Last minute nerves and a classic mistake, And I made it!
My post here yesterday was about the final nerve-wracking 48 hours before our imminent Artists Open House show.
I also sent about 3000 emails to our list.
But on some of the emails I forgot to include WHERE we are holding the show.
I mean, I ask you...Ye Gods and little fishes...what a classic blunder.
So here is a nice photo of our house and the address.

This WHERE our Artists Open House is starting tomorrow at 11am.

Address is: 182 Springfield Road, Brighton, Sussex, BN1 6DG.

I hope to see you here.

Organized panic at Artists Open House venue!

You can see from the photo that we are not yet ready.

We open 48 hours from now at 11am on Saturday 19th November.
However, here is our check list to show that all will be well.

·         Xmas tree, lights. CHECK
·         Fire, coal, logs, clean chimney. CHECK
·         Mulled wine ingredients, Merlot, juice, spices, large simmering pot with lid, glasses. CHECK
·         Prize draw entry cards, prizes. CHECK
·         Credit card terminal, paper rolls, phone line.  CHECK
·         Furniture out and stored, furniture moved around. CHECK
·         Light track, spotlights, power. CHECK
·         Hanging system, picture hooks, string, screw-eyes. CHECK
·         Card rack, print browsers. CHECK
·         Signs, bunting, OPEN flag. CHECK
·         Gift tags, bookmarks, Xmas cards. CHECK
·         Guest artists organised. CHECK
·         Music system to play soothing background sounds and calm my nerves. CHECK

We are open Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th from 11am until 6pm.
Then again on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th from 11am until 6pm.
Then again on Saturday 3rd December and Sunday 4th December from 11am until 6pm.

We hope to see you here.
Gotta go now … a few things to do.

25 Oct 2011 Pablo's birthday.

Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso.

25 October 1881 to 8 April 1973 (aged 91)

My hero!

24 Oct 2011 Chainsaw massacre!

There was a bit of noise at the bottom of the garden yesterday. We had been warned that British Rail were going to trim the vegetation on the railway embankment. Then up pops this guy and cuts down several big trees. 

Well it has improved the view and allowed more sunlight onto the veggy patch [and wasp nest].


We had built a bug house near the vegetable patch to attract friendly bugs and bumble bees for pollination [a symbiotic relationship]. All had been going well before some wasps misunderstood the crucial landlady/tenant arrangement. 
A few days ago Fran was picking leaves from our salad bed for lunch when she was attacked by a swarm of angry wasps. She was stung on the eye and arm and in her hair. Not nice! 
So we've been researching the problem. And, the wasps have got to go.

Late last night after wasp beddy-bye time I donned several layers of protective clothing and armed with an anti-wasp aerosol I sprayed the wasp nest with foam. I might look a bit silly but I am not macho-stupid.
This morning we can see that there are a few survivors still going in and out of the nest. But only a few.
Beware remaining wasps...I am tempted to call in a NATO strike force if you don't leave peacefully.

22 October 2011 Happy birthday.

Yesterday was the birthday of  Hokusai (October 21, 1760) He was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker of the Edo period.

When I saw this picture I was reminded of a visit to Tokyo where I saw Mt Fuji from my hotel room window first thing in the morning. Heat haze meant that it vanished by breakfast.

20 Oct 2011 Temple Gardens

I was in London today arranging more future exhibitions in galleries. Afterwards I walked down to the Thames Embankment and visited the small park where I sold my first painting 53 years ago. Lovely weather and memories.

The show was the annual open air exhibition in Temple Gardens. They stopped running the event a long while ago. I didn't realise until today that the spot where I sold the painting must have been in the shadow of Cleopatra's Needle on the Embankment.
19 Oct 2011
I see that a new Turner exhibition is scheduled for Adelaide in South Australia in February 2013. Turner remains a special hero of mine. Maybe I can arrange a trip to OZ. It would be summer time down there while it will be horrible here.

 Wishful thinking of course. Especially frivolous considering the fact that there is such a super show of Turners on continual display at the Tate in London. So self-administer a slap on the wrist for not going to the Tate enough.

Nine Eleven

Today the news is full of the New York Twin Towers ten years ago. I remember it well. On Sept 11th 2001 I awoke in the very early hours in great pain. My wife Fran called the medical emergency service and they sent an ambulance which whisked me off to hospital. Several hours later we got an all clear regarding the suspected heart attack. So we came to home to rest. The terrible news from NY just started to come in as I dropped off to sleep. Fran woke me after just 15 minutes and we were glued to the TV for hours. My trouble turned out to be a gallstone. 
Like many of you, we can remember visits to NY and a trip to the top of one of the towers. We did it in the1990's. Here is a photo of an unpublished painting that I did after when we came home after the trip, and before nine-eleven. I don't know who bought the original or where it is!

21 Aug 2011 Trevor the Black Cat has his own page!

New page devoted to Trevor the Cat pictures with links to prints and cards.

