We are really excited to have the opporunity to speak with this special "Modern Muse" - Ruby Bateman.
Hello Ruby- let's start.
Where are you right now?
I’m sitting at my desk in my home studio, in Hackney, London. There’s a lot of cat activity going on outside my window, nearly all my neighbours in my little victorian close have cat flaps on their doors, they never fail to amuse and distract me!
How would you describe a good day for yourself?
A good day always starts with exercise first thing, I either do yoga at home, or run around the park next to my house, which is more like a miniature woodland, a real oasis in London. I don’t know whether this is because I’m an artist, but I’m a very sensory person, so I ground myself in the morning by lighting candles, burning palo santo, drinking herbal tea and making sure my workspace is clean before I begin anything. I’m at my best when I’m painting or drawing, when it’s moving out of me quite organically, like pure intuition. This is usually when I’m processing a thought or a feeling quite urgent within me, or I’ve read a piece of history or philosophy that I feel I need to speak up on. Oh and food, my whole day centres around that mainly too! Eating things that are nourishing for me and home cooked, with lots of tea breaks that appease my low key addiction to peanut butter on toast...
What brings you inspiration?
Lots of things! It’s usually the classics, antiquity, architecture, old renaissance frescos that are covered with incredible patterns, especially tiled floors. For a quick hit, I sometimes peruse pinterest to frog leap from old Grecian statues to Charleston house interiors to contemporary fashion editorials to get ideas for colourscapes, the human form and other motifs. I think being in nature as much as you can is great for recharging and igniting your energetic and creative consciousness. I love walking in london parks, down canals, or even into central where I can be surrounded by centuries of beautiful architecture, London is a very romantic place.
Do you like your job?
Yes, a lot!
What colour describes you best?
I love green, absolutely adore olive-hues and limes but I think people know me best for the earthy reds and browns in my paintings!
Are you in love?
Yes, and with so many other things, especially with being an artist.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on something slightly new, experimenting with creating more voluminous and detailed figures inspired by medieval and Renaissance paintings, and strangely enough my old teenage work too. I feel like I am coming full circle with a few things in my life, the act of looking back to look forward can be extremely powerful. I’m very excited to reveal these new works soon...
How do you define success?
Not compromising on the thing you really love. Even if you have to do it in your free time, you still get it out there with passion and integrity, forget expectation or perfection. You only get to live in the present, so why wait, why not just do it now.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Loving, expressive, old at heart.
Modern Muses that inspire you and why?
Greta Thunberg, for calling out climate catastrophe, Alain de Botton for making life a little bit more humane and manageable and Jess Wheeler for living the fantasy out in the Welsh countryside, making sconces in her barn.
Thank you very much Ruby, your views and habits are really inspiring! I am a big fan of your art and truly wish you the best of luck in whatever comes next.