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The role of my family in my life – Dublin painter Ruth Dodd

Ruth Mattew Dodd landscape painting. Photo: Akinshilo Ayomide

A week on after revealing her dream to be recognized as a landscape painter in Dublin, Ruth Dodd speaks on the influence of her family; husband and children, inspirations and potential moves in the market.
It is the second part of her conversation with in which she speaks about her amateur career as a painter in Dublin.
“My husband has always been supportive but a little critical sometimes,” she said in response to a question about her husband’s thoughts on her work.

Ruth Mattew Dodd landscape painting. Photo: Akinshilo Ayomide
Ruth Mattew Dodd in her attic where she makes her ideas come to life. Photo: Akinshilo Ayomide

“Even when the painting is not finished, he would tell me what he thinks whether I want to hear it or not.
“Have I ever painted him before? No, but he would make a good subject because he has an interesting face”.
Ruth, who is also a chef, is married to Tony Dodd and the couple have been together for more than 30 years. Ruth attended the Dublin Institute of Technology and lives with her husband in her Dublin home.
“Tony has never really asked me to become a professional painter,” she said.
She has three children; two of which are good painters.
“I would say Ciaran and Grainne are both actually quite good and they id art in school”.
Ruth’s three children no longer with her. Grainne her last child and only daughter live 15 mins away while Ciaran lives with his fiancee some 20 minutes away. 

There is a general notion that every painter would have someone who takes look up to but Ruth said she does not have a role model.
“I would say Paul Henry is my favourite artist but not my role model. I don’t have one in particular”.
On why she decided to start painting, she said: “I have always been creative. Even when I make cakes, I use my skills to do sugar art.
“I have always been creative but not actually painting. I have always wanted to do but I didn’t. Even in school, I had to choose between home economics and art.
“I wanted to do art but I also always wanted to do home economics which I chose”.

Ruth Mattew Dodd landscape painting. Photo: Akinshilo
Ruth Mattew Dodd’s workplace in the attic of her Walkinstown home. Photo: Akinshilo Ayomide

Painting is not as cheap as people would think and Ruth said a professional could spend up to 30 euros buying a canvas and other equipment to make a painting.
“People don’t realize that buying the canvases and the paint is quite expensive. It is quite expensive to get into. You can go into supermarkets an pay 20 quids for a canvas but what you are just not paying for the work that goes on.
“60 euros is very cheap to sell because I put in a frame which could be 20 (euros).”

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