Tag Archives: ruth mccabe

LAST CHANCE TO VISIT… the final weekend of ARTWORKS 2017

It is the final weekend of ARTWORKS 18th Annual Exhibition at Blackthorpe Barn! Thank you to everyone who has supported Artworks in 2017. If you have not yet visited, we invite you to see the Artworks 2017 exhibition before it closes on Sunday 1st October 2017.

For returning visitors, the last weekend is often a quieter occasion to discover many smaller works of art not easily seen at the bustling, crowded Private View evening (click link to see photos).

It is also an opportunity to discover some unique art-related gifts by established East Anglian artists, either in the Artworks Shop area or in the many browsers of prints and paintings by the wall displays. Every sale from the exhibition, from a postcard to a large painting or sculpture, will support the creative work of our group of artists.

Saturday at ARTWORKS
On Saturday 30th September, one of this year’s guest artistsHazel Bradshaw, will be demonstrating ‘Impractical Pots’, which will be intriguing – pop in to watch some ‘art in action’ – there is no need to book a place and entry is free.


‘Coastal’ by Hazel Bradshaw

At 3pm on Saturday, the Artworks Prize Draw takes place, hosted by Lucy Lutyens. Always a thrilling occasion, this is a chance to win one of thirty original artworks, all generously donated by the artists in Artworks. The prize draw tickets are £2 each. Monies raised from the Artworks Prize Draw will fund next year’s Artists in Schools workshops, and we also donate a proportion of funds raised to a charity – this year we voted to support Teenage Cancer Trust.

Sunday at ARTWORKS
If you plan to visit ARTWORKS on Sunday (the last day), arrive before 2pm to allow plenty of time to see the whole exhibition. From 3pm on the last day of Artworks, Blackthorpe Barn can get busy as art buyers begin to arrive to collect their purchased artworks. You will probably meet some of the exhibiting artists at this time as we prepare to take down the exhibition.

Also on Sunday, Ruth McCabe is the day’s demonstration artist, sharing her distinctive painting processes & techniques with watercolour, all at the demonstration table in the thatched barn, from 10.30am to 4pm. The image below is of Ruth’s new series of watercolours in this year’s exhibition.

Lastly, the Artworks Ivy Café is open on Saturday and Sunday for scrumptious homemade cakes, scones and shortbread, pots of tea and brewed coffee. For the more health-conscious, we also have herbal teas and fresh fruit on offer.

It is a relaxing space, a little café situated at the end of the long thatched barn, a place to meet up with friends or read through the Artworks catalogue. The Artworks Ivy Café also has a selection of small paintings for sale on the walls.

Entry to the Artworks exhibition is free, and our colour exhibition catalogue is also free!

Do not miss this last chance to view our annual art exhibition – we believe it’s our best year yet, and from the feedback we have received so far, many visitors agree!

Follow us on Twitter @ARTWORKS_east for exhibition updates.

ARTWORKS 18th Annual Exhibition
Saturday 9th September to Sunday 1st October 2017
Blackthorpe Barn, Rougham
Bury St Edmunds
IP30 9HZ


Open 10am to 5pm, free entry, complimentary full-colour catalogue. Blackthorpe Barn is on ground level with easy access, free parking.

All work in the exhibition is for sale. Payment can be made by cash, cheque, or any of the major credit/debit cards.

Ruth McCabe: Open Studio & Art Sale on Saturday 23rd September 2017

Ruth McCabe: Open Studio and Sale on Saturday 23rd September 2017.

A retrospective showing work in a variety of media, from large to very small will be available to see and buy.

Those curious to explore the journey I’ve made since I began to paint in 1997 will be able to enjoy the collection, arranged chronologically.

A brief intro…

My earliest pieces were often painted in acrylic like these limes, a large piece…


A few years later, having switched to oils, my work was still pursuing figurative forms…


….but also abstraction, like this piece – a response to a walk in spring woodland…


….and this even more abstract response to sunlight on a favourite footpath I walk regularly…


This later oil is based on returning to my Yorkshire roots and shows the beginning of a period in which I enjoyed using texture.


Two more textured oils from this period… “Snow Ewes” and “Spring Surge”



At this time I would often apply white oil, creating texture with the palette knife, then once dry, rub other pigments onto the textured surface with my finger. Loved it!

Boats were a regular subject in these years, loving their rounded forms and general buoyancy! These always sold well and only a few very small works remain like this oil on canvas which was one of a series of pieces painted to show alongside the ceramics of Usch Spettigue.


In 2010 I began exploring the medium of watercolour, in a curious response to the combination of struggling through a long long winter of snow and ice which seemed unwilling to let go its grip, followed immediately by the driest April ever, when trees began shedding their leaves to reduce water loss. Somehow this left me wanting to work in a thin, sparing medium and I persevered through a year of frustration (watercolour is so difficult) until I began to achieve pieces I liked. This early watercolour won its way into The Mall Galleries in the Sunday Times 25th Contemporary Watercolour Competition exhibition. I was thrilled, and doubly delighted to find that they’d chosen my piece to use on the cover of their brochure. How I wish this had led to some interest from a London gallery.


Continuing since 2011 to develop my practice in the use of watercolour, I am grateful to competitions like the Sunday Times and Royal Watercolour Society’s Contemporary competition, in the hope that these prestigious bodies change the art world’s prejudiced view of ‘watercolour’ as the medium for ‘amateur dabbling’. I love its translucency and flow, and never work in a tight, controlled way.

So please come and visit the studio and the two additional spaces I will be setting up to show this collection. I hope to make it an interesting journey for you.

There will also be unframed pieces, cards and some wire works.
Look for the signs to get you to me! Come straight to the studio.

During the painting demo (see poster below), work can still be seen in the cottage.


Saturday 23rd September 2017, 10am until 4pm
Threeways, Coles Hill, Wenhaston IP19 9DS

11am to 12 noon Watercolour demo in the studio: working loosely with this medium. Please email ruth@threeways.mail1.co.uk to book your place since due to space restrictions, only 6 places available, £3.00 per person.

All visitors please come straight to the studio. Other rooms of work will be open for browsing during the demo if you arrive while that is taking place.

Twitter: @mccabe_ruth
Instagram: @ruthmccabe8420

Solo Exhibition for Ruth McCabe at Burnham Grapevine Gallery

Burnham Market is home to Burnham Grapevine Contemporary Arts where Ruth McCabe’s solo show opens on Saturday 8th April 2017. Over 30 pieces of her work in oils and watercolour will be on display in the gallery throughout April.


Burnham Grapevine is an independent gallery with a reputation built over the last 15 years both for the range and quality of work shown and for its friendly and approachable character. Situated in one of the oldest buildings int Burnham Market, the gallery is just a five minute stroll from the Green, along either Front Street or North Street towards the eastern end of the village.


Ruth’s work in oils and on canvas are most often a response to the East Suffolk landscape, and are either energetic and textured, or worked into smooth flowing abstract forms.


Her watercolours arise from similar inspiration and are worked in translucent layers of pure watercolour on hand made paper.


With over 30 pieces in the show at Burnham Grapevine Contemporary Arts, there are a range of unusual pieces, coming out of different landscapes such as North Wales, and sometimes, a result of her love of the creatures of the Suffolk landscape.


Ruth has been an exhibitor in the Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Competitions.
Bankside Gallery, London, and a finalist and exhibitor in Sunday Times Contemporary Watercolour Competition, Mall Galleries, London.

In 2016 she made a brief television appearance as a competitor at Stowe House, in the Sky Arts “Landscape Artist of the Year 2016”.


Burnham Grapevine Contemporary Art
Overy Road
Burnham Market
PE31 8HH
Tel: 01328 730125

Follow Ruth McCabe on Twitter: @mccabe_ruth

Inspired by Becker Art Society (IBBAS) exhibition, Wenhaston Suffolk

Artworks’ Ruth McCabe on the Inspired by Becker Art Society (IBBAS) annual exhibition in Wenhaston, Suffolk:

Inspired by Becker Art Society (IBBAS) exhibition comes to St. Peter’s, Wenhaston again!

Over four years we have celebrated a Suffolk village’s connection to the artist Harry Becker, whose work superbly recorded the sweat and toil of pre-mechanised farm labour in the early years of last century. Becker trained across Europe and worked for a time in London before moving out to Wenhaston, Suffolk. Unfortunately, in contrast to Constable, his work has been largely overlooked by the art world.

Enthusiastically supported by artists and the public, IBBAS is delighted that, again, we have been inundated with applications to exhibit in our annual exhibition, and this year 34 East Anglian artists are offering contemporary work which is in some way ‘inspired by Becker”. Over half the artists are new to the show, so visitors can be assured that there will once again be an exciting and inspiring collection of work.

