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Artist Statement, Ruth Buchanan


Ruth Buchanan is an internationally recognised, award winning artist with a focus on equine and figurative painting. Her work explores the symbiotic, societal and healing relationships between animals, especially horses and their human companions. These are drawn from personal experience and memories, and expressed in artworks from her studio in Yorkshire, UK.

Ruth’s work is informed by a study of anatomy and biomechanics and underpinned by habitual life drawing, both human and equine. Her previous career in Graphic Design and Illustration gives her work a structure based on classical principles of drawing which are overlaid with a more impressionistic approach in paint. Ruth employs animals and background elements as allegory, symbols and expressions of emotional or mental states that is indicative of the shifting state of memory. The result is a layered narrative that gives a contemporary take on the tradition of sporting art.

“I love music, film and literature that work on many levels. In using that approach in my work, I want to inspire the viewer to their own conversation with the artwork - one that they may return to many times.”

In demand as an approachable and inspirational mentor, Ruth has led drawing and watercolour workshops internationally as well as in the UK. She has also been commissioned to write articles for Art magazines in the UK and the USA. Ruth's book Hoof, Hide & Heart, a collection of eleven articles on drawing and painting animals originally published in The Artist magazine was published in September 2019, and her work features on the cover of The Yard, by Grace Olson (June 2022).

Ruth exhibits at International Horse Shows and Events, and in National and International exhibitions. She undertakes a limited number of commissions each year, and her work features in the private collections of notable names from the spheres of The Arts and Equestrianism in the UK, Europe, the USA and the Middle East.


Society of Equestrian Artists

Full Member (promoted 2016)

Institute of Equine Artists

Signature Member (promoted 2016)


International Watercolour Society, British Isles


Association of  Animal Artists

Member and previous committee member

Published Articles and Features . . . listed here

Exhibitions . . . listed here


Whinnie Award: Painting - Equus Film & Art Festival (USA) 2021


Editors Pick: Watercolour Paintings - Artists & Illustrators 2021 Runner up: 'Breathe'


Two Rivers Sketchbook Prize 2017. 

Inaugural Chairman's Award. Association of Animal Artists Annual Exhibition 2017

Association of Animal Artists Annual Exhibition 2017: 'Shine' Childrens' Choice Award and runner up Animals in Action Award.

Horse & Hound Magazine Award 2016.

Award Winner: 'Buckle Up'.

Association of Animal Artists Annual Exhibition 2016. Category Winner, Domestic Animals: 'Squatters'.

Highly Commended: 'Hawa My3a'.

All Watercolors 2015 International Juried Art Award.

4th place: 'Oil On Watercolour'.


Shortlisted artist: Artist & Illustrators' Artist of the Year 2014. 'Chuckle'.


Ex Arte Equinus

Finalist Painting Section 2012 and

Publication in 2013 Ex Arte Equinus book 6. 'Once In A Lifetime'.

Judging of Awards


International Watercolour Society - Arts Café Coffee Painting Award 2020. Part of International Jury. This award was juried digitally due to Covid restrictions.


Painting Series

Ruth tends to paint in series to focus on one area and add discipline to her work. Series often overlap and run concurrently. Below is a list of her painting series.

2019 - current Red Thread

2017 - current Innocence and Experience

2016-18 Elemental

2014-16 Arches

2014 Abstract Marks

2013-14 Black Horse

2013 (January) Skies

2012-13 Polo

2011-12 Sequences

2010-11 Dressage

2008-9 Hounds

2007-8 Working Canines

2006-7 Eventing #2

2005-6 Horse Racing

2004-5 Hunting

2003-4 Eventing

2001-2 Form and Light



(figurative) The Workers

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