Thursday, July 10, 2014

2 Studios in Action

My July mornings are filled by working with young artists in a studio space in the East Martello Fort.

We work on various projects until 1:30.

Afternoon from 2 to 6 I spend in my new studio/gallery.  There is still lots to do and get "in order". Whatever that is?  But yesterday I just had to paint.  So here is the first painting from my new studio.

Untitled as of yet, it is  a piece inspired by 2 other pieces I wanted to tweak.
Mangrove and cloud study, untitled
12 x 12"
©Maggie Ruley 2014

Above is the studio corner of the gallery before I started using it.  And below is the after pic.  I think I like after better.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A brand new gig or Plan B

The Studios of Key West (the parent organization where I have my painting studio) is moving.  The beautiful historic Armory Building has been a rental and the lease is up.  TSKW is in the process of renovating a building they have purchased.

That meant that my future was up in the air, the new building won't be ready until Dec. or January.  I was on Fleming St. in March and saw this sign.  And thought, "Humm???"

Long story short I signed the lease June 26th and my new studio/gallery opened July 4th weekend.

Through the month of July I am teaching children's art classes in the morning, so weekdays I am only open in the afternoon.

Here is the official announcement!  Trumpets please!

Maggie Ruley ~ Island Inspirations
933b Fleming Street
Key West
Florida, 33042

305 304-1013

July Hours
Monday - Friday 2pm to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 6pm.

It is slowly taking shape here are the first photos.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Having a wonderful time in Philadelphia

Visiting a lovely home here, brick houses, quiet streets, roses in bloom.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Next I am off the the Jersey Shore.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Pottery Galore!

I spent almost all of April and May in my pottery studio working on pieces for various friends and events.  So I thought I would give you a quick rundown of them.  I won't say too much, because really, it's more fun to look at the pics than read a lot of stuff.
I did a few paintings during that time, but we'll look at those later.
This giant 18" toucan bowl was a special order from an old friend as a wedding present for his son.
This load of pottery was for my featured artist event May 2 at
1102 b Duval Street,
Key West
  The photo of the work was so colorful I used it for a new post card and invitation to the show.
 In side SoDu Gallery
Inside SoDu Gallery
Inside SoDu Gallery

I am happy to say that lots of new pottery pieces have gone to
 430 Duval Street KW
 In addition to my pieces Jennifer Badry, gallery owner, and her lovely staff have filled the gallery with lots of local and tropical art.
  And last for my things to show you today is a bowl I am sending as a thank you gift to a friend in Philadelphia.  This friend is hosting an entire Memorial Weekend event for a gaggle of old friends.  All we have to do is show up.  So I am off to Philly to see the old Gang.  I lived for a short time in Philly as a child.  My brother was born there and we used to take class school trips to the various historical locations, so I have lots of fond memories.  Can't wait to see it again and all my chums.
bowl detail
 side of bowl
Everyone have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend and remember our Vets.
  I return to Key West next week and then I am back to painting, this time with a horde of children.  I'll be busy teaching art to young artists all of June and July.

A couple of other fun things are in the works, but we'll talk about those as they happen.

bye for now,

Thursday, May 1, 2014

You're invited.

If you are in Key West Friday May 2 I'd love to see you at my featured artist reception at SoDu Gallery.  Here are the deets.
I'm showing some cute new mermaids!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Starfish Beach

Starfish Beach
I enjoy walking the island taking photos to use as inspiration in my studio.  I love the little touches of fun and whimsy that decorate so many of the porches here in Key West.
Little touches of starfish and scallop shells and year round shell wreaths are a common island motif.
Lovely starfish chair cushions and a boat floating on a blue door make you want to stop and rest here.

 It's a beautiful day here on

 Starfish Beach
24 x 20"
acrylic on canvas
© Maggie Ruley 2014

 Everyone enjoy your day!'


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Secrets From a Mermaid's Comb

The coolest thing happened to me last week.  Musician Helen Davey asked me if she could compose a musical painting based on some of my art pieces.  I said YES!! PLEASE!!
Helen lives in Switzerland and we decided to use Facetime to begin the process. 

We had a very fun Facetime phone call, Switzerland to Key West, how cool is that?  We talked about my work, we talked about her work and then she got right to it and came up with this lovely composition.

