Tales of the Dales, which was initially shown at Wensley Church in July and August opens for a three month run in the lovely Dover Gallery at Farfield Mill on October 5th.
The exhibition comprises over sixty framed and unframed paintings and prints - including four new original paintings. The framed work is accompanied by the stories behind each of the images which you can read as you walk through the show, including a story about Farfield Mill.
Also in the exhibition are copies of the book Tales of the Dales, which includes all the stories, accompanied by the paintings they inspired, and a set of four greetings cards of Penyghent, Ingleborough, Penhill and Wild Boar Fell.
Farfield Mill was built by Joseph Dover in 1837 - probably the first Victorian mill to exist since that was the year the future “Mrs Brown” came to the throne. The mill was driven by a huge waterwheel powered by the dammed waters of the River Clough. The mill spun wool, wove cloth and sent out wool to handloom weavers in the area.
After a hundred years of prosperity the mill was sold and never acheived full production again despite a number of schemes including weaving Yorkshire tweed and fashioning crankshafts for aero engines.
One of Farfield’s oddest claims to fame is the story of one of its employees: William Stainton. Although stories are often told of the tough times our forefathers faced, few individuals have such an impressive CV. Starting work at the age of eight, William’s mill career comprised an incredible eighty-six years. He clocked out from his final shift at the age of ninety-four.
The exhibition continues until January 5th 2014.
Farfield Mill is open 7 days a week: Mill: 10.30 - 5, cafe 10.00 - 5.00
The mill houses a wonderful mixture of artists' studios, mill machinery, looms and a great cafe. Among artists resident at the Mill are Rebecca Callis, Laura Rosenzweig and Helene Shovlar. Their work is lovely - don't miss them!
I find screen printing the perfect alternative to watercolour painting. In the latter I enjoy the way the fluid medium develops a life of its own, creating texture and tone according to the amount of water there is against the amount of pigment.
In screen printing the weight of flat colour, the element of design and the fun of juxtaposing contrasting forms make for a very different, but just as absorbing a process. The greatest joy comes at the final stage because, no matter how precisely you think you have imagined the finished piece,when the last layer is printed there is always an element of surprise. It never looks quite as you thought it would.
Screen printing offers a wealth of choices at every stage. To give you an idea of the possibilities within a relatively straight forward design I've shown some of the stages involved in a print of Brighton's West Pier.
I made this screen of the ruined West Pier in Brighton from a pencil drawing. I liked the stark outlines and the fractured reflection but I thought it might be interesting to print it over a background layer.
Taking my cue from the sombre nature of the image I added this background. Its a favourite mix of mine made from black and yellow inks. I thought the moon gave it just the right atmosphere.
Then, as a further experiment, I introduced a horizon and a lighter background to bring out the contrast of the dark twisted girders against the paler sky.
I like all of these, but I know one of them really does it for me. Which do you prefer?
If you'd like to learn how to screen print I have two courses coming up:
an introductory course - for details CLICK HERE
and a slightly more advanced, although still very accessible, course - for details CLICK HERE
To see a larger range of my screen prints go to Masham Gallery: CLICK HERE
To visit my Facebook page CLICK HERE
above, was based on sketches in which I was trying to capture the atmosphere of horses training at Middleham
. Every morning long strings of thoroughbreds make their way from the town's stables up to the gallops. Here, overlooking the long sweep of Coverdale, the riders put the horses through their paces. It a wonderful sight. Racing Green
is a limited edition print which was published as a set of fifty copies which are now nearly all gone. Only a handful remain.
The same is true of The Steam Rally, Masham.
The original painting from which this print was taken was painted for an exhibition about Masham
Market Place which was held in Masham church a few years ago.
The highlight of every Steam Rally, which takes place on a field just outside Masham, is when the engines are driven into the square on the Saturday evening. Here, as the sun slants through the trees and the smoke and the steam, admirers of the lovely old engines walk through their steaming ranks.
The Kings Head usually does a good trade on this evening, as does the fish and chip shop, so the steam fans are usually carrying a pint of ale in one hand and a bag of chips in the other. Its a very English event.
If you would like to enquire about either of these prints please CLICK HERE
which will take you to the Masham Gallery
, which handles these prints for me.
