Whispering Ruins


My new exhibition ‘Whispering Ruins’ is opening this coming Saturday, June 18th 2022 at Chantry House Gallery in Ripley. I’ve painted 10 new pieces, all inspired by North Yorkshire abbeys.

I took these two lovely girls (my daughter and her friend) to York for the day in May. I sat and drew in the Museum Gardens while they explored the shops, and then we met up for cake! Not bad for a day technically ‘at work’ was it?

I think this (above) might be my favourite of the new paintings. They were cutting the grass when I was drawing, so for me this is full of the smell of freshly cut grass and spring. The cake was good too…

This one – ‘Easby to Richmond’ – is the first painting I started in the new set. But it had a long rest in the middle when it learned to behave. That happens with some paintings and I don’t know why. The York one almost painted itself and took a week. This one took from October to May!

These are two I completed after a half term jaunt to Staithes. We left the Calder Valley as it was flooding and fled to the East coast where it was fiercely cold, but the skies were blue!

I wanted to call this one ‘Rievaulx Abbey is closed on Wednesdays’ but I was overruled. I think it would have been valid; had the winter opening hours not caught me out I would have gone in (eaten cake) and drawn the trees framed through the arches. As it was I had to find a different viewpoint. I like this: it’s from the lane that runs alongside the river. With imagination, artistic licence and squishing, you can have Rievaulx Abbey and the Tuscan temple from Rievaulx Terrace in the same viewpoint. The tiles (and I do so love tiles) are taken from tiles in the little museum at Rievaulx (I drew them when I last went).

So now all the work has been proofed for prints, and is at the framers being made ready. The exhibition opens on Saturday 18th June, at 10am. It will be up until August 28th. Details and prices of all the paintings are on the Chantry House Gallery website.

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