Gallery Artists:

Fiona Robertson

Fiona originally trained in Fine Art, and over the course of her career, developed a passion for textiles.

She is inspired by the beauty and diversity of the landscape that surrounds us, exploring this by taking photographs, recording the colours of the changing seasons and capturing the light at different times of the day. Through a series of sketches, she focuses on the  rhythms, colours and textures that are very much a feature of her work, using both free motion machine and hand stitching to create her fine art embroideries.

Small pieces of hand-dyed scrim, hessian, silk fabric, and fibres are laid out to create an impression of the planned composition.
Once this is done, drawing is done by sewing machine, laying down tone and creating movement. Finally, hand stitching is applied, developing highly textured detail. Each piece of work can take several weeks to complete.

Venus Griffiths

I cannot remember a time when I have not felt the desire to draw and paint.

When I was thirteen, I was awarded a scholarship to Wakefield Art College, after that I became a Technical Illustrator, giving up when marriage and raising four children became my priority.

When my children were old enough, I gained a place at Trent Polytechnic and after completing a Foundation-Fine Arts course I qualified as a FE Teacher.

I worked at Arnold & Carlton FE College, introducing and developing a screen printing department as well as teaching art to full time and part time students.

I moved to Keswick in 1988 and took a part-time art teaching position at Lairthwaite Adult Education Centre and also set up my own studio at home.

I have now given up teaching in order to concentrate on my own work which includes acrylics, water colours and mono screen prints. Each discipline requires a different approach which is exciting and demanding I am still thrilled and often amazed how an idea in my mind develops into a finished piece of work.

My work is exhibited in several galleries in the North, I have had many solo and shared exhibitions but will not bore you with the venues and dates.

Sylvia Stevens

Watercolour artist – Sylvia lives in Threlkeld where she creates her watercolours in her studio beneath Blencathra.

She uses the fluidity of watercolour to express the changing moods and mystery of the landscape. She works from her sketches, photographs and her imagination, often adding waxes, pastels or penwork to give added textures.

After living in the Lake District for over twenty years she feels that she is part of the landscape and that it is now part of her.

Ron Ablewhite

October 2023 will mark the 30th anniversary of Ron Ablewhite’s move to Cumbria to take up painting as a fulltime artist.

Since then, Ron has produced hundreds of original paintings, many of which have been reproduced as either limited or open edition prints. Originally working exclusively in watercolours, Ron’s later work has explored other media including acrylics, pen and ink, charcoal and pencil.

His sought after, highly detailed, representational work has traditionally depicted the beauty of rural Cumbria, it’s lakes, farms and livestock, with his original images and prints selling to buyers from all over the world.

In addition to his painting, Ron spent many years offering private classes to would-be painters, some of whom have gone on to enjoy successful careers as full and part time artists.

Ron, who has been represented at Thornthwaite Galleries for over 20 years.

Roma Short

Hi, I’m Roma Short

I have had great fun over the years using various techniques to make, decorate and glaze pottery. The creative possibilities of clay are infinite; I have made bathroom and kitchen tiles, functional pottery for cooking and dining, as well as sculptural and decorative pieces for use both inside and outside of the home.

Sharing my enthusiasm and skills with schools and communities over the years has been an enjoyable and big part of my work, and there are now many murals in schools in Cumbria and further afield made with my help.

I mainly work in stoneware fired to 1260 centigrade, which makes it frost-proof and dishwasher safe, and I also paint in watercolour and acrylic.

Rachel Metcalfe

Rachel is a West Cumbrian artist who explores a place through the experience of walking.

Inspired by the natural world, her work is an art collaboration and dialogue between nature and her journey through a place – a push and pull relationship. Rachel constantly seeks new perspectives: peeling back the layers of a place to discover something new. Her current projects involve walking and exploring the varied landscapes of Cumbria.

Rachel records her walking journeys through sketches made on location. She then translates her sketchbook work into paintings using a range of media.

Website: www.rachelmetcalfe.co.uk

Instagram: rachelmetcalfe_allthingsart

Jill Harrison

Jill was born near Bradford, West Yorkshire and studied Graphic Design and later Sculpture at Bradford College of Art.

She now lives in N.E. Scotland on a smallholding where she and her husband keep a small flock of sheep which were the key element to her woolen images that she started to create twelve years ago with the fleeces they provide.

These woolen artworks have been exhibited successfully at various galleries and other venues in the UK. A work was selected (and sold) for the Royal Academy summer exhibition and others have been exhibited as far afield as Pisa, Italy. As well as newspaper articles, Jills work has featured on STV news.

Jill does a lot of work to commission and has pieces in private collections including the Lord Mayor of Kendal who wanted a recreation of the “Kendal Wool Run” to hang in the town hall. Although Jill covers a wide range of subject matter, she is best known for her portrait work.

Jane Ward

Jane is a Full time Artist working in Watercolours, Oils, Pastels and Acrylics. Inspiration comes from a love of walking amongst fell and mountain scenery. Dramatic light conditions in The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and especially high mountain peaks in a Winter Landscape all capture her attention.

From an early age, Jane had a love of en-plein painting. This led to an important part of her painting process. A quick colour sketch beside a lake or on a mountain summit will lead to larger studio work.