Here is the statement I sent her about my mermaid pieces;

The Fish Whisperer 1 and 2

As a child, one of my favorite movies was "Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid".  My father and Grandfather took me fishing all the time but we never caught a Mermaid. Now that I live in a tropical island paradise, water imagery and the sea seems even more magical than ever.  I create my own little stories using real and imagined sea creatures. In The Fish Whisperer, even I don't know what the conversation is about. I guess it is a secret.

Here are links to the music and to Helen's Blog.  Please go to Helen's blog to learn more about her 52 week sound painting project.

(For 10 voices, piano, shells & percussion)

(6:35 mins) by Helen Davey 

listen or buy the music here: 

Helen's blog: 

What Helen says about her work.
"I love that Maggie has many interpretations of her Fish Whisperer  (as you can see). Mine stems from the myths and legends around mermaids, specifically from Cornwell (my own heritage).
As Maggie said, even she didn’t know what the conversation was about in her digital “woodcut”, so I decided to listen in on that conversation and sound-paint what I heard from the mermaid to her fishy friends.
I’ve chosen a Cornish legend “the Mermaid and her Magic Comb” as my starting point for a few reasons.  Firstly, I like the legend’s emphasis on the mermaid gifting some secrets to an elderly man who helps her.
History has portrayed many females in myths and legends as monsters. My interpretation of this legend, is a viewpoint from Herstory of what mermaids symbolize (together with their many mythical, matriarchal sisters). That is, that they are  carriers of life and goodness, wisdom and sacrifice through their healing knowledge, granting of wishes, nurturing cures and seeing the future. And besides… I’m thinking it’s likely that the Cornish legend inspired the 1948 film Maggie refers to.
I have scribed the legend into a folk song style with verses and repeating ostinati and choruses, drawing on my own Celtic roots.
I added many voices to this piece plus some shells and percussion to evoke some of the many layers of this beautiful artwork, the inherent stories and magic to spark our imaginations.
There is music for the fish, sea-stars, waves and bubbles, the rocks, reefs, coral, shells and plant life, the wind, waves and mother moon’s influence on women and the tides - the herstories of history.
Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. This is my little contribution for 2014. Wherever you are I hope you can enjoy celebrating the many wonderful accomplishments of women everywhere.
I’d LOVE to hear what you hear/see in these artworks via the comments section below;  please feel free to share this around to anyone interested in art & music via the little icons below.
Thanks for bubbling along with me."

Of course I had to find out more about the Mermaid's Comb,  here is a link to that legend.  The Mermaid's Comb

Diva of the Deep
acrylic 24 x 20"
© Maggie Ruley 2013

The Fish Whisperer 2
acrylic 24 x 20"
© Maggie Ruley 2013
The Fish Whisperer 1
digital image
© Maggie Ruley
NFS 2013

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Back at work

I'm back at work in both my studios, yeah!  I'm working on some sea life pottery and"...........................................

I'm working on a large commission piece, it's got a long way yet.  

Too much fun.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Connections Project II- A Mosaic of the Keys.


Here is the "call to artists" that went out from the Florida Keys Council of the Arts late last year.  400 canvases, each 6"x 6" were distributed to artists and art lovers throughout Monroe County


The Florida Keys council of the Arts would like to invite everyone in the community to participate in The Connections Project II- A Mosaic of the Keys.

We will provide one 6 x 6 inch blank canvas for you to create a piece of artwork. People of all abilities and skill levels are encouraged to participate. After all individual works are collected; almost 400 canvases will be assembled and exhibited as one project; featuring the talents, diversity and uniqueness of the artists and citizens of the Florida Keys. Then we will take our show on the road county-wide! With the support of our business partner, Royal Furniture, we invite you to join us at seven receptions.

We invite YOU to CONNECT!
Create a canvas.
Attend an opening reception.
mosaic projectConnect and collect: make a $40 donation at a reception or online to receive a randomly selected completed canvas in the mail!
Proceeds directly benefit artists and arts organizations in the Keys through our grant programs.
The canvases will be numbered at random and you will not be able to choose which artwork you receive. Each work will be accompanied by an artist’s statement that will provide insight into the origin of the work and the artist’s thoughts and inspiration.

To facilitate this process I gave a workshop at The Key West Art Center on 12/14/2013 for 26 artists.
FKCA provided the canvases, The Key West Art Center and I provided the paints and brushes, and the artists provided their enthusiasm.  I was assisted by Sue D'Antonio, FKAC board member and mixed media artist.

