Octogenarian student exhibits art after completing course alongside granddaughter

A grandmother and granddaughter are set to display their art to the public together after both completing a figure drawing shortcourse at Robert Gordon University’s Gray’s School of Art. 

Ruth Lough ShortcoursesRuth Lough from Bucksburn, who recently turned 81, has completed the evening course ‘Foundation and Intermediate Figure Drawing’ with her granddaughter Meg (17), a pupil at Aberdeen Grammar School.

The 16-week course is designed to provide a drawing environment suitable for both beginners and those with experience in life drawing. Students are challenged to develop their drawing ability at their own pace in the studio.

Ruth, who has lived in the city since the 1950s, originally graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1953 and went on to study Stained Glass in London for a year.

She explains: “I’ve always wanted to take a life drawing class as I find it the most challenging form of drawing. My love for figure drawing has increased with age and I enjoy people watching, completing pen and ink sketches whilst on holiday.

“I was very apprehensive about joining a class at my age and almost didn’t sign up, but Meg encouraged me to take part and it’s been a great experience, learning and working side by side, having her support all the way.”

Budding artist Meg (17), from Union Grove, enrolled in the class as she is currently studying for an Advanced Higher in Art and was keen to increase her portfolio and skills in figure drawing.

Meg comments: “I was a bit wary of entering a life class alongside my granny. Before we started the course, we discussed how we might find working together and said we’d need to be careful not to compare our work too much as we’re both very different artists.

“I was pleasantly surprised and found that granny really helped boost my confidence by providing constant encouragement. She also offered a different perspective to my work which helped me improve my pieces.”

Ruth’s success has continued to grow after recently being invited to exhibit over 60 pieces at the Rendezvous Gallery, launching on 17 March.

Ruth adds: “I went into the gallery for assistance in pricing a piece of work for a friend and before I knew it, I was being asked to submit my work from over the years to display. The opportunity to see them mounted, framed and hung in a gallery setting for the public is very exciting and just proves that it’s never too late to develop new skills and express your creativity.”

Rebecca Westguard, Course Tutor for figure drawing at Gray’s, adds:

“Ruth may have shied away from exhibiting her work on the gallery circuit but her drawings tell a different story, displaying true confidence and ‘know-how’ in the application of line and tone, which many life drawers would long aspire to achieve.

“It’s been wonderful to have Ruth and Meg in class together and I believe it’s a first for Gray’s. The two have a lovely relationship as family members and artists, and help to inspire each other with the knowledge and wisdom acquired from age, and the experiences of youth.”

Gray’s School of Art Shortcourses Exhibition launches to the public on Sunday 11 until Sunday 18 March and is open Monday-Friday 9am-10pm, Saturday 9am-6pm and Sunday 11am-8pm.

For more information on the shortcourses available at Gray’s, please visit


Issued by:
Sarah Grieve
Communications Officer
Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262206