Saturday 8 September – Sunday 7 October

The Very Essence

Ruth Slater

Ruth Slater is a dynamic, Scottish Animal Artist creating truly unique art in various media from her purpose-built studio on the Isle of Bute’s west coast. 

Taking inspiration from her surroundings and her love of animals, Ruth’s art captures the gorgeous nature of the creatures she is so fascinated by. She lives and works on Bute with her husband and two young children along with a collection of animals. ​ 

Ruth trained at Edinburgh College of Art and graduated with an honours degree in Sculpture in 1997. She also trained and worked a secondary school art teacher until 2015. 


In 2017 Tighnabruaich Gallery invited Ruth to create a whole new body of work exploring her subject matter, materials, methods and working practice. The Very Essence is the beautiful and visually stunning outcome of that year’s work.  

Ruth says: ‘Drawing animals and representing their form is something which brings me enormous pleasure, sending me into 'the zone' for hours. I like to watch the animals in their natural state, gaining a knowledge of their movement and behaviour.  This in turn informs my representation of them as I aim to capture their essence. I start by using a handbound sketchbook, playing with mixed media, colour and texture in a free and loose way. The sketchbook allows me to plan the final artworks without pressure. My techniques include the use of artificial hair and acrylic inks to capture the texture of the animals and birds.  This allows for a spontaneous, and sometimes, unexpected result.’ 



Tighnabruaich Gallery, Seaside House, Tighnabruaich, Argyll, PA21 2DR