Here is a bite from my website where I have just published a page devoted to Trevor the Black Cat images.   http://www.colinruffell.com/trevor.htm

14 August 2011 Two new paintings

Here are a couple of paintings just finished today. Probably still wet as I write this. First is a commission for a gallery in Norfolk to replace a similar painting that someone was interested in. Titled...'Big Ben Aug11'.
Second is 'Departure Dawn' showing Tower Bridge open with sailing boat exiting downstream. I am submitting this one for the Battle Art Fair next month.

14 August 2011

I received a letter yesterday addressed to Colin Ruffell F.R.S.A. !!! I am now a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts. Wow. I really don't know what to make of this yet. The Groucho Marx quote..."I don't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member" springs to mind.

1 August 2011 New stuff!

My latest painting [and print] is titled 'City of London'. 

Did you guess what it is all about yet? 
Correct, well done!!
Here it is...

Plus I have created a page devoted to my London paintings and prints. There are over 100 now.
Here is the link...


2 July 2011 Happy winners collect prizes.

Here are a couple more winners! They both won one of our daily prizes, of their choice, during our Artists Open House exhibition a few weekends ago.

Louise chose the Venice limited edition shown above and collected it today.
Elaine chose a Brighton Pier print and collected last week.

Street party for 'The Big Lunch'.

It rained for the first time in weeks!  The neighbours had been planning a street party as part of the nationwide Big Lunch. And we had official permission to close off the top of Springfield Road down to outside the pub. We had hoped to have lots of fun and games up and down the road. But the skies opened and we had to shelter under makeshift gazebos and sunshades. However we had a great time, met lots of new people, and made new friends. 

22 May 2011 Third weekend ... three more days left.

Today is the sixth day of our Artists Open House event. Once again the weather is kind... no rain. Yesterday we had about 200 visitors and over 100 filled in one of our 'Do You Feel Lucky' cards to try to win our daily prize draw for a print of your choice. Here are two of this years winners with their chosen prints.

1 May 2011. New book...'Brighton' by Colin Ruffell

Just finished editing and have now published a new 21 page paperback book in full colour titled 'Brighton'. 

It has 20 colour plates showing my original paintings of Brighton and over a dozen other photographs about the process and biography stuff. All the paintings shown in the book are published by us as signed prints on paper or canvas. Some of them are also greetings cards. 


The new book should be available on Amazon as well! 
I have ordered a few copies to sign and have here for the 1st Open House weekend in 7 days time. Lets hope that they arrive in time.

22 April 2011 Good Friday.

This morning I read another post from Robert Genn. Robert is an artist from the Vancouver area in Canada who sends out twice weekly newsletters to thousands of avid followers worldwide. He has lumbered himself with a huge task but seems to thrive on it. Here is a link, I recommend it. http://painterskeys.com/
The posts are varied in content and I always read and enjoy them. Thanks Robert.

A quote from this mornings message is from Winston Churchill. Very apt for so many budding professional artists just out of art school.

"I began my education at a very early age--in fact, right after I left college." (Winston Churchill

18 April 2011 Back home from Cornwall and the Drang opening!

Fran and I went down to Cornwall for the launch of the new Drang Gallery in Padstow. Alan Furneaux was there so we had a good natter about the price of fish and the role of a professional artist etc. Fran and I ate in Rick Steins Bistro even though we hadn't made a booking. Lucky us. 

Alan and I seem to have made a good impression on the Mayor as well.

The art gallery scene in Padstow is quite extraordinary for such a small fishing village. We went into at least seven that were well worth a good look. They ranged from the all white, all Cornish, mostly under £100 sort...right up to the resident artist selling at £4000 a pop, and the Drang with the BIG NAME ARTISTS like Damien Hirst and Sir Peter Blake. It feels really good to be there.

15 April 2011 Padstow here we come!!

Off to the Drang Gallery opening launch event tomorrow in Padstow. I expect to meet up with Alan Furneaux there. Alan moved from Brighton to Penzance in Cornwall a while back after being a fellow member of the Fiveways Artists Group doing the Artists Open Houses. Here is one of his paintings from his blog. This one is 'Landscape around St Just'. Nice isn't it?

10 April 2011 OK So I changed it!!

Had another look at the Farmhouse Kitchen painting 'finished' yesterday and decided that it needed a tweak or two before varnishing. See the difference? 

9 April 2011 New painting.

I finished this one today. Acrylic on canvas, size 24"x30", titled 'Farmhouse Kitchen'.

8 April 2011 Fiveways launch party.

The Fiveways Artists Group are part of the Brighton Festival Artists Open Houses event on weekends in May. The whole Artists Open House phenomenon started with one artist doing his own thing thirty years ago. Boy has it has grown since then?! Last night the 5Ways Group held this years launch party at the Open House pub with a 30 years ago theme.

