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  • Writer's pictureartbyrubymarr

Locked In Chilled Out

Hey - Lockdown - Who on this earth could have predicted this huh?

Facemasks - rubber gloves- PPE and had we ever heard the term "Social distancing?"

I am a "hugger" - I have to STOP - NO hugging Rube - stay back girl!

I was in Cayman when things kind of "exploded" - I thought it might be pushing my luck asking my daughter to put up with me for the duration lol - So needless to say, I was on the triple7 before it was too late (for them not me lol).

I really should have no excuse for not updating my blog -

I am sorry - The tail end of last year saw me in a throng of hospital visits for family, and indeed,my own health gave me a bit of jip - (nothing serious but just a darn pain) and before I knew it, it was March 20 and I was headed to Cayman to deliver some precious cargo.

I had a super visit - headed out to Stingray City, Sandbanks and toured the island - picking up new ideas and inspirations. I delivered my art - and before I knew it I was heading back to Scotland to my studio.

And then


Actually, let me confess. I do not know one single artist who cannot cope with isolation and lockdown.

We are happy as pigs in the proverbial let me tell you.

No phones ringing, no visitors calling, Monday drifts into Tuesday drifts into Sunday and its groundhog day every day.

For an artist (don't fib now you arty people reading this - you know I'm telling the truth) this isolation period comes easily. We like our own company. Give us our paints and materials, some music and coffee and we are good to go my friend. Isolation for us is a blessing. Its true - honestly - No pressures, no deadlines - we just tap into our best creative resources and get to work.

For me personally, the worse things has been losing my sweet Mum. She was not far off ninety and lead a wonderful life. She just didn't have the strength to keep fighting on - and wanted to go "home" to her Lord and to my Dad. Losing a parent at any time is tragic, losing a loved one during CoVid19 is a whole different ball game.

But life - and death happen. Not being able to hug my brothers has been the sorest thing. My oldest brother was an art teacher and is a great influence in my life. He gives me advice along the way and is the anchor in my family. Not to be able to hold him and have a cuddle - well - it sucks it really does,

But I know there are families all around the world going through the same and worse.

As a family we dealt with it as best we could. We were able to have a very small family funeral - and afterwards, as it was on my way home, I stopped at Croy Bay Beach, Ayrshire. It was the beach of my childhood and (so my parents tell me) if I were to be labelled it would say "Made in Croy Shore" .. (TMI MOTHER!).

My husband and I walked along the beach and it was honestly one of the nicest days I have seen in Scotland in my entire life. I facetimed our daughter to cheekily remind her "TeeHee We are on the beach you aren't!" (that is a turn around lol).

Looking out beyond the sea to Ailsa Craig - my beloved landmark and often one which features in my art. For sure I am inspired to create a Croy Bay piece - It was a rare cobalt blue - and with so few visitors, was the perfect peace for me to reflect my life with my precious Mum. God Bless her - she was a diamond and the world was a better place for having her in it.

Over the winter I was working on commissioned art. I really love being awarded a commission. To view a home in the stages of construction, to engage with my clients in the design process, really is a dream come true. Some works never go public - so if I seem to disappear for months on end, chances are I am working on something "hush hush" ;)

When I visited in October I met with clients Mr & Mrs B.

They picked me up and together we drove over to South Sound where I was to enjoy a grand tour of their spectacular home which was still in the construction process.

They are a fantastic couple and were very clear with their design and their home concept.

Their detail was amazing - and I wondered around the not quite built home - working in my head from plans and drawings.

Normally - and I would say nine times of out ten - I am asked for blue Ocean Art, It is after all my speciality. However Mrs B was very concise - Mrs B wanted PINK!

And not just any old pink, a specific pink - I was delighted however that Mrs. B has swatches and samples from her furnishings - and this would be the core of my design.

Their living space looks up through a very grand modern open three storey stairwell.

Mrs.B wanted something "pink" for the stairwell wall.

I had a study at it - and came up with a plan for a triptych.

The idea would be - that each piece when hung - would mirror the stairway and reflect all the colors in their new lounge. I would be aiming to create a pink triptych mixed with tones of their off whites, greys and taupe. I could not wait to get cracking on this one!!

Armed with tile, sofa swatches and photographs of their big gorgeous dog (Yes, I put a little bit of his coat color in there!) I was bursting to get back to the studio and to get cracking on my pink challenge.

For their top floor, which overlooks their spectacular black swimming pool - we agreed on a nice reef piece - which I completed in gorgeous blues and deep teals.

These photos were taken of the reef piece mid creation - Believe it or not I didn't get time to finish snapping some images before it was due to be packed for Cayman - Suffice to say its an absolute beauty and looks amazing in its' South Sound home :)

It is not often I give you a before and after - but -

The art was duly titled (By Mrs B) "Pretty In Pink" and all you who were Psychedelic Furs fans now know what I was singing to whilst painting!) and Pretty in Pink it is!

Mid process - some images from my studio: the glass drips you see I blow torch off and finish to perfection.

Along the way, I updated Mrs B (It was to be a surprise for Mr B he was to be kept in the dark until I delivered) . Her input is invaluable to me. I have to know I am on the right track. Seeing the couples' plans and their spectacular home - I didnt want to make a mess of this -

When I am working in my studio it is in no way glamorous. It is a messy place designed for its purpose of producing great art. Bright harsh lighting, floors which are now - well - lets just say multi coloured - I have in my head a home worthy of a place in "Grand Designs" and have to see the vision of placement in my head.

Fast forward six months and the great reveal came.

I was so excited to meet this lovely couple again - and see the fruition of their months of work in creating this magnificent home.

It did not disappoint. Everywhere my daughter and I turned, was another WOW factor.

I feel so very humbled they chose me as their artist - and it is a wonderful bonus that we have now become firm friends .

Mrs B kindly took some photographs, and is allowing me to share them with you.

It is a spectacular home - and I could not be more proud of the outcome

What do you think?

And look at their handsome boy!! <3

There is no doubt about it - Getting me to do a consultation when I am on island really is the way forward when you are in a grand house design. Or - if that is not possible, walk me through on a video and keep me swatches - This truly results in picture perfection :)

And I really do put my heart and soul into commissions - they mean so very much to me .

Thank you both Mr and Mrs B - cant wait to visit again in October!

So meantime

If you are interested in this range which I am working on at the moment do let me know.

I am using fired glass and 24ct gold leaf- Still works in progress

See you soon - for now I am absolutely "LOCKED IN AND CHILLED OUT" (and THAT is the title of this piece!)

Locked In Chilled Out


I am off to eat more food, drink more coffee - and create more great art!!

One Love <3

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