The group didn't mind the tight space and the sharing of paints.

Here is satisfied artist, Gary Young.

Everyone was having so much fun they were updating their Facebook status and posting their paintings.

Some of the artists had photos on their phones they referenced.

I brought in some of my rooster photos.

Last Light
6 x 6" acrylic on canvas
For the Keys Connections Project II
©Maggie Ruley 2013

Schedule of the receptions

Opening Receptions throughout the Keys:
Join US! 5:30 – 7:30 pm - Refreshments will be served.
Key Largo - January 22nd – Royal Furniture
Key Largo - January 28th – Murray Nelson Cultural Center
Islamorada - February 20th –Islamorada Library Community Room
Marathon - February 27th - Royal Furniture
Big Pine Key - March 14th – Artists in Paradise Gallery
Key West - (new town) March 24th - Royal Furniture
Key West - (old town) April 4th - Gato Building
To make a donation for the Mosaic Project Click Here
The Monroe Council of the Arts Corporation dba Florida Keys Council of the Arts is an IRC 501(c )(3) organization and your contribution is tax deductible.
You will receive a randomly selected canvas from our project. We hope that you will consider joining the Arts Council if not already a member. Memberships and contributions support our programs and grants for all the ARTS in Monroe County.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Universe Rewards you for sharing.

On the same day that I was writing and posting my thoughts about the new store in Key West, the Funky Chicken Store,
I got an e-mail from the store owner telling me that my large painting
"Wing Man"
had sold.
It seems like positive energy gets positive results.
And, not only did this painting sell, he asked me to paint another large painting for the store.  And here is an interesting note.  He asked if there could be more green in the next one because his customers are requesting green to go with their d├ęcor.
Anybody else out there getting requests for green?
Wing Man
20 x 24"  acrylic on canvas
©Maggie Ruley 2013

Funky Chicken Store
814 Duval St.
Key West, FL

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pinterest and Me, and You??

At first I just didn't get it.  A giant on-line bulletin board?  My first thought was "this is going to be something that just uses my time without giving anything back".  Boy-oh-boy was I wrong.  Huge apologies to Pinterest, mea culpa.
Pinterest is a very giving space and that is because of all the engaged people who share. They share tons of useful information in small visual blocks.  I use it way more now than Goggle.  I can get info on make it yourself "green" cleaning products by looking at pictures!  How cool is that.
Let me say that again,
I can get information by looking at pictures!
I have been a Pinterest Member now for about 3 months and I have been busy curating boards that I think my friends will enjoy.
My Pinterest boards so far:
a fun board I can keep building, adding new artists all the time
We have so many galleries in KW, I am adding new ones all the time.
There is always something going on here.  I am wondering if I should divide this into monthly boards?
Photos I have taken and ones that others have posted.
Key West is dog friendly and we should let the world know it.
This board needs serious work, but it will get there.
Self explanatory.
Also self explanatory
My Etsy listings
My Blog in small bites
All things beach related, photos, products, color schemes.
Useful for my paintings, great color combos.
Remarkable reusing of things.
I think I should change this title to something like "Projects for young artists", not sure yet.
Tutorials and how to articles of all kinds.
Self explanatory.
Wonderful Horse photos, and ladies do yourself a favor and check out the cover photo.
Food, glorious food.
I wanted a friend to see some photos and this was an easy way to do it.
Electronic art made by me.

All of these boards are works in progress which makes it fun and evolving. 
 Are you on Pinterest?
Do you like Pinterest? Let me, and my other blog readers know in the comments below.

E-mail subscribers

LOVE, Gettin' Diggi With It

Wishing you Hearts and Stars on St. Valentine's Day
Big Love to you!
from Me and my beautiful granddaughters
Kathryn Ruley
Caroline Ruley
Big Love

Polka Dotty Heart and Stars
by Caroline Ruley

Emerging Love
by Kathryn Ruley
Lovey Dovey
Hidden Love

e-mail subscribers you can

All images digital files
Big Love ©Maggie Ruley 2013
Polka Dottie Heart and Stars ©Caroline Ruley 2013
Emerging Love ©Kathryn Ruley 2013
Lovey Dovey ©Maggie Ruley 2013
Hidden Love ©Maggie Ruley 2013
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