Jo Lowrie exhibits with us for the first time this year, “Autumnal Hush” in oil giving a sense of her sensitive response to the Suffolk landscape, confirmed in the words of her statement:

Having lived in Suffolk most of my life and conscious of the old farming traditions, I was thrilled to be introduced to Harry Becker’s work some 15 years ago. It immediately tapped into long forgotten memories of that rural world he was recording, and which ever since, I have tried to express through my own work. The images I am currently producing are of that hushed sensation when harvest is over, the fields are bleached gold, the sun is low and the journey towards the solstice has begun.


Jo Lowrie, “Autumnal Hush”

By way of contrast, IBBAS also welcomes artists whose work tends more towards the abstract, Ruth McCabe offering this large watercolour in which the landscape is interpreted in translucent layers built up over time and reflecting the distant horizons and unfolding forms so much a feature of the Suffolk agricultural habitat.


For visitors who love the loose, swiftly executed drawings of Harry Becker, Margaret Wyllie’s work in charcoal might appeal: Hereford mother and child, Suffolk Show, 2016.


Margaret Wyllie, Hereford mother and child, Suffolk Show

We believe this exhibition has at its heart a very special feature: the fact that its purpose is to celebrate and raise public awareness about the work of Harry Becker. It’s a work of love!

In addition to our annual exhibition, IBBAS now runs a drawing event for all ages once a year in the village, and recently we began work with the village school on a drawing and painting project, donating our bespoke sketchbooks paid for with money we received for our work in a local arts project in 2015. In these we encouraged the children to make their own marks, responding to the village around them. The school’s project will culminate in a large mural in the Village Hall based on their drawings, which will be completed with the children in the Autumn term.

A NEW FEATURE has been introduced this year: Plein-Air Painting competition: “PAINT OUT” open to all. It will take place on Saturday 6th August 2016. Work produced will be exhibited from 1pm onwards and can be for sale. Prizes will be awarded! Come and have a go!!! Participation is free. Bring your own materials and register at the church 10am on Saturday.

We’d be delighted if readers could support us at the exhibition this August.
Opening times: Friday 5th and Saturday 6th August 10am until 5pm, and Sunday 7th August 10am until 4pm. Card payment available.
Venue: St. Peter’s Church, Wenhaston, Suffolk IP19 9BJ.

St. Peter’s will be providing their delicious refreshments in the Church Room over the weekend.

Find out more about Becker, the exhibition and the competition on

Inspired by Becker Art Society

Ruth McCabe and Alfie Carpenter art exhibition at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

Artworks members Ruth McCabe and Alfie Carpenter have paired up to exhibit their evocative landscape paintings at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge.


The exhibition follows on from Alfie’s display entitled Circulation at St James’ Hospital, Leeds, where over £4000 was raised for cancer charities. Fundraising continues with the opportunity to sponsor a large painting donated to the hospital and enter a raffle where you can win an original mini artwork which Alfie will paint for you. To be in with a chance, please make a contribution here – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AlfieCarpenterPainting


Alfie Carpenter, Fenland

Of his work at Addenbrookes, Alfie says he “wanted to capture the expansive patchwork of the flat fenlands around Cambridgeshire. I love the inescapable horizon which forces you to gaze into the far out distance; asking you to look forward and ponder that which lays ahead. For me, I thought of the NHS, the state of our planet and our society’s wellbeing in these uncertain times.

In recent years, evidence has emerged which shows that displaying artwork in hospital spaces is successfully encouraging patient and staff wellbeing. A study at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital found that 75% of patients found the presence of art in the hospital reduced stress levels. Remarkably, evidence also suggested that patients exposed to visual art and live music during the post-operative period required less analgesia per day than patients recovering in the absence of visual art and live music. These patients also stayed one day less in hospital.


Alfie Carpenter, Sewing seeds

As an artist with a background in botany and zoology, Ruth McCabe has exhibited with the Royal Watercolour Society at Bankside Gallery, London, and in the Sunday Times Contemporary Watercolour Competition at the Mall Galleries, London.


Ruth McCabe, Estuary reed bed

I love the natural world in all its shapes, forms and climates, whether it is classically beautiful, or scarred by industry. The nature of living organisms fills me with awe. As an undergraduate I studied Botany and Zoology, which taught me to look very carefully. It also deepened my appreciation of the immense complexity of form and function in living things. I enjoy the translucency of watercolour and its flow over the surface, and the rich texture and depth of colour of oils.

