Welcome to our third instalment of meet the resin8er, our new series in which we hope to inspire and motivate during these extraordinary times. We will be celebrating some fantastic artists who are adapting and continuing to create while staying at home.
In this series we are showcasing the work of some of our amazing customers that have inspired us, and through a ‘virtual interview’ we have delved into their journey so far with resin – enjoy!
This week we delighted to be introducing Ruby Marr, and we would like say a huge thank you to Ruby for sharing her amazing work with us.
Please tell us a little about your background.
I come from a family of artists. My brother was an art teacher and is an amazing sculptor. My cousin is in the USA and is one of the finest artists I have ever known. Creative genes run through our veins. Most of my family have an artistic streak in one way or another.
When I left school, I sought a place at Glasgow School of Art, but sadly, back then, funds could not be procured for me to go (such was life in Urban city in the 70s). I was 29 before I took some formal training in Graphic Design at Glasgow College of Building and Printing.
In 1996, my husband and I were starting a smoked salmon company (now in its 24th year). I had a small illustrations company which specialised in illustrated baby gifts. I had a lucrative contract for calligraphy which funded our life in the early days of our smokehouse.
It was always “the deal” that later in life I could take a back seat from our very successful food and tourism business and return to my world of art.
And here I am now – fulfilling “the dream”.
How did you get into resin?
Over the years I kept “my hands in” by painting mainly in oils and acrylics. I liked to paint in mono tones, and often would create modern landscapes with shades and hues of only one colour.
In the 90s, I used to “marble” mdf furniture with enamel paints, oils and turpentine. I guess that was the first “cellular” art. I always had a fascination for chemical reactions in art.
Epoxy came to me first of all using as a coating for my acrylic work.
I was in a gallery when I came across an artist who had dripped clear resin through a beautiful landscape. I loved it – and decided I would expand my knowledge of resin, and develop my love for this incredible medium.
I have found resin an incredible journey. Over the last five years the quality of resin has come on in leaps and bounds. The pot time of resin has increased, allowing the artist to achieve results which formerly would just never have been possible.
I like to work with two resins. Sometimes I want a slower curing resin to allow me time to really work with the painting. Other times, I want something to cure quickly and, for that reason, I work with both resins to get the best results.
Where do you make your creations – do you have a studio?
Physically, my art is huge. The smallest pieces I ever do are around 3ft x 2ft. But most works are a minimum of five feet wide. I have done everything from single pieces to six piece works spanning 21 feet. I therefore need and have a purpose-built studio which allows me to different working surfaces and space. I like the safety of my studio. Using heat guns and blow torches required some diligent risk assessment – and I have fire blankets and extinguishers ready at hand!
I am still a key business partner in our food production company, but the art now is my main role. I have turned our former café and deli into a small “eco-friendly smokehouse snack shack and art gallery”. It is set in beautiful castle grounds and is a great tourist attraction. What was once the café, is now a small gallery featuring my own work, and that of other local artists.
I love the tranquility of our region of Galloway in Scotland. With its rugged coasts and wild forests, it is a beautiful region for creativity. We have both an “Art Town” and a “Book Town” nearby.
What inspires your work?
The Ocean – and in particular the Cayman Islands. My daughter moved there over thirteen years ago. My works are so focused and inspired by these beautiful islands that she and I have now established “Art by Ruby Marr Cayman Ltd”. Cayman is made up of three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman. I have spent many years visiting, and to island hop, one travels by a small plane from island to island. These journeys are my inspiration. I study the reefs, the coasts and everything in between. The people are wonderful, their kindness and hospitality is incredible. I know Cayman is my heart – and therefore I spend my life painting and emulating the passion I feel in my visits. I have learned to Scuba dive – and that opens up a whole new world underwater.
I think it’s very reflective in all of my work. Occasionally I am asked to do bespoke pieces which might feature an accent colour, but for the most part, I work in the aquamarines and vivid cobalts and turquoises of the Caribbean.
I push myself constantly. I layer my work and often a piece will have six or seven layers of pigmented resin. I fire glass chunks, and like to add different materials and textures to my works. I might capture an image on camera as I fly overhead, and then, go back to the studio trying to figure out how best I can reflect that image in my work.
For sure it is a wonderful source of inspiration.
What is your favourite Resin8 product?
Resin8 stock my two favourite resins. I cannot say one is more favoured than the other as both have important roles in my work. For me, with work going out to homes in Cayman, UV protection and being heat resistant is vital.
I have a couple of favourite pigments – I think the quality of Resin8’s opaque pigments is superb. A very little goes a long way for sure.
I have to say though, it’s the team at Resin8 that make it so special. The service and friendly support is second to none. They just do a fantastic job and my business always feels appreciated.
Do you sell your work? Where can we see your work?
My work is sold via the galleries in Cayman but I take orders and commissions for work worldwide. My Facebook and Instagram and website is ‘Art by Ruby Marr’. For commissioned works I will ask a series of questions to establish the client’s desires. If I cannot personally visit to consult, I will ask for space – and if possible photos/videos of the space where the art is to be hung. Sometimes clients will give me swatches of tile and soft furnishings so that I can colour co-ordinate.
My work has found its way into beautiful yachts and hotel interiors as well as houses which are like something straight out of “Grand Designs”. Word of mouth and reputation is everything. I get a lot of referrals and that is just wonderful.
I keep a small stock myself at the Marrbury Smokehouse Gallery and in our store in Cayman. If there is one thing I have learned it’s never to second guess which piece someone will fall in love with. The art I believe – always finds the heart.
We hope you have been inspired by Ruby’s amazing work and are enjoying this series of Meet the Resin8er. Look out for next week’s blog, when we will be introducing Rebecca Kent.