In a world where 3D and oil paintings are beginning to take more prominence, one talented 2D painter is looking to break grounds in the highly competitive world of art.
Ruth Mattews Dodd, a resident of Walkinstown in Dublin has been painting since her teenage years but it is only since she turned 50 that she took her passion to new grounds.
In 2014, Ruth, a part-time chef tells thecircular.org that she started learning under Dublin artist Barbara Boland and going to classes once every week for the next two years to refine her skills.
“I definitely became a better artist after learning with Barbara”, Ruth tells me after asking her if she thought her experience with his teacher was useful.
I joined Ruth in the attic of her Walkinstown house and noted that most of her paintings are landscapes and nature and she notes that is her passion.
She said: ” I raw a lot of landscapes. It is something that makes me feel good. I am happy when I draw my surrounding and that is what I intend to paint.
“A lot of stuff I draw comes from trips; I went to Tuscany (Italy) and the ones down in the kitchen are from places in Italy.
“I don’t paint when I am there, I take photographs and work on them during my own time after my trips. However, I would love to paint when I am there rather than take photographs.”
One of the pictures she showed me was that of Tymon Park which is not far from Walkinstown where she lives. She also shows me paintings from her visits to Skerries and Waterford.
Ruth notes that she has done a bit of self-portrait and some other types of drawings which she shows me in her attic.
She shows me a silhouette painting of a cat her family used to own until it died.
She notes that her second child Kieran was a big fan of the painting and kept it in his room until he eventually left the house to live on his own.
She has a painting of herself from a picture during a trip.
The big problem for Ruth is getting her paintings sold and when I asked her how much her most expensive painting was she said 90 euros which were done during her time with Barbara.
A few days before meeting her, Ruth had sold a landscape painting to her sister for 60 euros which are small compared to what her peers who are in the business are making.
“She (Ruth’s sister) wanted to get her friend a gift and her husband suggested talking to me to sell her one of my paintings.”
On how she intends selling, Ruth details how she and five of her friends meet up once a week in each other’s houses to paint and discuss their business.
“We just meet in a different person’s house each week and just discuss what we want to do and how we can best sell our works however its nothing to serious now”.
“I think I would just create a website and ask Grianne (her last child and only daughter) to help me create it. She is rather good at those things”, was what Ruth said when I suggested creating a website and using her social media pages to promote her work.
In the second part of her interview, Ruth discusses family, inspirations and her husband’s thoughts on her paintings.