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Friday 09th November 2018Ruined Cottage, Allendale

Just after changing my cover photo to ‘Ruined Cottage,’ I received this photo from friend Jennifer, who has recently seen the cottage as it is now, after coming across it on a walk. The cottage in Allendale is surrounded by mine shafts, and seems to be sinking and crumbling into the earth.
 
 
Thanks to Jennifer for sending me the photo.
 

Posted on November 09th 2018 on 04:35pm
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Thursday 06th September 2018Painting Places

Thank you to the Tyne Valley Express magazine for featuring this interview about the places I paint including Riddlehamhope, a derelict shooting lodge three miles from Blanchland, Durham. It is also a joy to to share the page with friend and artist Carol Davison.
 
 

Posted on September 06th 2018 on 12:18pm
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Friday 13th April 2018Hexham Courant Interview - Travels in the Himalayas

Thank you to Helen Compson for visiting the gallery and writing about my travels in India and coverage in China.
 

Posted on April 13th 2018 on 11:44am
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Friday 30th March 2018Two Years Since Official Gallery Opening

It‘s two years since the official opening of my Prudhoe gallery - so much has happened since then. Thanks to so many of you for your support - Alison, family, students, friends, neighbours and social media supporters.
 
 
Highlights have been showing at Ripon Cathedral and with the Royal Watercolour Society in London, visiting the Himalayas, Tuscany and France, and the paintings that followed - and several commissions. Appearing as a guest on Look North to give photography advice and judge the photos for their calendar was also an experience (or two) and great publicity for the gallery.
 
Thank you again.

Thursday 15th March 2018A Tuscan Cellar - Sequence of Painting

It's interesting to see the gradual development of this painting of a Tuscan cellar here, from start to (almost) finished. I've enjoyed working on it and have often been up at  four in the morning lately to finish it. This is a slightly unusual medium for me, because of the use of pencil, alongside the watercolour I often work in. This painting will soon be available as a print on my website.
 

Wednesday 27th September 2017Painting with My Father

Watch out for an article coming soon about my father, Lawrence Stangroom. I painted beside Lawrie from being small and even worked alongside him occasionally when I was older. Lawrence was a professional illustrator and college lecturer by day and a fine artist on weekends and holidays, he and my mother Joyce having a large family to support (myself, brother Ian, and sisters Kay, Lynn and Janet). We even share themes for our work, such as Northumbrian frosty mornings, and we both painted mining subjects.  
 
 
Lawrence Stangroom 'Frosty Morning'
 
My father had very little time to paint for himself. I do remember many fine paintings of boats, but barely one has survived. 
 
 
Lawrence Stangroom
 
I now realise how lucky I am to have had a grounding in traditional methods from such a talented man. In the early 50s, Lawrence went to the Royal College of Art to study etching and engraving (MA). I’ve heard that his engravings were excellent, but I’ve never seen a single one. I’m always hoping someone will come forward one day with one, just for me to take a look at.

Posted on September 27th 2017 on 02:32pm
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Thursday 29th June 2017Teaching in France - Seventh Time

 Holiday coming up for my UK students and a real change of scenery for me - I have just been invited to teach in Correze, France, for the 7th time, staying in this beautiful chateau, 31st July to 9th August. Alison and my sister Lynn and other helpers will be holding the fort at the Prudhoe gallery for me - looking forward to the journey.
 
 

Thursday 29th June 2017Great North Art Show, Ripon Cathedral

Other good news this month - I have been accepted to show six original Windows paintings at the Great North Art Show, so they will be hanging in Ripon Cathedral in September. I'm really looking forward to that, and pleased to be chosen, though I'll have to rearrange the gallery in Prudhoe. It's always interesting to see my work in a new setting - and this one is very special.  
 
Great North Art Show have chosen six of my Windows paintings to be exhibited - 'Bedroom Window, Ruffside Farm,' 'The Blind,' 'Swallow's Nest,' 'The Blue Room,' 'Pantry Window, Ruined Cottage' and 'Garden Room'. Look forward to seeing them in such a beautiful cathedral setting in September.
 
 

Thursday 29th June 2017Three Years in Prudhoe for the Gallery

Three years ago, I picked up the keys to the gallery, then washeteria, and slept on the floor on a mattress. I celebrated with today's students and a bottle of Prosecco. Very happy with how those three years have gone - and grateful. May celebrate a little more tonight ...
 

Wednesday 31st May 2017Himalayan Blankets and Shawls from the Gaddi Tribe

I've been visiting people in this welcoming Himalayan community since living there in the 1980s and have now decided to sell blankets and shawls on their behalf from my Prudhoe gallery

 
I buy from one extended family in a small village, Noli, in the Dhualadhar region, who weave traditional designs from simple looms at home – not unlike clan tartans, I always think. Blankets and shawls are made from sheep the people have reared and wool they've spun, cleaned and woven themselves. 
  


Gaddi tribes were nomadic - now they settle in villages, but they still move with their livestock to pastures in upper hills during summer and to the foothills in chilly winters. The Gaddi use blankets for bedding, protection, and even as emergency makeshift tents when they're living in the hills with their sheep.  
  
The Noli villagers sell the woolen goods they create to live - an important supplement to their farming income. It was great to catch up with old friends I haven't seen for a number of years. Their hospitality was second to none. 

One large blanket takes two months to weave and I spent some time in their homes, seeing them work and even trying a little weaving myself (which I was absolutely useless at!). I've been visiting this region for many years and the warmth, generosity and hospitality of the local people has been very humbling. It is a tough, but beautiful region.

The blankets are large and very strong and warm - perfect for summer picnics, bedding and wrapping yourself up in when it's breezy or cold.



Gaddi people have great stamina, walking for miles in the hills with heavy loads on their backs, and visiting them involved lengthy trekking. Spending time with them again gave me an even deeper respect for these people, who survive in such tough conditions, yet are so gracious. 

Gaddi men and women use their shawls to protect their heads and bodies in cold weather. In this country, these strong shawls are also warm enough to serve as small picnic blankets, or to wrap around yourself as you sit outside on summer evenings when the sun goes down.

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