Exploring Maximalist Art with Ruth Crothers.

Ruth Crothers is the artist behind @ruth_prints on Instagram. Ruth’s art style is bold, colourful, and maximalist. Recently she was involved in an artist takeover of The Vault Artist Studio Instagram account, she also teaches  Textile Print part time at Ulster University and creates licensed artworks remotely for a textiles studio based in New York.  Ruth spoke to The Jumble Magazine about her art style, breathing colour, and her constant need to create. 

I would describe my art as centering around colour that B R E A T H E S… 

Living a colourful life is one that has a full spectrum of colours, ups and  downs, bad and good, dark and light, for me colour is a living thing- hence -it  breathes. 

Contemporary illustration of historical Belfast created as part of the Entries Project, orchestrated by Daisy Chain Inc. for Belfast  City Council. It depicts the history of the Entries between Ann Street and High Street and was a textile street art paste up. The print on linen is wrapped  and pasted round a junction box on High Street just outside Snappy Snaps. This 
design has also been turned into a ltd. Edition of Teatowels which are currently  sold through the Vault shop. (Created by Polish)

I have found myself in a position where  I can’t not create. Creating is honestly vital. I have to do it  and I don’t think I could survive without it. Painting has become my personal form of meditation, when I can’t paint I feel really frustrated. This urge to feel happy and peaceful drives me to create. Luckily I  don’t seem to have a shortage of inspiration, it comes from anything and everything. I keep notes on my phone and use the camera to take quick snaps of things when I see them. I love reading about art and design and I’m desperate to get back to seeing exhibitions soon. Music is also super important, not a day goes by without me listening to something and I always listen whilst painting….  Oh to see a live performance again! 

I like trying things  out and experimenting with new techniques, it means I don’t ever get bored creating and I think this has helped my style evolve and become quite versatile. I believe my art could work in many different applications.  The thing that tends to unite it is always maximalist colour and pattern with a sense of humour. 

Comic strip of my daily routine for #thevaultialtimes.
Cancer Daily Horoscope: Mercury is retrograde… again. Technology breaks down,  expect delays in communication and an onslaught of chaos. You will not meet the  love of your life in the near or distant future. Not today, not tomorrow and  definitely not in this lifetime. Sorry little crab.’

My work feels very representative of who I am. I’m  generally very happy and open. I feel comfortable in myself so I don’t mind sharing. I’m not perfect but that’s ok! I guess to me it just feels honest, it reflects all of those characteristics. There’s pressure to post on social media for many artists but I feel confident that even if we didn’t have that, I’d still be creating. Truthfully, creativity is just a way of life for me. 

The past year of Lock downs has actually been ok for me. My work had a strong textile screen-print focus prior to the pandemic but back then I didn’t have access to my equipment, so I just began painting from my kitchen table instead. I  completely rediscovered this during the first lockdown and now I’m hooked. Generally I’ve been ok-  but I just miss going out and seeing people. 

The best thing about the local art scene is the accessibility of it, I think it  would be much harder in a larger city to even get your foot in the door but  here it’s definitely much easier to make connections. People are especially 

friendly, welcoming and supportive which is a blessing. Big shout out to  my art fam @vaultartistsni  

Ltd. Edition Tee release for @vaultartistsni . I share a studio in Vault and I’m full of so much love, respect and admiration for the artists that  occupy the building. There’s a diverse range of artforms found under one roof and the number of artists I think is now over 130. Don’t know where I’d be  without this place or these people. Eternally grateful! (Created by Polish)

Ruth is Currently working on a piece around the theme of loneliness for an online exhibition for the NI Mental Health Arts Festival which runs from the 11th to the 16th May coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week which will be available on nimhaf.org.

You can check out more of her work over on Instagram, and learn more about Vault Artist Studio on their own Instagram Account

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