The collection presented for Addenbrookes offers Ruth’s responses to two contrasting landscapes: the quiet undramatic agricultural landscape of east and coastal Suffolk and, from her 2015 residency in Snowdonia, the massive powerful forms of that mountainous region and its slate quarries.


Ruth McCabe, Dark Gorge

Ruth is also one of the organisers of Inspired by Becker, an exhibition that will take place at St Peter’s Church in Wenhaston, Suffolk  from 5th to 7th August 2016, and will tell the story behind this initiative, now in its fourth year of presenting contemporary artwork by artists inspired by the work of Harry Becker who lived in Wenhaston early last century.


CELEBRATING THE COMPLETION OF HER NEW STUDIO, Ruth McCabe invites visitors between 11am and 3pm Tuesday 14th June through to Friday 17th June. And on Saturday 18th June between 10 and 2pm. Pop in to see what I’m working on and enjoy the new space!


Built over a period of several months the studio gives me much more space and height so I’m hoping it will encourage me to work large! In the winter I will also be delighted to hunker down in the mornings before a little woodburner, coffee in hand.


My work is developing along two lines at present: my response in watercolour and oil to the Suffolk agricultural landscape of the Blyth Valley, and slowly emerging paintings inspired by my 2015 artist residency in Snowdonia at Stiwdio Maelor.

Two recent examples to whet your appetite:


An imperial size painting in watercolour, acrylic ink and pastel, of the mountainous landscape of North Wales, where I found the marks made by man’s industrial efforts: the slate quarries – as beautiful as the inherent colours and forms of the land itself.


This watercolour is painted in the format I have come to love: half imperial but halved length-wise, is one of the views of the Blyth Valley that I love. Watercolour’s translucency is ideal for responding the the layers in the landscape, unfolding towards distant horizons.

Threeways, Coles Hill, Wenhaston. IP19 9DS
01502 478295

Ruth McCabe: New Exhibition ‘Illumination’ at Aubrey Gallery

From 1st June to 30th July Ruth McCabe will be showing twelve watercolours in the Aubrey Gallery’s show, ‘ILLUMINATION’.

‘ILLUMINATION’ is a joint exhibition featuring work by Ruth McCabe and Sue Eaton. The artists will be in the gallery between 11am – 1pm on Saturday 4th June 2016.

1st June to 30th July 2016
Aubrey Art Gallery
Great Dunmow
Tel: 01371 873133

Ruth works with translucent layers of watercolour pigment to build up abstract interpretations of the landscape. Living in East Suffolk she has chosen pieces which show the impact of light on the agricultural and coastal formations so typical of this region.


Ruth McCabe, Sunset Light, watercolour on paper

Within the collection there are also pieces which have emerged following a residency in North Wales in 2015, where the massive land forms around her, and the places where industry made its impact set a different challenge. In particular she spent time exploring a disused slate quarry, watching the light as it moved across man-made rock faces and forms. It was a place of great presence, bringing to mind thoughts of the violence which had removed rock from the mountain, juxtaposed against the beauty of colour, and colonisation of plant life since work stopped. There were even tadpoles in August in the shallow pools.


Ruth McCabe, Light in dark places, watercolour

For an overview of the ‘ILLUMINATION’ exhibition and opening times of the gallery, please visit www.aubreyartgallery.com/index.html

To see Ruth’s twelve pieces in the exhibition, visit www.aubreyartgallery.com/pages/mccabe/ruthmccabe.html

An Invitation to Ruth McCabe’s ‘Open Studio’ on 4th & 5th December 2015

ARTWORKS News: Ruth McCabe invites you to her ‘Open Studio’ event in Wenhaston, Suffolk, on Friday 4th December 2015 10am to 1pm and Saturday 5th December 2015 11am to 2pm.


Ruth says: I have lots of unframed work such as these following pieces, together with framed oils and watercolours, and cards. It would be lovely to see you.


Ruth McCabe : Open Studio
Friday 4th December 2015 10am to 1pm AND Saturday 5th December 2015 11am to 2pm
In the Conservatory at Threeways
Coles Hill
IP19 9DS

Note to visitors: Please park round the corner and walk back a few yards down Coles Hill to come in the gate to the conservatory.

Tel: 01502 478295
Email: ruth@threeways.mail1.co.uk






Ruth McCabe

Selected for exhibition in the annual Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Competition, Bankside Gallery, London. Finalist and exhibitor in Sunday Times Contemporary Watercolour Competition, Mall Galleries, London.