My March newsletter is currently available to read online. CLICK HERE to be taken there.
Updates about new paintings and prints, exhibitions and art courses appear every few days on my Artist's Facebook page. By visiting and clicking the LIKE button, news will magically appear on your own Facebook feed. CLICK HERE
for a visit.
I'm involved in a number of exhibitions this year. I've listed them below. Hope to see you at one of them.
To keep up to date why not "Like" me on Facebook - CLICK HERE
- or "Follow" me on Twitter - CLICK HERE
Screen Prints of Cambridge Cambridge Contemporary Art
Eight new screen prints of Cambridge, including The Bridge of Sighs (above), The Round Church and Queen’s College.
Paintings and Stories of the Yorkshire Dales
Wensley Church, Wensley, N Yorks.
27 July – 11 August 2013
A major exhibition of new paintings based on stories from the Yorkshire Dales collected over the last two years. In addition to artwork the exhibition sees the launch of a book for children: The Penhill Giant, which is an illustrated retelling of events which took place on the hill overlooking the exhibition location. The exhibition will also see the launch of a book illustrated with new paintings created for the exhibition work which will also include a collection of Dales stories, many of which will be appearing in print for the first time.
By kind permission of the Churches Conservation Trust
Also coming up this year:Art in the Pen
Skipton Auction Mart, Skipton, N Yorks.
17 – 18 August 2013
For one weekend Skipton Auction Mart becomes a vast art gallery with artists from across the North of England displaying work where cattle and sheep are usually sold. Always a great event with a wonderful atmosphere. Masham Arts Festival Exhibition
St Mary’s Church, Masham, N. Yorks.
25 October – 2 November 2013
The sixth Masham Arts Festival will include, as always, an eclectic mix of events, art and craft workshops and concerts, but, at its heart, is this exhibition. Featuring thirty carefully selected artists this is always one of the best exhibtions on the British festival scene. Simplicity Of ColourMasham Gallery
, Masham, N Yorks.
21 September - 3rd November
A stunning exploration into the power and beauty of using a single colour by myself and some wonderful printmakers: Anja Percival, Hester Cox, Margaret Morris and Janis Goodman. Aged to PerfectionMasham Gallery
, Masham, N Yorks.
16th November - 31st December - A number of artists explore finding beauty in the worn, aged and imperfect. Includes work from myself and Josie Beszant, Suzanne McIvor and Victoria Sayers amongst others.
For further details, or to enquire about purchasing my work CLICK HERE
Over the last few months I've been out walking, sketching and photographing in the Yorkshire Dales
working on ideas for an exhibition based on stories from the Dales which will be happening in July 2013. Inevitably this has taken me through the area known as the Three Peaks
- a triangle of high country ringed by the hills of Whernside, Ingleborough and Penyghent. Running though the centre of this fabulous landscape is the Ribblehead Viaduct - the mighiest structure on the Settle to Carlisle railway
I first came to this place on the day I was introduced to the Dales. I was being taken down my first pot hole! The Three Peaks area is honeycombed with caves and I was being initiated into the art of speleology (that's caving) by a couple of enthusiasts. Driving from Durham we left the A1 at Scotch Corner and passed through Richmond. Then we made our way up Swaledale, crossed into Wensleydale and finally stopped at Horton in Ribblesdale. I was knocked out by the beauty of the countryside that day - the shape of the land, the meandering drystone walls, the tiny barns - and have stayed that way ever since. For the last twenty five years I have lucky enough to live in this wonderful landscape.
Over the years I have painted the Three Peaks several times, usually mounting the three images in one frame, as I have done with the latest set, shown above.
Every day people walk, cycle and run the Three Peaks, often clocking in and out at the time clock in the cafe at Horton. The three hills offer amazing views and have entirely different characters.
Below is a smaller set which I painting while planning the larger version.CLICK HERE
to enquire about buying The Three Peaks.
Ardnamurchan Lighthouse (Watercolour)
New Exhibition at The Gallery, Masham : The Edge of the World
21st July to 31st August
Saltburn Pier (Watercolour)The Gallery in Masham
is mounting an exhibition entitled The Edge of the World which opens with a preview on July 20th. The exhibition's title is taken from a remarkable film set on a remote Scottish island: The Edge of the World. (More about the film below).
