When Roo Waterhouse contacted us a few months ago and said “I paint books” I was intrigued. If anywhere suits paintings of books, it must be Hay on Wye, the original and best Book Town, created by the late great Richard Booth. Roo happens to be friends with a jeweller, Kate Rhodes, whose work we have sold for many years. It was Kate who mentioned to Roo that we had moved from Devizes to Hay, and then – contact!
Books are a such an important part of our lives. They entertain, inform, inspire. Old books hold memories, they can take us back to childhood, they can magic us into mysteries or fling us into the future. New books are full of possibility, and the anticipation of opening the cover and reading the first page is something to savour. Roo creates her paintings with a great deal of thought, and immense skill. The books are themed around topics, such as gardening, cooking, crime, travel, authors and so on. I love the way some of the battered spines and curled pages show the wear and tear, the repeated use. Fonts are lovingly and perfectly painted. Often the wallpaper behind a shelf is taken from the author’s home, as in the case of Jane Austen and the Brontes. Her work is a lovely fusion of art and literature, and simply perfect of Hay on Wye.