Using collage, mixed media, and acrylic paint Ruth Gray expresses layers of history and heritage within her paintings.
Hello, let me tell you something about who I am. I was brought up on the Nottingham/Derbyshire border near Long Eaton, where I remained until I was thirty. Without a doubt, my passion for all things art can be attributed to both my father’s and mother’s side of the family, a lineage that has nurtured photographers, craft lovers, and artists. From as early as five years of age, I remember very clearly being drawn to art and was extremely fortunate that my parents were encouraging. My late Auntie Marjorie was a major influence in my life, the most vivid childhood memory that I can recall is one of me sitting in the New Forest with a box of Winsor and Newton watercolours while she tutored me.
I wouldn’t say I am self-taught; art education has come from firstly my aunt (as mentioned above) GCSE/A/level and secondly two years at art college during my six years in Australia. I have been greatly influenced by the fabulous master watercolour tutor Charles Sluga, who taught me for five years, working from his small township of Yackandandah and has international acclaim. I have not felt the need to over formalise my art training. Preferring to forge my own style.
At University I chose to study more vocational subjects, I confess I am a serial student. I absolutely love learning and to me, there is nothing better than being in a library reading a book and researching a subject. Over the years I have gained a HND in Textiles Technology and BA 1st Class honors in International Fashion Business and more recently a Master of Art with a distinction in Public History and Heritage.
I have displayed art in exhibitions solo and joint every year since 2003 enjoying the friendships and collaborations made along the way. I enjoy being a member of Peak District Artisans enjoying the opportunities it affords. Art demonstrating at art societies and groups is something I really adore along with leading workshops and working with community groups or schools. I believe greatly in encouraging everyone to become involved in art at whatever level it is good for the soul!
I currently live a life I have worked hard to achieve spending three days researching and writing heritage reports for architects in Derby and the other days spending time on my art I find one inspires the other and I have developed a deep understanding of buildings and their significance within the local landscape.
For the future, I would like to increase my commissions for the past few years house portraits have been a pleasure to do for some lovely clients. It’s great to deliver artwork that means a great deal to someone. I have also produced wedding venue pieces as well as garden portraits. The spaces we share with others are so important and having those memories captured is a great gift. Please do get in touch.