Hot days and darkened doorways

painting inspired by recent travels in Spain and Portugal

painting inspired by recent travels in Spain and Portugal, oil on linen, 500mm x 600mm

Creamy, sienna and honey colored stone,  warm, soft on the eye; stucco walls that entice my fingers; rustic, weather-worn wood and rusted iron speak of other times; sultry air hangs in darkened passages that open to inner courtyards but feel like portals to another world; fabrics and lace, beautiful and rare and everyday, delicate in appearance, but steadfast and  staunch as custodians of rites, traditions, memories … and people. Families, mothers, women.

Meditations on light


Sacrament, Ruth Phipps 2012

Oil on canvas, 600mm x 1100mm


I love people!  Some of my best friends are people…


but seriously, it’s a truly wonderful thing, this ‘being’ – I believe life is sacred, and it’s fleeting.

Fabric is inextricably connected with every moment of human life, and  in my paintings I explore this connection.

Life nurtured: the moment we are born we are wrapped and swaddled

Life celebrated: we mark life’s most important events with special fabrics

Life ended: the shroud bestows dignity and marks our respect


you may have heard this Maori proverb, it’s my favourite

He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people! It is people! It is people!