Monday, December 23, 2019


Hibernation vs Inspiration

    I won't even start on what gets me down about long cold winters. It was thus a surprise a couple of mornings ago when I found myself enjoying the beauty of the morning as I walked through soft fluffy snow and bright sunlight. It wasn't even terribly cold as compared to the biting cold of the previous day. One day at a time and some days are good and some aren't. That's life and certainly Canadian winter. Winter is actually a great time to stoke the creative fires, to dream and start new.

A new series of watercolour classes begin January 20th from my home studio in the Beach. Three six week series will be offered.
Monday morning 10 am- 12 pm ,Tuesday 10 am-12 pm and Thursday evening 7:15-9:15 pm.

For more information visit my class page or contact me

Have a great Holiday and Happy New Year!

Monday, September 30, 2019


Loving the Gold

"September Time"      Watercolour    Ruth Hayes

      Colour!  It pulls me in- seduces me- speaks to me and casts a spell.  Rothko and Van Gogh are two of my favorite artists.   As the summer heat is distilled into yellows, reds and rusty browns it is a challenge to capture it and express it in my work. A single leaf lying on the ground can stop and dazzle me with it's colour and it gets carried back to my studio. How to translate and create from this annual gift of nature becomes my inspiration and challenge. Cadmium yellow, quinacrodone gold, burnt sienna are only a few of the colours that splash and play their way through my paintings during this season. Knowing what comes later I savor the gold and the soft warm light of the Autumn.

My latest work in Watercolour, acrylic and mixed media will be on display during the Fall Beach Studio tour October 25th, 26th and 27th. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the tour I am joining the tour this fall even though I usually only join for the Spring show. I hope you will drop by my studio and celebrate Fall, the tour's 25th anniversary and the amazing artists in the the beach. My studio is 17 Fernwood Park Ave.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Finding the time to be creative

Painting Classes for Fall

Sunlight beckons, the breeze in the trees is inviting and cool and I want to be outdoors enjoying the last days of official summer. I also wonder where the time goes as each day ends and I'm aware of what I intended to do and what was actually  accomplished.  Finding the time to do all that should be done, is required to get done and what truly enriches life can be a juggling act. Nurturing a creative life is high in priority but takes effort in today's busy world. Enrolling in a painting class is one way to carve out the time, make friends and just express yourself. With Fall around the corner my new Fall schedule is posted

Below is the schedule of new classes starting soon.

Monday Morning six week session: September 9th 
Tuesday Morning six week session   September 10th
10 am-12 pm
Thursday evening six week session   September 12th
7:15 pm -9:15 pm
Fee $140.00 with optional materials fee of $30.00
No experience necessary.

My approach is create, learn, have fun and express yourself!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Summer Art Camp

Painting Art Camp for Grown-Ups

Summer Painting in Toronto

It's called Art Camp for Grown ups. 
If you missed out on summer camp as a kid or your're still a kid at heart and would love to have a week of creative fun painting indoors or outdoors once again art camp is back. The week of  August 12th art camp is an opportunity to paint every morning from 10 am- 1 pm Monday through Friday. It is offered from my home studio which backs onto parkland and Lake Ontario.  There is the opportunity to paint outdoors or indoors in watercolour or mixed media.
No experience is necessary outside of a sense of fun and curiosity. 
Fee for the week is $225.
Space is limited so register early.
For more information call Ruth 416-699-8609

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Working in a Series


 "Rocky Beach"      Watercolour by Ruth Hayes      15"x 21"

 Working in a series is not something that was planned or even thought about a great deal but it seems to be the way I have recently found myself working. Many artists have their phases or periods such as Picasso's "Blue Period" or "Cubism".  For me it has been about living so close to a large body of water and being entranced by it's many variations. One painting won't allow me to express all that I see thus I find myself challenged again and again. The colour, the movement, the light, and the mood are all elements of a series of recent paintings inspired by water. I have tried to go beyond the landscape aspect and find the simplicity of calm, the luminosity of grey sky over grey water, or the joy in kids on a beach. On any particular day noticing new aspects inspires me once again.

    This new series inspired by water and other new works can be seen at the upcoming Beach Studio Tour. The dates are May 3rd, 4th and 5th. The tour is a great way to see a variety of artisans and their studios in the Beach and I would love to see you drop by my location at 17 Fernwood Park Ave. The opening is Friday evening 6-9 pm and runs Saturday 10 am-6 pm and Sunday 11 am-6 pm.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Embracing it All

Playing with Mixed Media 

Ruth Hayes   "New Growth"  Mixed media   $500.

     Working with watercolour over many years it has felt important to learn the  rules and different ways of working with it. There are many ways but watercolour is a transparent medium and it has taught me many lessons and perhaps the greatest has been patience and acceptance.  First washes must be allowed to dry before second washes and glazes are added.  The medium often seems to have a will of its own and I have learned to appreciate the flowing and spontaneous surprises it offers.  However there are many wonderful mediums and what happens when they come together?

     Pastel has always been a love. There are some amazing pens and markers on the market today that add exciting line and marks.  Acyrlic or gouache can cover up mistakes or provide dynamic splashes of colour and intensity. What I have found the most fun is collage.  Some cut up pieces of old paintings create interesting juxtapositions of texture and colour.  Then the challenge is to pull it all  together. These works might be on paper, canvas or board.

 It has been fun embracing all the media and some of these efforts will be in the upcoming Beach Studio Tour May 3rd, 4th and 5th this spring.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

In love with colour

Love of Colour

"Evening Light"    Watercolour     R. Hayes   13"x20"   

I love to apply colour like words that shape poems like notes that shape music.
                                                                                              Joan Miro

It's often colour in a painting that will evoke an emotional response to a painting.
Rothko made use of the concept  in his beautiful abstract colour work. The Impressionists used colour and light as a basis for many of their paintings.  It is February and close to Valentine's day and red seems to be the colour of the month. 

 Red or any colour can hold varied meanings for each painting and individual.
Having a training in art therapy I often come across studies or will be asked the meaning of a particular colour. That is so unfair to the colour! To focus on red in honour of valentine's day it is obviously associated with love, romance, and  passion. 
From there it is also life giving, fun, and if you are five a favorite colour.
If I am five I might want the red balloon, the red lollipop and love the red paint.
At thirty five dripping red paint across a painting could find me accused of hidden rage and anger.
Is it in the painter or a projection of the viewer? Red is only red.
As a painter all the colours are unique and the response evoked in each viewer can be different and complex. The painter might put forth one particular meaning but the viewer might find another.

It's time get back to splashing my cadmium red across a white canvas.
I'll let the red speak to me and see what colour it might like next.
Perhaps that's mad or just being an intuitive painter.