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About Ruby Marr
An interview with Ruby - play video
Ruby Marr is a passionate artist who works in a custom built “fire safe” studio in rural Galloway in Scotland UK, but divides her time between Scotland and with her family in Cayman.
Ruby has been travelling back and forth to Cayman, for over fifteen years, and in this time, her passion for the ocean, and fascination of the reefs – have inspired her to explore the medium she uses.
Qualifying as a PADI certified diver, has further enhanced the passion for her work.
Born outside Glasgow in Scotland, Ruby hails from a family of incredible artists. As a child growing up in the 70s, her oldest brother studied at Glasgow School of Art – the family home was filled with zany, crazy 70s psychedelic paintings, sculptures and “object d’art”. Art was very much a part of life in her home.
Ruby obtained a formal art education in Graphic Design at Glasgow School of Building & Printing.
Initially Ruby worked as a self-employed illustrator and calligrapher, but it was her passion for painting and working with textures, which was to lead her to her present day art.
Many years ago, Ruby experimented with various medium – she would like to mix medium such enamel paints, oil paints and turpentines – creating marbled effect patterns. She loved to work in monotones but create special effects which would create texture and movement. Her initial approach with epoxy was to create acrylic paintings which were then coated in resin, but this developed over the years into her present methods of pigmenting the resin prior to the work.
In the initial years when she visited the Cayman Islands, Ruby spent a great deal of her time on Little Cayman. It was on the island-hopping Cayman Express, where she became obsessed with replicating the incredible views she would see from her flights. “Island hopping inspiration shopping” – The flight between the islands is almost like being a human drone and affords incredible views which become the focus of her work.
Ruby has spent the last seven years working with pigmented resin and fire, experimenting with numerous media and pigments to achieve beautiful effects. Ruby works in multiple layers on custom built birch panels. She will work “bottom to top” – to create fascinating layers which draw the viewer in, and indeed are ever changing with the light of day and night.
As well as artists’ oil, polymers, pigments and micas' – Ruby combines her work with textures created from various medium and can include artists’ crete, and recycled glass which she fires and “makes safe” herself. She likes to add elements such as 24ct gold leaf, and indeed real diamond dust to achieve the result she desires.
Fire and heat are her main tools. She works with silicone brushes, welding tools, flame throwing tools, blow torches of various sizes and heat guns with special shaped nozzles. Her studio is purpose built for safety – and some work takes place outdoors in the fields of her Scottish home. Much of her work is on large panels. Resin is exothermic – especially when pigmented – so the bigger the area she is working on, the more difficult the task is to perfect.
Epoxy “back in the day” was sticky and would yellow. Over the years resin has been vastly improved, and now when combined with artists’ quality pigments, will remain vivid in color for generations to come. There are even water based resins in production now. Ruby uses four different kinds of resin – each one presenting a different working time, and with a unique purpose. When layering her work she will start with a slower curing resin, and finish with a hard fast cast to present a perfect glass finish. She has a no waste policy, and any unused resin is either crafted into moulds for small craft gifts, or donated to mosaic artist students.
As well as the Ritz-Carlton Art Gallery, Ruby has been featured at Scotland’s artist town gallery “Kirkcudbright Gallery. The Whitehouse Gallery. The Harbour Cottage Gallery, and Carsluith Castle Gallery.
Between 2018 and 2021 she has sold over sixty large works and has been commissioned to produce multiple pieces for stunning homes, yachts and corporate offices. Each piece can take around six to eight weeks to complete – her studio has huge work islands where she works in rotation, to allow for drying time between layers and at the same time, allows her to work on a daily basis.
In 2020, Ruby was invited to be a “Brand Ambassador” for a well-known UK arts company.
Her work “Blue Waters” has been printed on compostable hot drinks cups in Australia, Singapore and New Zealand – and is still in use today. The original was sold at auction in the Ritz-Carlton Cayman where it obtained a nice donation for the Cayman Breast Cancer Foundation.
Although she will deviate from time to time with abstract, galactic and a “bespoke color choice” art, Ruby loves to work primarily in the colors of Cayman. From the deep teal, navy blue and cobalt she sees in the reef, the aquamarines and emeralds of the shore – to the texture of the golden sands, Ruby’s passion and love for Cayman, is ever evident in her work. She wants her art to bring a smile every day and for the viewer to constantly discover little depths and pockets of fascination. No matter where in the world one is, the ocean and Cayman, will reside in their home.
Peace and Kai it
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