RUTH BROWNLEE was born in 1972 near Broxburn, West Lothian. From 1990 to 1994 she studied at Edinburgh College of Art, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Drawing and Painting with Tapestry. While at Art School she was awarded the Andrew Grant bequest and spent a three month exchange at L'Ecole Des Beaux Arts, Tours, France. She also spent time at Cyprus College of Art.
Since graduating, she has gained a number of grants and awards. These include
The Elizabeth Ballantyne Award, S.A.A.C
5th Annual Exhibition, Royal Scottish Academy, December 1994
Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust Award, January 1996
2nd Prize British Rail Young Business Travel Award, May 1996
The Hope Scott Trust Grant Award 2000
'Scotland's Year of the Artist Award' Scottish Arts Council/ National Lottery Fund 2000 for Artist-in-residence on board the SWAN, the 100 year old restored fishing boat now used for sail training and charter in and around Shetland Isles from May - October 2000
Finalist for The Gilchrist - Fisher Award 2002, for Young Landscape painters under 30
Ruth now lives in Shetland. She writes, " .....I first came to Shetland in 1998 when I was invited to teach in the isles. The islands had such an effect on me - particularly the changing light and open space - I decided to move to the isles and return to painting. It took me nearly a year to be able to digest the wealth of the landscape and begin to interpret Shetland and its seas as it was a completely different environment to my home land in West Lothian.
I was and still am, taken by the constant changing elements - particularly the drama of light upon the seas. The moods of weather playing upon the land and mists on the moors provide continuing inspiration. Since moving, I have also been introduced to sailing which has again created a whole new relationship with the ocean. I've been able to further develop my understanding of the seas and to capture the completely different atmosphere of being 'at sea' ".
.....My paintings are based on my experiences of living in the Shetland environment and are concerned with capturing the atmosphere, the play of light on the sea and coastal landscape, through mixed media. The skies and seas of Shetland are now a constant inspiration.