An American Perspective in West Wycombe

Liz Nicholls

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This August, at long last, after three years of holding no exhibitions, the West Wycombe Art Group (WWAG) are pleased to welcome you to their popular Annual Summer Exhibitions in August, Trevor Baker tells us.

This year our featured artist, DeeDee Nash Ruffo Nash, offers an American perspective on the local scene.

Where DeeDee started

DeeDee Ruffo Nash began her artistic life in Grade 1 at St Joseph’s School in Norwich, Connecticut USA when she won a prize for one of her paintings. This very early success must have inspired her to pursue a life which has always held art as an important and integral part because she went on to complete a diploma in Commercial Art at the Paier School of Art in Newhaven Connecticut.

Not only is she an active participant in drawing and painting but she embraces music as well being a competent harpsichordist and violinist.

This all developed further when she became immersed in a lively local arts community which encouraged (and actively practised) painting, music and theatre.

DeeDee Nash Ruffo Nash_Paris Night
DeeDee Nash Ruffo Nash_Puffins, colour

DeeDee moved on to carve out a freelance career based on graphic arts in the creative commercial world. She moved from the USA to England in 1996 where her artistic career continued and thrived and she joined the West Wycombe Art Group in 1997.

DeeDee has two favourite media, oil paint and pen and ink – but she also uses charcoal very skillfully to produce lovely, and very convincing portraits.

Her art

When using oils, the main inspirations for her paintings are the mood and atmosphere surrounding dusk and early evening. She loves the dark, sometimes brooding hues of gold and green and the gentle touches of slightly misty blues. Her delicate lightness of touch achieves some remarkable results and her lovely peaceful landscapes offer great serenity and charm. She doesn’t stop there. She is also captivated by the night life of city centres, the bright lights and deep shadows which contribute to the drama of a scene and is then enhanced by shapes and figures which suggest an intriguing background story. Her paintings are a delight.

Her work in her other medium, pen and ink is equally captivating and results in some intriguing pictures. Stark black and white imagery, with subtle nods to Aubrey Beardsley shape and design, are created by the artists in what she describes as “constructive doodling”.

DeeDee Nash Ruffo Nash_Lake Sunset 1
DeeDee Nash Ruffo Nash_Moby Dick

Constructive Doodling

She allows her mind to wander the blank page and almost lets the pen decide the route to take. That route dictates her decisions to move on in an imaginative way to make sense of what could be chaos. This brings the process under control and eventually a delightful design emerges. These designs can exist in their own right or colour can be added to enhance and further the images. “Constructive Doodling” works!

Whatever medium takes the attention we hope that visitors to the exhibition will enjoy the experience of viewing DeeDee’s creations alongside work from 23 other artists.

The exhibition

The West Wycombe Art Group Annual Exhibition takes place in the West Wycombe village hall and runs from Friday, 26th to Monday 29th August. It is open daily from 10am to 5pm on Friday and Monday and from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday