top of page


Art is a family thing.

This post was written to coincide with an up-coming publication of a feature article in Art and Framing Today magazine. I was asked to contribute a few sentences as the magazine editor collected information about various family groups in the art business.....

...... I have been a full time professional artist for 50 years. My wife is also an artist. We met at Art College in 1959, got married, and then had our first child. Nowadays we are still full time professional artists, and so is our first-child daughter who has joined us in the family firm for the last few years.

We three now share a website where we sell our prints and cards. It is called so it says what it does on the tin. We also share the marketing, research, and other facilities, and we have a big wide format giclee printer that we use just for our own work. However we maintain separate studios and work patterns.

FAMILY signed print by Colin Ruffell

For the last 25 years, we have taken part in our local successful International Brighton Art Festival by joining in the ‘Artists Open Houses’ events. We hold our show at weekends every May and again at Christmas. For the first 22 years it was at ‘Mummy and Daddy Artist’s’ house with guest ‘Daughter Artist’ given space in Mummy’s studio. For the last three years the tables have been turned and now Mummy and Daddy Artists are guest exhibitors in Daughter Artist’s house and studio.

Two of us currently share space in an artist’s collective gallery in London. And we have exhibited at The Affordable Art Fair on the same stand.

However there remains the simple fact that artists are usually solitary creative creatures, and we are the same. We do not paint each others pictures, or decide subjects for each other.

I think that we have a different client base as well, although I bet that there are some collectors with CR, FS, and SR paintings somewhere.

The main advantage that we have as a family of artists over other solitary artists has been that in times of success and popularity we each have been able to feed back into a collective pool. While at times of new experiment, exploration in new markets, change in subject matter, painting style, or product range each of us has had “quiet times” and would have suffered were it not for a collective backup.

Also, without a doubt we have survived, where others might have failed, because we have encouraged each other, criticized each other, and inspired each other. Onward and upward.

An added word from daughter Artist...

“Growing up immersed in the world of studios, galleries, private views and assorted arty type characters, was just the norm as far as I was concerned.

Some of the most powerful memories of my childhood are literally of pieces of artworks. I remember getting very close so that my face was inches away from some pieces, the image was almost abstract. So I was studying pure texture and colour, with the smell of fresh paint and varnish adding to the sensory overload. I had no choice I was hooked !”

PS Some extra added later for this blog.

Here is a quote, another picture, and a few words from my previous blog called ‘Every Child is an Artist’ posted earlier this year.

Quote: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." - Pablo Picasso

Family drawing by Shyama Ruffell

The $2M painting was created by our daughter Shyama when we all lived in the house in the picture. I reckon that Shyama was about 4 or 5 years old when she captured our family in her group portrait. I was an art teacher in the local secondary school at the time. Then I gave up teaching and became a full time artist.

Nowadays Shyama is also a full-time professional artist. Both of us are grown ups.

So we seem to have solved Mr Picasso’s problem.


Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page