directed as needed by the group.
Session Dates Sundays 10.30am – 12.30pm
Block 1
•    January 13th
•    February 10th
•    March 10th
Block 2
•    May 12th
•    June 9th
•    July 14th
Block 3
•    Sept 8th
•    October 13th
•    November 10th
Maximum participants are six, booking for the three two-hour sessions is in advance, taken through Creartii: cost £40 for a block of three sessions. An ideal Christmas gift for yourself or an arty friend!

To book click here

CREARTII Art Studio,17 Green Lane, Belper, Derbyshire, DE56 1BY
Telephone: 07881 653117

Monday, 8 October 2018

Update Wheres September Gone?

Its been a busy few weeks starting my MA Public History and Heritage at university and getting to grips with all that along with maintaining a business and looking after my family all in that order I'm afraid!
University was something I wanted to do to get my brain into gear but as someone who can't do things half-hearted, I've found myself knee deep reading articles and papers one leads to another and before I know it I've read myself around the world it's interesting but I need to manage my time better!
The trouble is I find everything interesting so I need to focus (perhaps I've exchanged my bad Facebook habits to documents? ) I've already met some brilliant people on the course so I've got two lovely years ahead!
 The upside of all this is now my artwork feels more fun! It was great to visit Tamworth Art Society and spend a couple of hours demoing for them they are such a great group lots of questions and answers while I painted a scene of Ashbourne.

Duffield Art Festival was brilliant lots of customer interest best show for a long time, its a great mix of poetry acting singing and art so the weekend went fast!

Back in Ashbourne at St John Street Gallery, my workshop on simplifying street scenes went down well with a participant  saying:

Thank you once again for the time you spent with me and the marvelous help and advice. I had a most enjoyable day and have been singing your praises at the Matlock U3A painting group this morning.

We concentrated on this wonderful little shop which posed various challenges, but the day was really relaxing. Plein Air painting is not my thing as such but the sketching side of being outdoors I find important and something I like to show to others how they can develop so they can create their own style that is unique to them.

I have been enjoying working to commision and was thrilled to see my last painting in its owners new home.

Now I'm looking towards Christmas so I have created an album on my Facebook page of 21 available prints just contact me if you would like to order one last orders Dec1st.

I will be at
Belper Farmers Market Oct 13th 9-1
Glebe center Crich 1-5 Oct 20th
The remarkable art cafe Nov 3rd Remarkable Hare Dale Road Matlock 10 - 4 pm