Born in Zambia, raised there and in Northumberland, Ruth trained in fashion and built an award-winning interior designer business in Newcastle. Having worked and travelled in many countries across the globe, absorbing cultures, colours and the beauty of the natural world, she now works happily in her studio in Newcastle Arts Centre painting in oils, always from experience of the countryside she loves – the Northumbrian coast, and the very special Outer Hebrides.
Ruth’s instinctive response to the rich colours in the Hebrides, in the landscapes and echoed in the traditional island tweeds, produced a profound effect on her work. Each painting in this collection is based on a particular Harris Tweed swatch, the starting point limiting the paint pallet mixed from just these colours. As a result, her landscapes resemble not just the purple, peaty rivers, vibrant turquoise of the seas, blindingly white beaches, and heathery moors but also the natural ingredients that went into dying the yarns. Her joy in being there as often as she can, expressed in her paintings, has made her work much loved and sought after. Her paintings are now collected world-wide, and during the pandemic she produced her first book – a sell-out – The Outer Hebrides Captured.
But she also has an enthusiastic following for her paintings of her own Northumberland Coast as a result of 7 years of exhibitions in the North-East. For decades now Ruth has regularly walked the Northumberland Coast with her husband Phil and a border collie – Skye who caught his last ball at the ripe age of 15, and now young Pip who shows a similar dedication and enjoyment. Painting the sky, seas and sands has been irresistible, in all seasons and with all the varying moods.
Predominantly working in oils, Ruth employs a technique that uses both palette knife and brush resulting in the richly textured, vibrant style for which she has become renowned. She is now running workshops for art groups across the county.