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Why I paint Yorkshire Landscapes and how you can too!


I am very fortunate to live in an area of the country that is only a stone’s throw away from rolling dales, still reservoirs, windswept open moorland and a beautiful and varied coastline. During these past 2 years this ‘stone’s throw’ felt much further at times but painting the countryside around me brought me a sense of calm and a sense of belonging. I like to bring some of that same feeling of reassurance to my customers. I hope that my paintings help to tie people to a place or memory of this beautiful landscape and that this connection can then be enjoyed from the walls of their home for years to come.


The Yorkshire landscape boasts a rich heritage of having inspired artists throughout history. I studied History of Art at York University and I found that paintings from the past informed the creativity that followed, including my own.


Landscape painting made a significant contribution to British art and Yorkshire fueled the imagination of many artists. Renowned painter JMW Turner took a tour of the North in 1797 which had a profound effect on his artistic journey. The Victorian, Atkinson Grimshaw, a Yorkshire man born and bred, turned to moonlit urban landscapes and in the following century, ‘naïve’ painter LS Lowry captured the landscape of the Northern city on canvas. It also fed the imagination of acclaimed abstract sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth and at the turn of the 21st century, Bradford born artist David Hockney responded to the Yorkshire landscape with his iconic and vibrant, large-scale paintings.


I love the combination of art history and practice and this sparked an idea for a painting workshop. I run a beginners ‘Yorkshire Landscape’ workshop at Just Makers in Ripley Village, North Yorkshire. People often ask me what we get up to on the day’s course so I thought it might be helpful to explain a bit more about it here.


To begin with, I briefly talk about some of the acclaimed artists, mentioned above, who were moved to paint the Yorkshire landscape in all its beauty and diversity. We then move on to the practical element. I start by offering advice on how to approach, not just landscape painting, but painting in general. I also explain a bit more about the relatively new medium, watermixable oils, which is the paint I use for my own artwork. Following this, there are a couple of warm-up exercises which help everyone become familiar with the subject of the landscape and the paints themselves. In the afternoon there is a longer painting session so that students can really study their chosen image and possibly put into practice some of what they have learnt throughout the morning, whilst at the same time creating their own interpretation of the Yorkshire landscape. There is no right or wrong approach and there is no judgement! It is a relaxing, encouraging and enjoyable way to spend the day and past students all take different things from it that they can apply to their own creative journey.


If you would like to find out more about my workshops as well as a whole host of other creative courses please visit https://www.justmakers.co.uk/workshops-art.irc





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