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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We’ve mentioned a few times previously that we love the work of artist Ken Law – and have a small collection of his 1960s prints – Hampstead High Street, Tower Bridge and New York Bridges, to date. Well, I was browsing a well-known online auction website a couple of weeks ago – and did a quick search for Ken Law to see if any of his vintage prints were currently for sale. My jaw dropped when this original oil painting appeared before my eyes – only just listed. Straight away I thought, “Oooooh, early 50th birthday present?!”.
The painting depicts Oldham – a Lancashire (now Greater Manchester) mill town about 15 miles from here. Perhaps former mill town might be more accurate now; at its peak, it was the largest cotton-spinning town in the world. Justin grew up in the neighbouring town of Rochdale and often went to Oldham on Tommyfield’s flea market day – and for nights out in his youth! So this landscape is very much in his psyche – and mine too, as an honorary Northerner, residing here for nearly 20 years now.
It’s a classic Northern Industrial scene – factories, terraced houses, chimneys – the Pennine moors in the distance. This picture captures it on a winter’s day, sun low in the sky, snow covering the rooftops and vehicles slipping & sliding down the hill!
Ken used oil on gesso – the surface being painted, scratched and gouged. It’s full of character and texture. We’re still researching, but we think that this painting was exhibited at The Royal Academy in the late 1960s.
By this point, you’ll realise that we can describe it quite accurately and have taken lots of photos – yes, it did become my 5oth birthday present – it arrived today!
I just couldn’t let the opportunity for a genuine Ken Law depicting favourite subject matter slip through my fingers. There are certainly no regrets now it’s arrived – it makes me happy just looking back at the photos in this post.
Much loved already – I’ll always remember when it came to live with us. A real birthday treat!
A couple of weeks ago a fellow vintage dealer posted a photo on Instagram of an artwork they owned. Straight away I recognised the artist’s work – we also own one of her paintings. Her name is Rosslyn Ruiz… and it was the first time we learned of her full name.
Ruiz tended to sign her work merely ‘Rosslyn’ hence the reason we couldn’t find out anything about her before that fateful day. Ever since then, I’ve been on a quest to find out more about her and other examples of her work.
After quite a few Google searches, I stumbled upon a photo taken of the back of one of her paintings on which a label was stuck with the following inscription:
Rosslyn Ruiz was born in London in 1935. She is completely self-taught and began painting professionally in 1960 working with most recognised mediums and unconventional ones as well.
Her need to ‘create without rules’ has enabled her to explored and expand her techniques in texture and form. By combining holograms and collage with more traditional materials she creates contemporary paintings and has developed a unique style that demonstrates excitement and free spirit.
Rosslyn has had many successful exhibitions in Europe, America and Spain. She became well recognised in the 60s after her work was purchased by celebrities such as John Lennon, Jaqui Dupre, Thora Hird, Haley Mills, Jack Palance and Charles Bronson.
She appears to be still practising and is currently a member of Ely Art Society.
Tamara de Lempicka has been a favourite artist of ours for years. Her work isn’t from our usual era – mid century modern – it’s straight out of the Art Deco and Jazz age.
de Lempicka’s work depicts her glamorous life and that of the time in which she lived. She came from a wealthy Polish family and lived a bohemian life, socialising with aristocrats and Hollywood film stars. She married a baron, had affairs with both men and women and travelled extensively, fleeing the Russian Revolution and then World War II.
Her painting style developed and changed throughout her career however, it’s her work from the 20s & 30s that’s our favourite. Portraits of fashionable flappers, open-topped sports cars, cubist skyscrapers. Her execution of fabric – the folds, the ruffles, the shadows – is outstanding!