My cultural life: artist Ruthie Ashenhurst
Ruthie Ashenhurst is a semi-abstract figurative and landscape artist based in Dublin and the Beara Peninsula, West Cork. She taught art and design for 12 years, before concentrating full-time on painting.
"I love what I do and don't consider it work, and knowing I never have to retire. Following on from a very busy and most successful 2017, I will be participating at house in the RDS in May, and West Cork Creates in Skibbereen in August, Art Source and The Edinburgh Art Fair in November. I have just taken part in the Scoop Foundation Art Auction and Incognito in The Solomon Gallery for Jack and Jill. My work can be viewed at my home in Ballsbridge." ruthieashenhurst.com
TV: Mad Men
Mad Men (above) was wonderful. That era of the 1940s was so well depicted. I love the fashion, of not only the females, but the style of the men. I feel myself drawn to painting men in trilby hats and suits typical of that era. House of Cards was another epic drama. Totally absorbing and brilliantly acted.
Artist: Christian Hook
So many artists I admire but my current contemporary favourites are Christian Hook from Gibraltar, winner of Sky Portrait Artist of the Year 2014, and Colin Davidson. Both have a most original and distinct style which looks effortless, but is so technical and clever. I watched the John Kelly interview with Colin the other day and was in awe of not only the likeness of his portraits but his painting style, and the art of translating this style to whatever subject he is painting.
My all-time favourite is Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks, a war novel and family saga following a British soldier on the front line in Amiens during World War I. Wonderfully descriptive and evocative; I was reliving the experience of that boy in the trenches. Any writer who lets you lose yourself in the book to that extent is a winner in my opinion.
Music: Piano Concerto No.3
My happy place is my studio in West Cork where I paint listening to music and Radio 4. I wish I played an instrument, so I have great admiration for all musicians. Whenever I hear Rachmaninoff being played, it stops me in my tracks. Just love it, especially the Piano Concerto No.3.
Design: Georgian Dublin
I love buildings and interior design and everything connected with that. The detail and balance of Georgian Dublin (above) inspires me. I love either very modern or very old architecture.
house 2018 is Ireland's only trend-led and style-focused interiors event taking place in Dublin's RDS on May 25-27, showcasing world-class design and the cream of Irish interiors talent. Buy your tickets now at www.house-event.ie/tickets Under 12s go free.
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