the art of ruddell





I first crossed into the East (that was) beneath the Brandenburg Gate at midnight on 3rd November 1992. The temperature was below freezing and there was hardly a soul about as I pretended to be a character out of a Len Deighton thriller!!

couldn't find a picture of Westwood church in the snow, and couldn't get a good photo because the trees were in the way, but hey, when did that ever stop an artist . . . this became the Westwood Christmas Card
sitting down to breakfast in Perpignan . . the sunlight, the ambience and the smell of coffee made me feel very happy. Designers gouche . . done carefully, over several weeks.

another attempt at the Catalonian aleppo pine trees. These trees, which basically consist of pine needles, are tricky to get down on paper . .

in homage to our road trip through the endless farmlands of northern France

painted in one sitting on Castell beach, when I had run out of books to read!! Based on a picture in Maisons Cote Sud. Watercolour with a bit of fine point marker to draw the wrought ironwork.

Mediterranean canvas . . it's all in the light: trying to capture the dry stonework and the intense colours produced by the clear air

girl reading book on platja Castell, on a mellow, slightly overcast day . . .

trying watercolour and gouache in a bit more of a fast and loose style. French sunflower fields.

based on Jim Callaghan's amazing Antigua photo gallery. Trying to capture the dark, broody feeling. Some white crayon used at the end to soften the edge of the surf.

the Bickley cottage garden, painted in gouache, on site, at the Westwood art group en plein

photographed during the Le Mans week-end with a 300mm lens in St Michel de Chavaignas . . beautiful morning light. Painted in gouache

from the archives . . done on location in gouache on artboard. Time was a factor as the sunset washed the canyon walls with continually changing colours!!

from the archives . . done on location in gouache on artboard. Sat in the shade of a tree at the Indian Garden part of the Bright Angel Trail to paint this.

Ermita de Sant Sebastia . . window in the back wall of the 15th Century chapel . . watercolour

striking blue building in Alvor . . watercolour and fine line marker . .

from the ruddell archives - drawn with magic marker and crayon . . Isabella Rossellini and the impossible hat

the tower of the 15th Century chapel of Sant Sebastia above Llafranc in Catalonia. Watercolour and a bit of post production in Photoshop . .

gathering stones continues . . but maybe you wouldn't gather too many of these stones. Mooching around Miller's Point on the Cape Penisula. Watercolour and a bit of post production in Photoshop . .

Spent some time gathering stones . . Tywyn Beach 2 . . used masking fluid for the surf and the grass. Blended the colours slightly different to painting 1

Tywyn Beach 1 . . windblown seascape, painted on site with watercolour


you walk up 135 steps out of Llafranc to get onto the coastal path, and pass this wonderful house at the top. Been planning to paint this for 5 years!! Watercolour and fine point marker.

waiting for the sun . . the female flowers remain closed in the melon house at Heligan during the long rains of 1997. Watercolour and gouache.


the wondrous Joseph Paxton vine house (restored) at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Watercolour with a bit of Photoshop tidying up . .


one of the fagus sylvatica purpurea, (copper beech) in Coventry's Memorial Park:- Watercolour, with some post production in Photoshop.


Aughrimderg, the family home in County Tyrone: the box trees either side of the front path had been hollowed out so that they contained hidden seats!! I recall the aroma of the trees, the paraffin lamps in the house, and the slow ticking of the grandfather clock, memories of a bygone age . . ..


You can take the man out of Jaguar . . but you can't take Jaguar out of the man. Watercolour and gouache.


Oscar Niemeyer's beautiful Palácio da Alvorada . . . the wondrous flat bottomed Cumulus humilis drifting silently overhead!! Watercolour and a bit of fine line marker, painted from an AGFA transparency that I took in 1977!

another inviting doorway on the carrer de cicero . . . watercolour and a bit of fine line marker

been walking past this wonderful yellow canopy for several years, watercolour and gouache.

watercolour, pastel and crayon rendering of the most famous 60s icon Twiggy . . .

What would Westwood church look like reglazed with some Gaudi stained glass from Sagrada Familia!?! Gouache, watercolour, pastel and marker.

on the Sant Sabastia mountain an Agave americana, the mexican plant, clings to the side of the mountain - painted from a close up photo of the back-lit plant.

originally called Utopia or Oblivion . . my comment on 1984. Created using flowmaster inks sprayed onto film and left to run . .

Painted as a homage to the beautiful sky and sea of the Costa Brava this summer . . . many thanks to Louis for the French to English translation from Maisons Cote Sud.

"Meteoro", a sculpture by Bruno Giorgi, seems to float above the lake outside the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia. Painted from my own transparency that I took in 1977!

in the small primitive 15th Century chapel of Sant Sebastia is a modern sculpture of the crucified Christ which I have always liked. Rather than photograph it . . again, on this year's pilgrimage I rendered it in watercolour, crayon and pastel.

from a small side window in the Abbey at Montserrat, a suprising and spectacular view down the Llobregat valley. . . dramatic glass colours in the old window

early December morning in the Memorial Park, Painter Classic software: watercolour, marker and chalk tools, created with Wacom tablet

Painter Classic software: the oil brush tools, created with Wacom tablet. Not a bad result for reasonable priced software . .

lone boat pulls away from the platja Castell. I did the wash for the sky and sea at the campsite and let it dry. Then finished picture on the beach with my travelling light painting kit . . .

the entire coastline of the Costa Brava is covered with the Aleppo pine tree. Just outside Kims these beautiful trees catch the morning light and defy portrayal by paintbrush . . this was my third or fourth attempt.

doorway of a local apartment, framed with Bougainvillea - so typical of this part of Spain

unusual colour for this apartment block. Used masking film to create the edges of the image, then after painting rubbed the film off to complete the image.

we had left behind 30 days of rain in England the evening we arrived in Prague's Old Town Square - the sun and the wine was very welcome. Watercolour, with a bit of post production in Photoshop to feather the dark edges . .

morning sun on the terrace of a beach house in Llafranc. Used some pastel for the shading on top of the watercolour.

more Llafranc apartments, closed up against the morning heat

unknown man carries secrets across the Charles Bridge - actually painted in Spain. Between Prague and the Costa Brava in 2012 I read all three Bernard Samspon spy trilogies and so was still in "Cold War" mode!

June 2012 - the Ruddell and Cummings family graves in Clanoe Churchyard, the Mourne Mountains in the background - painted from a picture off Hannah's phone the day of mum's funeral

the ups and downs of life . . call it Oscilloscape!! Gouache on board

painted on location one evening overlooking Stinson Beach, just north of The Golden Gate Bridge. Stinson was Lynne's maiden name, - also the location for the filming of Basic Instinct in 1992


the local hotel in the Amazon, which later collapsed in the middle of the night . . painted in gouache on a piece of locally sourced card


early use of designers gouache - Dave Hunt used to create amazing pastel paintings during our 40 minute lunch break in the Jaguar Styling Studio - this was my attempt, from the grass bank at the back of Browns Lane's car park