The subject of Ruth Brownlee’s paintings is the far North. Shetland, Brownlee’s adopted home is over 150 miles north of John O’Groats, and her studio is close enough to the shoreline for her to hear the pebbles in the waves as she paints. It is an immersive world of constantly changing sky, sea and land. This rugged coastal environment has enraptured Brownlee and fuelled her work since her move to Shetland in 1998.


Brownlee’s sensitive paint handling and naturalistic palette brings us into contact with the imaginative expanse of the North Sea. The convergence of colour, light and texture in her paintings captures the physical sensations and emotive atmosphere of Shetland’s wild coast.


Born near Edinburgh in 1972, Ruth graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1994 with a BA Hons in Drawing & Painting/Tapestry. In 1998, she moved to Shetland to concentrate on her painting.
Ruth is represented in public collections including The Fleming Collection, London, Shetland Museum and private collections worldwide.

Selected Solo Exhibitions 
Solo show, Beaux Arts, Bath, November - January 2021 
Solo show, The Line Gallery, Linlithgow September 2020 
Solo show, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh, February 2020
Shetland : Land and Sea, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh October 2017
​Winter : Shetland, Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow, February/March 2016
Shetland, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh January/February 2015
New Work, The Line, Linlithgow, November 2013 
New Work, Shetland Museum & Archives, July/August 2013
New Works Shetland Economic Unit/Shetland Islands Council, Lerwick 2007
New Paintings New Ashgate Gallery, Surrey, 2007
New Work The Line, Linlithgow, 2006
New Work Stenton Gallery, East Lothian, 2006
New Paintings Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, 2005
New Paintings Godfrey& Watt, Harrogate, 2005
New Work Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow,2005
Recent Work Stenton Gallery, East Lothian, 2004
Sea Shetland, Rebecca Hossack/Charlotte Street Gallery, London, 2004
Sense of Place Gallery Heinzel, Aberdeen, 2003
Northern Elements Shetland Museum, Lerwick,2003
New Work Stenton Gallery, East Lothian ,2002
Northwards Stenton Gallery, East Lothian, 2001
Encounter Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow,2001
 At Sea… Shetland Museum, Lerwick, 2001
Solitude, The Bonhoga Gallery, Shetland 2000

Selected Group Exhibitions
Scottish Exhibition 2019, Stafford Gallery, London 20 January - 3 February 2019
Twenty Twenty Gallery, Ludlow, Shropshire, February 2019
'Sea Escape' Three Man show, Tatha Gallery, Newport-on-Tay, Fife,  30 March - 11 May 2019
Shetland Gallery, Yell, Shetland, Spring/Summer 2019
'Summer Exhibition' The Green Gallery, Buchylvie/Dollar, From 18th May 2019
Coast 2019, Twenty Twenty Gallery, Ludlow, Shropshire, 19 July - 10 August 2019
Summer Exhibition, Beaux Arts, Bath, 24 June - 31 July 2019
Pittenweem Arts Festival with Weem Gallery, August 2019
The Room, An Talla Solais, Ullapool 14 September - October 2019
Winter Exhibition, Tatha Gallery, Newport-on- Tay, November - 23rd December 2019
Winter Show, Kilmorack Gallery, Beauly, Inverness-shire 2019
'On a Small Scale' Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh,
Scottish Exhibition 2019, Stafford Gallery, London 20 January - 3 February 2019
Gallery Heinzel, Aberdeen November - March 2019
​Godfrey & Watt Christmas, 1 - 9 December 2018
On a Small Scale, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh, 26 November - 22 December 2018
Resipole Studios, Acharcale, Argyll, May 2018
Weem Gallery/Pittenweem Arts Festival, August 2018
The Summer Show, The Strathearn Gallery, Crieff,  July - 2nd September 2018​
Klintegården Butik, Klintehamn, Gotland, Sweden Summer 2018
​Summer Exhibition, The Whitehouse Gallery, 47 St Mary Street Kirkcudbright, 1 July - 2nd September 2017  
'Land and Sea' Group Show, Craigard Gallery, North Main Street, Wigtown, 17 June - 16 September 2017
Summer Exhibition, The Shetland Gallery, Yell, Shetland, April - October 2017
Bonhoga Gallery, Lower Gallery, Weisdale, Shetland, 8  July - 27 August 2017 
Festival Exhibition/Pittenweem Arts Festival,  The Weem Gallery, Pittenweem, From 5 August 2017 
'Perceptions' Two man show with Ruth Nicol, Line Gallery, Linlithgow, 4 February - 7 March 2017
Spring/Summer 2016, Kilmorack Gallery, by Beauly, Inverness-shire, 19 March - 30 July 2016
Coast III, Twenty Twenty Gallery, Much Wenlock, England, 2nd July - 6th August 2016
Summer Exhibition, The Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright, 2nd July - 3 September 2016
Festival Exhibition/Pittenweem Arts Festival, The Weem Gallery & Framer, 16 High Street, Pittenweem from 5 August 2016.
Sea, Kilmorack Gallery, by Beauly, Inverness-shire, 16 September - 29 October 2016
Christmas Exhibition, Tolquhon Gallery, by Ellon, Aberdeenshire, 13 November - 20 December 2016
Christmas Exhibition, Godfrey & Watt, Harrogate, 10 - 14 December 2016
On a Small Scale, Christmas Exhibition, Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh, 28th November - 23 December 2016
Winter Exhibition, Gallery Heinzel, Aberdeen, Winter 2015
Postcards 2015, Roger Billcliffe Gallery, Glasgow, January 2015
Three man show with Alex Malcolmson & John Audun Hauge at Galleri Allmenningen, Bergen, Norway, April -  May 2015
'What Seas, What Shores' Group Show, Woodend Gallery, Banchory, Aberdeenshire, 23 April- 13 June 2015
25th Anniversary Mixed Summer Exhibition 2015, Gallery Heinzel, Aberdeen, 20th June - 15th August 2015
'As the Night Draws in' Group Show, The Whitehouse Gallery, Kirkcudbright, Dumfries & Galloway, 5th September - 31st October 2015
Postcards from The Line, Linlithgow, 3rd  - 27th October 2015.
The Winter Collection, The Strathearn Gallery,Crieff, 17th October - 3rd January 2016.
'Common Ground', Group show, Shetland Museum & Archives 28th November - 20th December 2015
Winter Exhibition, Gallery Heinzel, 14th November 2015 to March 2016  
On a Small Scale, Christmas show, The Open Eye Gallery, Edinburgh 30 November - 23 December 2015

Printmaking residency, Center of Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, USA, September/October 2015