Artists in ARTWORKS: Ruth McCabe: Heart leaps of excitement or suffusings of gratitude lead me to paint…

Artists in the ARTWORKS exhibition 2015: Ruth McCabe

The rain did not stop

The rain did not stop

Heart leaps of excitement or suffusings of gratitude lead me to paint…

Artworks 16th Annual Exhibition
Saturday 5 – Sunday 27 September 2015
Open daily 10am – 5pm

Blackthorpe Barn
Rougham Estate
Bury St Edmunds
IP30 9HZ

The Artworks exhibition is open daily, 10am to 5pm, admission is free, ample parking, wheelchair accessible. Free exhibition catalogue.

We also have the ARTWORKS shop for visitors to browse: original handmade prints, small paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics, glass and metalwork, large range of greetings cards and artist postcards. There is also a café selling light refreshments.

Inspired by Becker Exhibition 2015: LOCAL ARTIST STILL INSPIRES

The ‘Inspired by Becker’ exhibition, first held in 2013, is now run by the Inspired by Becker Art Society as an annual event in Wenhaston. It brings together over 30 East Anglian artists to celebrate and honour Becker’s body of work by presenting their own artwork for sale.

Jane Hodgson, The fluff is flying, 2015

Jane Hodgson, The fluff is flying, oil on canvas, 2015

Who was Harry Becker?
Harry Becker lived in Wenhaston during the early years of the 20th century and was probably the last artist of note to record the work of the farming community in England before the advent of the tractor. His work is much admired by the artistic community for its immediacy and truth. Impressionistic in style, he had an unrivalled ability to capture the relentless toil of rural life. ‘Inspired by Becker’ acknowledges the debt owed to a painter who died in poverty and whose work was forgotten for almost 70 years. He died here in 1928.

Mike Holtom, Sole Bay 68, oil on canvas

Mike Holtom, Sole Bay 68, oil on canvas, 2015

Inspired by Becker Exhibition, over four days: 31 July to 3rd August 2015
St. Peter’s Wenhaston will again host this exhibition which combines fine art with warm heartedness. Please make a note in your diary and be one of the hundreds (literally) of people who enjoy whiling away an hour or two in the beautiful church enjoying the work we present in honour of Harry. Artists’ commission on sales contributes to a donation we make to St Peter’s.

Emma Green, April Showers, 2015, oil on canvas

Emma Green, April Showers, 2015, oil on canvas

Conducted walks
If you have picked up a Waveney and Blyth Arts programme for the 2015 summer season, you may notice that two walks are planned to coincide with the exhibition period. These should be booked through W&BA. On Saturday 1st August 2015, a walk through Becker’s landscape in the Blyth Valley will take in beautiful scenery and hopefully some of the creatures we are privileged to share it with. The walk will end with breakfast in the old Church Room in Wenhaston.

Ruth McCabe, Tired ewe, watercolour on paper

Ruth McCabe, Tired ewe, watercolour on paper, 2015

On Sunday evening as darkness falls, the second walk will be led by bat expert Alan Marshall from Suffolk Wildlife Trust, beginning in a candlelit St. Peter’s with a short talk on the mediaeval Doom and the resident batty congregation(!), and taking an easy stroll round Church Common for encounters with more bats.

Becky Muntin, Rook, acrylic on vintage manuscript, 2015

Becky Munting, Rook, acrylic on vintage manuscript, 2015

Scything and sketching
On Saturday 1st August 2015, weather permitting, the Wenhaston Commons Group will turn out for a scything demo somewhere in Wenhaston. Exhibition artists will be on hand for visitors of all ages who would like to try some sketching. Materials will be provided. Who knows, you may turn out to be the next Harry Becker!! One thing run by for sure: you will discover how hard it is to draw people on the move!!

Annie Brundrit, Tell Tale Hill, etching on paper, 2015

Annie Brundrit, Tell Tale Hill, etching on paper, 2015

Since the first exhibition in 2013, we have been overwhelmed and delighted with the support both from artists wanting to exhibit and from the public visiting the show.

The Inspired by Becker Art Society will run future exhibitions, continuing our celebration of Wenhaston’s connection to Harry Becker. Artist members can enjoy sketching throughout the year in our plein air sketch group, and we’d also love to hear from anyone who’d like to support this event. Please contact ibbartsociety@gmail.com for further details.




CONTACT ibbartsociety@gmail.com for details of the Inspired by Becker exhibition and of membership.