portrait of Ruth Swain


Ruth Swain is an award-winning portrait and figurative artist based in Oxfordshire. She is currently studying Contemporary Portraiture at The Art Academy London where she is exploring new avenues and gaining valuable experience from some of the country’s leading artists.

Ruth works in oil, watercolour and pastel, painting mainly from life. Her large-scale images not only tell a story but reveal an idea, capture a likeness and show the emotional bond between artist and subject.

Having studied Graphic Design in Bristol, Ruth worked as an art director in advertising before becoming an illustrator and painter in Hong Kong, New York and London. 

Ruth won ‘The Readers Award’ in Artists and Illustrators magazine (Artist of the year 2017) with her portrait ‘They said I used to look like her’. The portrait was subsequently exhibited in the Mall Galleries. One of her recent works: ‘Lady with two sticks’ was shown in the RBSA open exhibition and ‘Pressure’ was exhibited in the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 2019. As a recognised member, she regularly exhibits with the Oxford Art Society.

Her current fascination is exploring the idea of ‘Still life’ as a form of portraiture and how it gives insights into the artists life.


Recent Exhibitions:

2020 Newington Gallery, London. Beyond the Likeness Exhibition (online)
2020 Oxford Art Society Members Exhibition (online)
2019 Royal West of England (RWA)Open
2019 Oxford Art Society Open
2019 Newington Gallery, London
2019 Royal Institute of Painters in watercolours
2018 OAS Open exhibition
2018 Abingdon artists exhibition
2017 Solo Exhibition, Art-week at The Annex, Sutton Courtenay
2017 RBSA gallery Portrait Prize
2017 Artist of the Year 2017 with Artists and Illustrators magazine at The Mall Galleries
2016 UK Coloured Pencil Society Exhibition, Menier Gallery London
2016 Solo Exhibition, Art-week at The Annex, Sutton Courtenay
2015 Whitechapel Gallery, Manchester

Recent Awards:

2020 Editors pick Artists and illustrators Magazine April
2019 Editors pick Artists and illustrators magazine October
2017 Readers award, Artists and illustrators Magazine

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