First picture is the founding artist Ned Hoskins.

Next Harvey Daniels in splendid 1980's garb.

Then Fran and I with our 1981 long scarf homage to Dr Who.

2 April 2011 Kindle publish my book.

Yesterday we published a Kindle version of my book on Amazon.

The new Kindle edition is the lowest price yet at $9.99 [ £6.99 in the UK ] and apparently you can download it to an ipad or iphone or PC as well.

'How to Make a Living as an Artist' is also published on Clickbank as an e-book. And I still create the Aizoban limited edition version which is signed, hand sewn with Japanese binding, and archival quality illustrations.

30 March 2011 Nice surprise from Oz.

I just wanted to share this email that arrived this morning because it made my day :-) .....

Has a home in a kitchen in Sydney
I bought this 8*10 from Colin when he sold it to me at my door in Maidenbower in appx 1993. 

Wish I also bought the matching painting ;)
Penny Teale

24 March 2011 Birch Hotel launch party

The Birch Hotel in Haywards Heath launched the opening of their new restaurant yesterday with a live singing harpist and really great canapes. Of course my pictures of Venice on the wall make all the difference :-)

20 March 2011

I just found this old video of me painting in my studio. Thought I might share :-)
This is part one of three.

And part two;

And part three;

10 March 2011 East Grinstead, Anish Kapoor, etc

A couple of days ago I received a call from the organiser of a local Sussex arts society saying that they had suddenly been deprived of a speaker/demonstration-giver for a society meeting. Please could I step in. So I did.
Yesterday I went to East Grinstead and met twenty or so enthusiastic art lovers. They gave me a cup of tea, and we had a great time talking and laughing while I painted this small picture to show them some of my techniques.
All too soon it was over. I am chuffed to find an email in my inbox inviting me back in the future.

Last Monday [the 7th] Fran and I went to London to see a show for her birthday. We met a couple of friends who were over from New York and went to the V&A for lunch. We also took in the Anish Kapoor sculpture that is showing in Hyde Park as part of an exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. Here is a shot of us looking at the C Curve mirror piece. [Yes I know we are upside down!].

19 Feb 2011 Cleo's Needle ... new print!

By popular demand .... [key drumroll] ... here is another print for my Limited Edition catalogue.


19 Feb 2011 The Drang Gallery

The new Drang Gallery looks like a smashing new gallery in Padstow Cornwall. Just round the corner to Rick Steins super fish restaurant as well! AND...they have one of my original paintings in the left hand window. How good is that!!??

5 Feb 2011 New Facebook Artist's Open House fan page !!!!

I have been working on a new Facebook fan page [ note: also called a 'like' page or 'business' page].
The idea is to create somewhere on the internet for visitors to [and fans of] our Artists Open House events. Facebook allows comments and shares photos and videos.
This is separate to my other Facebook pages because this is for people who 'like' Artists Open Houses, and want news and gossip and pictures about just that.
Believe me there are many many thousands of regular folk who throng around Brighton in May and December during the OH seasons.
They love the intimate, free, and stimulating experience. So do I.

Here is the link, why not go and have a look?


16 Jan 2011

Here is the final question from last weekend.

Question 5: What is this artwork called, and who commissioned it?

Answer from these choices;

1.The Physical Impossibility of Life in the Mind of Someone Dying. Charles Saatchi
2. The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. Stephen A Cohen
3. The Shark. The White Cube Gallery
4. The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. Charles Saatchi

13 Jan 2011

Using up another one of the questions.

Q. Who did this in 1830, and using what medium, and title?

A.Hokusai, wood block print, title The Great Wave off Kanagawa

12 Jan 2011 Lapiz Lazuli

Here is the third of my 5 part arty-farty quiz, first shown on my Facebook fan page last weekend.
This is just for fun.
Question;  What is or was the very expensive colour obtained by grinding up lapiz lazuli, and what replaced in the early 19th century? 

Answer; Ultramarine and French ultramarine. 
This quiz was probably better presented using the original FB design where I have written four answers to each question and you had to choose the correct one. The trouble was that the FB app was unpopular because it requires users to allow access to all personal details. I wonder why? Answers on a postcard please, or, my comments box below. Thanks :-)

11 Jan 2011 A special date!

Today is one of those 'interesting' dates. One-one, one, one-one. Or 11/1/11.

Also it is day two of the arty-farty quiz Q&A.
[Recall that I presented a Facebook quiz using a FB app on my fan page.]
It was not popular!
Hey ho. You win some and you lose some.

But I have already written the art related  Q's and Answers.
So here is the second one for your amusement.

Q What nationality was Beek who illustrated the Enid Blyton Noddy books? 

A. Dutch, real name Eelco Martinus ten Harmsen van der Beek (1897-1953)

My Facebook fan [business] page is not the same as my Facebook profile [social] page. 
I wonder how many blog followers are following Facebook as well. Hmmm?