Ruth’s pieces comprise a gilded background of metallic leaf upon wood, overlaid with hand-painted detailing. Layers of varnish are then applied, preventing tarnishing and giving the gilding a mellow, ‘aged’ effect. The resulting juxtaposition of scintillating metallic leaf and delicate, colourful imagery is one of opulence and subtle beauty. Unlike a conventional painting, a gilded picture allows light to dance over its surface, gently shifting in mood and brightness throughout the day, and occasionally appearing silhouette-like.
Having completed a degree in Illustration, Ruth studied Scenic Painting for Theatre at Bristol’s renowned Old Vic Theatre School, where she learned to gild and to create mural effects. Her current work is a fusion of these disciplines, combining the figurative with the ornate. Much of Ruth’s work is influenced by 19th-century Chinoiserie, but more recently she has taken her work in a new direction, capturing the glorious birds and foliage of the English countryside.