Coming from different backgrounds, Ruth Clayton and Stuart Gray are the absolute wonderful collaboration that is Wickerfish Arts. Based in their new studio at Farfield Mill and living just a walk away in the spectacular landscape of Sedbergh, these two artists are how I always imagined a true artist life to be. If you follow them online, you even get to see their sketchbooks on holiday and it makes you wish you had an ounce of their talent so that you could sit and draw your holiday memories to take home with you.
Now I warn you, I am going to sound like a bit of a fan girl in this blog, but Stuart and Ruth really did inspire me when I went to spend time with them working in their studio. I found myself smiling the whole time as we chatted about their backgrounds and lives. It is clear that their previous working lives have shaped their dedication to their art and their values create their lifestyles and how rare is it to find people doing things in the way they want to. Very inspiring.
Their space at the mill is very welcoming and shows a wealth of varying styles of painting as they have grown and developed as artists. This is one of the things I really admire about Ruth and Stuart. They have not stood still. Experimenting with new styles and techniques it is apparent that they have been reinvigorated recently and the paintings that they produce at Farfield Mill are stunning.
As for them as a couple, I fell in love with their love story and I do feel they are like a muse for each other. I don’t know if that is true, but it is how I felt when I sat in their studio exploring their reasons for why they do what they do. Combined with the third member of Wickerfish Art – their beautiful spaniel, who often goes to work with them, well you can see why I’m a fan.
It is wonderful to see artists working away just how you imagined, if like me, you did art history at school and learned about the collectives of artists inspiring each other throughout Europe all those years ago. I admire any artist who chooses to make a living out of being creative and long may this kind of living thrive and continue to inspire those of us who dare to dream.
If you follow Wickerfish Arts and Farfield Mill online you can keep up to date on the courses that they run, so you could unleash your inner artist with their talented guidance. You also need to check out Wickercritters that Ruth creates – creative cuteness in mini sizes.