Jane set up The Online watercolour course which is a unique insight and starting point for would be artists wishing to learn the beauty of watercolour.

Living in the Lake District and starting ‘Lakeland Art Courses’ sharing her special painting locations around Keswick and Grasmere with students from all over the world.

A trip to Italy opened a new chapter, quite by accident discovering ‘Lake Iseo ‘ the secret jewel of the Italian Lakes and living in the French Alps brought new ideas and inspiration that opened to wider palette of colours and painting subjects.

Jane has had many articles published in the Leisure Painter magazine.

Carol Renshaw

Through feeling, colour and emotion, I love to capture the spirit, vibrancy and atmosphere of nature, usually using a very limited colour palette for each painting. Oil is currently my favourite medium for painting, having experimented in various other mediums, including watercolour, pastel, acrylic and mixed media, over the last 35yrs.
My passion for art is inspired from being immersed in the natural landscape where the ever changing light, vast skies and cloud formations cast shadows across mountainous areas, people and animals. From an early age, an affinity with the outdoor environment was gained through mountaineering, camping and climbing. As a qualified UK and International Mountain Leader, I gain inspiration for paintings and colour whilst guiding treks and expeditions around and over local
mountains to places such as the Himalaya.
Following a life changing ice climbing accident in 2013, it was now my time in life to develop my hobby and passion for art into a more public realm through exhibitions, being a member of Keswick Art Society and teaching Oil Painting Workshops. Having previously studied art and being a
qualified oil painting instructor, it was a natural progression for me to tutor others to help them unleash their creative talents. I feel quite at home living and working in the Lake District.
Personally, if a painting appeals to another and brings an inner feeling, which ‘speaks’ to their spirit, then that brings joy to my soul.

William Simon Wallace

Simon Wallace is a professional artist working mainly in oils, acrylics and occasionally venturing into gouache, watercolour and coloured pencils. His preferred subject matter is landscapes, wildlife and the seashore – often featuring locations in the Lake District and Cumbrian coast – but he also paints still life subjects and portraits.

His style is detailed, heading towards realism… but with a colour palette tending towards what he describes as ‘optimistic.’ Having attended art school in Newcastle but dropping out to pursue a short-lived career in music, Simon painted alongside careers in journalism, marketing and fundraising before turning professional.

Over the past 22 years, his work has been exhibited in galleries throughout

Scotland, Cumbria and Yorkshire.  He now paints full time at his home/ studio in Brigham near Cockermouth.

www.simonwallace.co.uk

Bob Park

Bob Park has been making pots since 1968, first in Inverness, where he started Culloden Pottery, moving to Greystoke Gill, Cumbria in 1997 and now working from a workshop at his house in Greystoke. He studied ceramics at Harrogate and Bath Colleges of Art and since leaving has made his living as a potter, producing a wide range of individual stoneware. He uses several glazes, primarily Chun, intermingled on each piece to produce rich, colourful surface decorations reminiscent of the Cumbrian and Scottish landscape. He is also now making more sculptural slabbed and extruded pieces as a member of Cumbrian sculptors.

Marea Goodman Ross

My childhood was spent in Broadstairs, on the Kent coast. Fishing in rock pools, searching for fossils and messing about in small boats gave me a lifelong love of the outdoors. Later, at the University of Stirling, access to Scotland’s vast, wild scenery prompted my first attempts at landscape painting.

Over the next few years, I travelled widely until, back in London, I accepted a place at art college – Goldsmiths’ and then Camberwell. Then in the nineties I married, and moved to Keswick. Every day was a source of new inspiration.  Working entirely en plein air, I was gradually developing a more naturalistic style.

We moved to America and settled in Colorado. Where the clear strong light called for a different approach, and I switched to oils and acrylics. When painting outside, there is more information than you want to use; the question is, how exactly to use a few brushstrokes of yellow paint to make the viewer think they see amber waves of grain.

Now back under Cumbrian skies, I spend more time in the studio, but my approach hasn’t changed. Love of the mountains is at the heart of my work. I hope that people find in my paintings a reminder of their own days among the lakes and hills, and a promise that these magical places are there waiting for us to visit them again.

Simone Louise Ceramics

Born in the North East of England I studied art to A Level before embarking on a career in Estate Management. With the exception of the occasional watercolour painting, I didn’t use my artistic talents again until my late 30’s when I needed a career that would fit around the school run. After taking a night class in ceramics I went on to study at CCAD, now the Northern School of Art, gaining a Diploma in Art and Design. Convinced ceramics was the medium I wanted to work with I set up a home studio and began to experiment further.

My first exhibiting space was with Viridian Gallery in Keswick, owned and ran by my Mum – watercolour artist Diane Gainey, as it had been her suggestion to try making sheep to satisfy the Lake District visitors. So, inspired by a group of herding sheep I made my first few pieces which were so well received I continued on with the herding theme, hence my “Herds” range which also features Highland Cows (or Coos for the Scottish visitor) and Border Collie Sheepdogs.

Mostly self-taught I work mainly with stoneware and crank paperclay, hand building making every piece individually unique before decorating with oxides and slips then high firing.