Photo gallery & video: White van man Ruddy Muddy’s amazing works of art in the dirt

Ruddy Muddy working on his 'grafilthy' at home in Norfolk. Photo: Bill Smith Ruddy Muddy working on his 'grafilthy' at home in Norfolk. Photo: Bill Smith

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
4:31 PM

While most artists relish a blank canvas, a south Norfolk man has found a novel way to create and display his art.

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Ruddy Muddy working on his 'grafilthy' at home in Norfolk. Photo: Bill SmithRuddy Muddy working on his 'grafilthy' at home in Norfolk. Photo: Bill Smith

Rick Minns - under the alias Ruddy Muddy - uses his white Transit van as a canvas and roadside mud as paint.

Dubbed ‘grafilthy’, the pictures depict winter landscapes, children playing in the snow and a ship cutting through choppy seas.

Mr Minns, who works for floral wholesaler Flowervision in Bowthorpe, started drawing on the vans at work using his fingertips.

As his work progressed, he started using cotton buds and tissues to help create different effects and shadows.

Ruddy Muddy working on his 'grafilthy' at home in Norfolk. Photo: Bill SmithRuddy Muddy working on his 'grafilthy' at home in Norfolk. Photo: Bill Smith

“I first did it on my van two years ago and as I was leaving a garage in Halesworth, someone stopped and asked me how I did it.

“We have got six vans at work. Two of the guys I work with keep their vans clean but I draw on the others,” said Mr Minns, who has three daughters Bethany, 15, Charlotte, 11, and Imogen, nine.

Each piece takes around 10 minutes to create and Mr Minns encourages people to respond through social media sites Twitter and Facebook.

The 39-year-old, who lives in Wicklewood, said: “The reaction I have received has been great,” he said. “My daughter Charlotte wrote ‘Dad, clean your van’ on the back. Until Christmas I used to have around two people a day notice the work and they would add me on Facebook but since the New Year it has exploded.”

Ruddy Muddy working on his 'grafilthy' at home in Norfolk. Photo: Bill SmithRuddy Muddy working on his 'grafilthy' at home in Norfolk. Photo: Bill Smith

The former Wymondham College pupil studied A-level art and continued sketching in his spare time.

“I just want people to look at it and smile.

“I leave the depot between 6am and 7am and then I am on the road until midday. A lot of passengers in cars are children. I would rather them see the artwork than some of the things you see written on vans.

“What I am really looking for is a lorry where the back is dirty. I would also like to raise some money through it.”

Mr Minns attends weekly classes at Art Academy East Anglia, where he paints using oil on canvas.

“I have held a couple of exhibitions in Watton,” he added. “But I am my own worst critic.”

Follow him on Twitter here or visit the Facebook page here

Do you have an unusual hobby? Email lucy.wright@archant.co.uk

1 comment

  • That's a blast from the past. I went to school with him.

    Report this comment

    CllrJohnCowan

    Tuesday, January 7, 2014

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