I'm well into the text of my book on Stories from the Yorkshire Dales which will be launched at my Yorkshire Dales exhibition which is in July at Wensley church.
Because there has been a lot of interest in the stories themselves I thought I'd release a few as the exhibition gets closer.
Hope you like this one.
There’s a nice story about about Dales economics from Selside, It’s a tiny village – blink and you’ve missed it. But if you’re coming up from Horton in Ribblesdale towards the Ribblehead viaduct there’s a little barn by the side of the road where someone, years ago, put up this lovely sign saying Selside. Its right in the middle of the Three Peaks and you get a gorgeous view of Penyghent all the way up that road.
Now there’s a group of houses there that back onto the railway line and an old dear used to live in one of them, and she came up with a great way of keeping warm in winter.
Every time she had something out of a tin she would take the empty tin and put it on the back wall where the trains went by. Then, whenever one of the engines passed, the driver and fireman would chuck pieces of coal to try and knock off the tins. So then she would go out and, hey presto, free coal!
Of course the only downsides to this were that she had to remember not to put up the tins when she had her washing out, and she had to dash indoors whenever she heard a train coming to avoid get clobbered.
This is the Settle to Carlisle Railway by the way, where the very last British Rail steam train ran in August 1968 so this story has to come from before then. I don’t know what she did for fuel when they changed over to diesels.
I'm involved in a number of exhibitions this year. I've listed them below. Hope to see you at one of them.
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Screen Prints of Cambridge
Cambridge Contemporary Art, Cambridge.
Eight new screen prints of Cambridge, including The Bridge of Sighs (above), The Round Church and Queen’s College.
North Yorkshire Open Studios
Artison Studios, Masham, N Yorks.
8-9 June and 15 – 16 June 2013
An exhibition of a large selection of original paintings and prints at Artison, also featuring the work of Josie Beszant, Charlotte Morrion and Rosie Scott-Massie. Part of a great event which showcases artists across England’s largest county.
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 Colour
Masham 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 Perfection
Masham 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
An interesting news item cropped up in the papers just after New Year. A painting of the Elizabethan spymaster, Francis Walsingham, was found to have been painted over an earlier image of the Virgin and Child. The Guardian article, which appeared on 3rd January, suggested that the arch-Protestant Walsingham would have been horrified to discover that his image was floating a few millimetres above an overtly Catholic image.
Further correspondence to the paper the following day pointed out that the destruction of a Catholic image and its replacement with that of a Protestant campaigner would have delighted Walsingham – and I suspect this is true.
But how would an artist view this story? Well, a seasoned wooden panel would have too good, in material terms, not to have been reused. Any artist soon realises that painting over an existing image, which has been primed afresh, gives a wealth of interesting textures that underlie and guide the brush strokes. Also, in an historical period such as this, artists would have been painting out unsalable images and replacing them with saleable ones as fast as possible.
So I think what we’re looking at here is a result of a major cultural tsunami. A regime change has rendered a lot of paintings politically unacceptable (and therefore unmarketable), the ruling elite are leading a demand for images of the new movers and shakers, and artists have making the most of the situation.
The question is: how many more lost paintings are there under pictures painted at similar times. Quite a few, I would think.