Artist Statement, Ruth Buchanan
Ruth Buchanan is an internationally recognised, award winning artist based in Yorkshire with a focus on equine and figurative painting. Based on personal experiences and memories, her work explores the symbiotic and societal relationships between animals, especially horses, and their human companions.
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. The result is an exciting and contemporary take on the tradition of sporting art.
Ruth’s layered narrative also uses animals, skyscapes or foliage as allegory, symbols and expressions of emotional or mental states and is indicative of the shifting state of memory.
“I, myself, love music, film, literature that works on many levels, and in using that approach in my work I want to inspire the viewer to their own conversation with the piece, one that they may return to many times.”
Ruth has returned to her first love – drawing - in her ‘Red Thread’ series. Her tonal style alongside expressive line is rendered in charcoal and mixed media giving a poignancy and power to the deeply personal works.
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, and her book Hoof, Hide & Heart, a collection of eleven articles on drawing and painting animals originally published in The Artist magazine is launched at the preview of Thump of the Tale, her joint exhibition with co-mentor Julie Cross, on 29th September 2019 at the Granary Gallery, Weston Park. She is a Professional Associate of the SAA and was promoted to Signature Member of The Institute of Equine Art in 2015 and to Full Member of The Society of Equestrian Artists in 2016.
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)
International Watercolour Society, British Isles
Association of Animal Artists
Member and previous committee member
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.
Published Articles and Features . . . here
Exhibitions . . . here
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
2014 Abstract Marks
2013-14 Black Horse
2013 (January) Skies
2007-8 Working Canines
2006-7 Eventing #2
2005-6 Horse Racing
2001-2 Form and Light
(figurative) The Workers