Designer Desire: Colin Ruffell

Mosaic of Colin Ruffell artworks | H is for Home

We’ve mentioned Colin Ruffell, our chosen Designer Desire artist, in the past when we acquired a couple of his original paintings a few years ago. We thought we’d share with you a few more of his artworks.

He has a few, very distinctive styles; abstract modernist, impressionist – however, it’s his naive, Cloisonnism paintings that we love the most – especially the vintage examples. Perhaps because it reminds us of the work of Bernard Buffet.

We couldn’t put it better ourselves, so we thought that we’d allow Ruffell to say a little about himself:

Colin Ruffell was born in 1939, then he was bombed, evacuated, educated, expelled, travelled, repatriated, married, bred, qualified and taught; until in 1965, aged 26, he became a full-time professional artist. Since then he is proud and happy to have survived.

This is the point at which we normally add an image of the artist or designer that we’re featuring. However, we couldn’t resist including the following short film of Ruffell’s cat, Trevor!

His vintage work comes up for auction on occasion; there’s currently a lovely example for sale on Etsy.

Colin Ruffell

Image credits:

Antiques Atlas | Art Publish | Ask Art | Mutual Art

Designer Desire: Sara Tyson

Mosaic of Sara Tyson illustrations | H is for Home

We tend to feature vintage and mid-century modern artists and designers in our Designer Desire series. However, the work of Sara Tyson stopped me in my tracks. Tyson is an award-winning Canadian graphic designer and illustrator with over 30 years’ experience. Her work has graced the pages of periodicals such as Harvard Business Review, National Endowment for the Humanities, Smithsonian Magazine and The Washington Post.

She says she’s inspired by early Christian and Byzantine art and I think she has a similarity in style to one of my favourite artists, Stanley Spencer – especially Shipbuilding. A selection of her work is available to purchase from the i Spot website (link below). I’d really like copies of her ’12 Days of Christmas’ series of holiday greeting cards; they’re beautiful!

Sara Tysoncredit

Additional image credits:

Behance | Creative Finder | i Spot

Designer Desire: Richard Koppe

Mosaic of Richard Koppe artwork | H is for Home

Richard Koppe (1916-1973) was an American modernist artist, designer and educator. In the late 1930s, Koppe attended the New Bauhaus in Chicago where he was taught by László Moholy-Nagy. You can really see the tutor’s influence on the pupil’s style.

For ages we’ve hankered after a menu he designed in 1948 for Well of the Sea restaurant located in the basement of Hotel Sherman, Chicago. Examples appear on eBay occasionally – but they are never cheap!

He produced other designs for the restaurant including 5 impressive ‘glow in the dark’ wall murals, coloured recessed back-lighting and kinetic mobiles. A range of crockery was produced for the restaurant by Shenango in 1953 using his designs. Someone on Zazzle is currently producing exact replicas of this restaurant-ware; putting it to china, melamine and textile home accessories.

We have an illustration painted by Cal Dunn of one of Koppe’s Well of the Sea murals in one of our vintage cookbooks, ‘The Ford Treasury of Favourite Recipes from Famous Eating Places‘. We’ve also found a couple of  contemporary black & white photographs of the restaurant here and here.

Richard Koppe exhibited widely at international institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Academy in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the Pennsylvania Academy in Philadelphia, the Royal Academy of Art in London, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

He also taught for many years as Head of Visual Design and Fine Arts at the Institute of Design (ID) at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) and later as Professor of Art at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Portrait of Richard Koppecredit

Additional image credits:

Art in America magazine | Corbett vs Dempsey | Elmhurst Art Museum | Invaluable | Flickr

We’ve got Bags of Love!

Win a personalised triptych canvas artwork with Bags of Love & H is for Home

Bags of Love is offering one of our readers one of their personalised triptych canvas artworks. A lovely way to pep up the walls in your bedroom or lounge.

Bags of Love triptych canvas above a white sofa

The example on offer measures 90cm x 30cm – each of the three panels is 30cm2. Upload photos to the Bags of Love from your mobile phone, computer or Facebook or Instagram accounts. You can even chose from their own image library.

Panoramic photograph of Ribblehead Viaduct in Yorkshire

I downloaded the lovely photograph above of the Ribblehead Viaduct from the internet to practice making an artwork.

Turning the panoramic view of Ribblehead Viaduct into a triptych on the Bags of Love website

It was just the right ratio for the job – 3 times wider than tall – it created a trio of perfect squares.

Photograph of the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District

I tried again with a photograph of one of Justin’s favourite locations in the country – the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District.

Turning the panoramic view of the Langdale Pikes into a triptych on the Bags of Love website

It wasn’t the exact size to slot into three equal squares, however you can resize and crop the image until you’re happy with the composition.

Preview of the Langdale Pikes triptych artwork on the Bags of Love website

You can also use three separate images – for example, a portrait of your 3 children… or your pets!

To enter, let us know in the comments what subject matter you’d chose to display on your triptych.

Personalised triptych canvas artwork from Bags of Love




Shared on: Superluckyme | The Prizefinder | Loquax | Competition Database | U Me and the Kids | Mom Does Reviews

You’re an angel

Vintage 1968 angel painting by Renate Doktor | H is for Home

This was an interesting recent buy. It’s a rather lovely painting of an angel. Archangel Michael or Gabriel perhaps? The wonderful colours and stylised nature of the piece really grabbed our attention.

Vintage 1968 angel painting by Renate Doktor | H is for Home

It was produced in 1968 by Renate Doktor – and there’s certainly something very distinctive about the treatment of the subject matter that puts it in this era. It’s painted on board – unframed, but mounted on a Hessian backing – again very common of the period.

Vintage 1968 angel painting by Renate Doktor showing signature | H is for Home

We think it’s very charming. If you’d like this particular angel to watch over you, just drop us a line. We’ve priced it up at £75.00.

Designer Desire: Ken Law

Mosaic of Ken Law artworks | H is for Home

I’ve had a great response from people about my early birthday present, an original painting by Ken Law (1919-1988) entitled, “Oldham Landscape”. I thought I’d look into and share more of his wonderful artworks as this week’s Designer Desire.

For years, there was absolutely no information about Ken on the internet. Then his son John came across an online forum of people all over the world who either appreciated or owned examples of his work. John filled in a few details (one being to confirm that Ken Law the LSO cellist and Ken Law the artist were indeed the same person!). The family still own many of his works and two of the forum members visited Ken’s widow and photographed some of them. These have been shared on the forum.

A dedicated website has been created by Ken’s grandson however, other than some background information, just over half a dozen or so images of his oils and watercolours have been uploaded.

Portrait of Ken Lawcredit

Additional image credits:

20th Century Forum | Deerfieldpb | Flickr | Ken Law