Looking From The Yorkshire Border (Mixed Media)
The exhibition will feature by some terrific artists: Catherine Sutcliffe-Fuller
, Heather Gatt
, Pamela Knight
, Winifred Hodge
, Gareth Buxton
, Lesley Birch
The concept of "the edge" can mean so many things. The more I thought about it the more I realised that I would have to make some careful choices in exploring the subject. In the end I painted a serious of works which relate to the theme in different ways.
Two pictures: Looking From the Yorkshire Border and Saltburn Pier take Yorkshire as my world and show the views looking from the pass which leads from Cumbria into Swaledale and, far to the East, the end of Yorkshire where Saltburn pier dips its toes in the water.
Lindisfarne (Screen Print)
The images of Lindisfarne and Bamburgh refer both to life on the edge of England but also to where the worlds of the Celtic saints and the Vikings first met. Middlesmoor Church is on a hill, high at the head of Nidderdale, standing in an ancient sacred place where, in the Dark Ages, the edge of earth met the edge of heaven.
Skye from Sanna (Screen Print)
Skye from Sanna and The Lightouse, Ardnamurchan are both paintings from Ardnamurchan in Argyllshire, the most westerly part of the British mainland. Here a long finger of land reaches out, over the isle of Mull, towards the Hebrides. It’s the edge of Scotland and it feels like the edge of another world.
The Edge of the World is at:
The Gallery, 24, Market Place, Masham, North Yorkshire. HG4 4EBwww.mashamgallery.co.uk
There is a preview on July 20th at 7.30 pm. Come and join us for a glass of wine if you can.
The exhibition runs from 21st July to 31st August
The Gallery opening hours are:
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Monday - Closed
Penhill from Great Whernside, watercolour.
I’m working on some ideas at the moment for my exhibition in July 2013 about the Yorkshire Dales and I’m doing a lot of reading. Apart from collections of Dales stories I’m reading an excellent book on Yorkshire geology.
The special character of the Dales is closely associated with the limestone beneath. When you’re walking in the hills the evidence that this was once the floor of a sea is evident in every fossil-studded rock. For an artist, however, it is the more recent legacy of the ice ages which lends the skyline its character.
Four hills in particular: Penyghent, Ingleborough, Penhill and Addleborough owe their distinctive profiles to a combination of smoothing ice flows and hard layers of underlying rock giving the flat-topped, step-sided horizon which typify the Dales and make them such a pleasure to paint.
Of these four, Penhill holds a special place in my heart. It’s in view most of the time when you’re travelling in Wensleydale, where I live. It is a lovely climb, with fantastic views from the top and it’s a hill of stories:
- the legend of the Penhill Giant – a maiden snatching, cow-munching psychopath whose grave caps the summit.
- the tumbled down beacon thought to date from the threat of the Spanish Armada 500 years ago.
- the strange tracks cut into and around the hill made by drovers, traders, monks and possibly by the Brigantes tribe who once ruled the Dales before it was England. (They made Tor Dyke – a big ditch cut across the top of neighbouring Coverdale).
Here are some paintings done over the years of my favourite hill along with an excerpt from a recent poem, written for the forthcoming exhibition.
Penhill, Evening, watercolour
Penhill from Grinton Moor, watercolour
To enquire about any of the images on this page, please CLICK HERE
Always on the skyline of my life for two score years now,
Seen from a train, a distant castle, a motorway,
From a road rolling in the belly of the dale,
From ship shaped village green,
From beyond the torn walls of a ruined chapter house
The hill, prow lifted to the east,
Sails against the sky.
Rising from the sculpted ordered Georgian bridge
By hand hewn hedges smooth as hounds
And lifting to the racehorse rumbling high moor
The symphonic heft of Wensleydale behind, beneath,
And suddenly the sky is close above us.
Ripon Cathedral from Studley Royal, Limited Edition Print.
Art course coming up ...
There are a few places left on Top Techniques in Watercolour
- a course for everyone interested in painting in watercolour -
at Artison (near Masham, North Yorkshire) Thursday, 5th April.
The course, which will focus on a variety of very effective techniques, costs £65.00 (which includes an excellent lunch). CLICK HERE to book.