Every once in a while, an album’s cover art resonates perfectly with the music within. This is the case with Daniel Martin Moore’s ‘Never Look Away’, released two years ago this month. To celebrate the ‘anniversary’ we spoke with Ruth Speer, the artist responsible for the striking portrait of Daniel that adorns the LP.
Ruth was born in Norwich, England, and currently resides in Oregon. Her work successfully encapsulates an emotional passage, employing aspects of the Renaissance to the Pre-Raphaelites Era aesthetics. “I truly just visually love the paintings from those times - I could stare at Bruegel and Rossetti endlessly...but equally important is the interesting affect using those aspects in my own work has on its perception. It lends this air of historicity and mystery which is fun to work with, but which also requires its own attention to examining why people, including myself, immediately assign such importance to work when it’s dressed in the aesthetics of Western art history,” Speer remarks on her leaning toward this style of work.
“Reaching out with one’s heart into the unknown and finding people reaching back is really what makes life beautiful and why I paint,” says Ruth, which is exactly what happened with Daniel. “I’m pretty sure I found his music before he found my art...my favorite of his is ‘Farthest Field’, his album with Joan Shelley. It’s one of my all time most loved [albums].”
Daniel actually requested that Ruth document the progress as she painted, she noted, “as he resonated with the ‘unfinished’ style of work I was making at the time and imagined one of those process shots might end up being his favorite.” Turns out, Moore was right. The cover is only a halfway finished rendition of the painting. Typically, the pencil lines seen on the cover are only seen by Speer, but those are now one of her favorite aspects of the piece.
Currently, Ruth is working on a triptych of huge pieces that center around the “hopeless romantic” and what that means. Her most recently completed piece, ‘St. George and the Dragon’, “feels like a new, expanding direction in my art and I’m really excited for what’s to come.” You can find her at the Haven Gallery in Long Island, New York throughout the month of November with her ‘St. George and the Dragon’ piece.
To see and read more about Ruth’s work, head to www.ruthspeer.com
To pick up your copy of Daniel Martin Moore's 'Never Look Away' click here