Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Grateful for the Flow

Painting and the Creative flow

Mist of Magic   Watercolour by Ruth Hayes
15" x 22"

      I try to apply colors like words that shape poems, like notes that shape music.  Joan Miro

Another year is coming to a close and I look back over  the flow of paintings  that were like visitors to my world, not all of them easy. From all of them I am grateful for the learning. I have my stack of in-completes that might someday be finished and there are the others that received a title and even a frame. How does an artist know when a painting is finished? It is a question often asked. I joke that only when it is out of my possession is it finished.
    I would call myself more an intuitive painter and often start with an inspiration even if it is only colour play.
At some point in the painting however the reality of how to create a good painting takes over. Composition meets inspiration and there they struggle. The struggle is keeping it alive  but also making it a strong piece of work. I think sometimes it is like life. How do we keep our dreams alive and make them work in the real world. Not every dream meets reality. That's ok. With a little time over the holidays I hope to return to my stack of unfinished dreams and perhaps finish one or two more.
    Watercolour classes start again in January of 2015 and the details are on my classes page.
Have a great Holiday Season!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Art Studio Invitation

Open House Invitation
"Hint of Mystery" Watercolour  Ruth Hayes
November 9th, Sunday 12:00-4:00 PM
Location: 17 Fernwood park Ave.
Beach Area

You are warmly invited to drop by to see new work, small cards, matted pieces or simply share a cup of tea and conversation. 

Painting is a solitary pursuit and what has always been gratifying
is being met and having my work received by friends and collectors. It seems part of a completion of a cycle and I am 
often touched and surprised at the insights and stories shared.
I would be delighted to see you if you can come. 
For more information phone 416-699-8609.

Morning Mist   Watercolour by  Ruth Hayes

Monday, October 13, 2014

Time and the Creative Process

Observations on the creative process

This Autumn  the decision was made to slow down a bit and focus more on  my painting. It is easier said than done. For those who see me twice a year during the Beach Studio Tour you might have noticed  I am not on the Fall brochure.  I will be back for the Spring Tour and try to participate only once a year. However for those who might like cards and other items for Christmas I will be hosting an open house Sunday November 9th. This will be a relaxed stress free event where come if you like, I will be happy to see you.

It has been  interesting to note how  for me I have to step back and enter into another realm where time gets suspended in order to feel deeply immersed in painting. That is difficult with schedules to meet and the stress of everyday life. Perhaps that is why they say Art is timeless. A painting takes as long as it takes and it varies how long it takes to complete any particular one. What is interesting is watching myself disengage from the world of everyday time and stepping into that other realm. Perhaps I can blame it on the linear world in which we live. Art is often of that dream space. Writing this feels linear where I am trying to organize my thoughts in a coherent manner while thinking of several unfinished paintings calling to me at the moment.
Excuse me while I go paint instead of write.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Landscape Impressions

Landscape Impressions

Mist of Magic   watercolour   Ruth Hayes
size 15"x22"

To dream ad-midst nature-- perhaps to find colours, shapes, lines and images to light a spark that give meaning to aimless wanderings.  Living in a large urban city finding the time each day  for those aimless wanderings can be difficult. Having a dog to walk helps a lot. I am very grateful to live so close to the lake. The vast expanse of space as the the sky meets the water is always a wonder. The play of waves against the shore is music that soothes and calms and the sky is an ever-changing light show. Perhaps it is this light show that I find most challenging. In observing some paintings I've worked on over the summer there is a theme of landscape and light and the absolute magic it can create. Light on the rock, on the water, in the morning fog or evening mist and I can only conclude it has been a beautiful summer.
  With Fall around the corner I have a new series of watercolour classes starting in September. A few of my new landscape impressions can be see in Shamanstree Gallery.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Art is indeed not the bread - but the wine of life. 
Jean Richter

What inspires me to paint?  It could be anything. Light on a hillside. The colour of Fall leaves, children on a beach, a deep unanswerable question within the soul. To paint perhaps to taste the wine, touch the mystery, transcend what is known.  To sip the wine of art is to find that timeless place within. All else falls away.
Many artists have alluded to it. DaVinci talks about when the head, the heart and the spirit are in alignment and creativity seems to flow. Being part of the culture I can fall into the trap of thinking if I only have the right tools, hone my skill, follow the right steps and I will be a better artist. That might be part of it but it is not where the mystery will be found. And it wouldn't be a mystery if I could say where and  how it could be found. Perhaps that is why artist's are considered such an eccentric breed.

My painting will be on display as part of the Spring Beach Studio Tour. Come celebrate Friday evening May 2nd from 6-9 pm and Saturday and Sunday. I am located at 17 Fernwood Park Ave.
For full information about the tour visit www.beachstudiotour.ca.

View these two You Tube videos to get a glimpse of my work and all of the tour:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Just Ask

Just Ask

Art is neither a Hobby nor a Profession but a way of being.
Frederick Franc

Tree of Life

The Beach Studio Tour is coming up the weekend of  May 2nd and this tour our web site was redesigned. Participants have been asked to answer three questions about our artistic endeavors. I briefly responded to a few of them but realized I could right a short book about some of the questions. Perhaps a short blog will better serve.
I have been an artist from the time I was 11 or 12, painting whenever I could but never really thinking about it. It was just a "way of being". Certain questions get asked often. How long does a painting take?  Do you paint every day? A question guaranteed to annoy -"Is this just a hobby"? Painting is my life, my love and my profession. I teach, exhibit and sell my paintings, and see private clients. A few of us become famous and wealthy but most artists are grateful to pay the bills, but count themselves lucky in so many other ways. Artists give expression to the dreams and vision of a culture as they live admidst it, sometimes slightly apart. Balancing the dreamer and the professional part is often a challenge. An event such as the studio tour takes a lot of organization and hard work. Finding time for the artist part to finish paintings can be the challenge.
Look forward to our 20th anniversary.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Time for Contemplation


"There is no Art without contemplation"
Robert Henri

     In teaching  I love to use artist quotes about the creative process. They come from painters, philosophers, scientists, poets...etc..  I sometimes think I could come up with a few of my own. One might be..."A painting is like a good cup of tea, it needs
time to steep-in the mind, the heart and the psyche of the painter."
We live however in an age of instant gratification. Tea might take five minutes or so for flavors to blend and strengthen, where a painting might take days or weeks or longer.
    A question an artist is often asked is how long a painting took to complete. I find that in creating a painting it often becomes a two way communication where the painting might have as much to tell me as I think I want to express through it. It becomes a puzzle, a challenge, because of course the communication is not verbal. The communication might come in dreams, a walk by the lake, or chewing my brush while in front of the work in question. The answer could be as simple as a composition issue resolved to an insight that astounds me as it touches into the core of my being. This is why painting is not about the product but about the process. I believe Einstein said "Art evokes the mystery".
We understand and unravel that mystery in our own time, perhaps over a good cup of tea.