The Jetty Gallery
Ruth O'Dell graduated from Winchester School of Art with an Honours Degree in 1986 and worked with her partner, also a painter, at their studio in Sandgate, Kent, until the birth of their first daughter in 1989.
After moving to the Outer Hebrides in 1991, a second daughter was born in 1992. For several years O'Dell's art was subordinate to the demands of motherhood, but more recently she has been able to return to the studio on a more full-time basis.
Working from notebook studies in pencil, she carries the work forward in the studio using hand-made resin tempera, highlighted with soft pastel. The resulting work can be seen as a personal diary of daily life in Lewis: the winter feeding of sheep in the snow; the first Spring lambs; turfing and cutting of peat in early summer.
The garden bird table is also observed to record the visits of resident and migratory birds in addition to the comings and goings of her own domestic pets. Colour and line predominate in these small intimate works full of charm, humour and vitality - stirring echoes of Bonnard and Vuillard.