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Tuesday 21st July 2020Prudhoe Gallery in Kingfisher Northumberland Guide

You may spot the gallery in the latest Kingfisher hardback guide to Northumberland, which is full of information on galleries, restaurants, country houses and more to visit in our area.
 

Posted on July 21st 2020 on 03:15pm
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Tuesday 19th May 2020Empty Chair, Madeira

This painting of an empty chair in an abandoned dwelling in Madeira is paired, in a sense, with my earlier empty chair painting of a chair in an old house at Peakside, near Frosterly.
 
 
In each case, the chair looks as if a person just stood up and walked away from it, creating a mystery as to why the house was abandoned. I never change anything in the houses I paint and leave it to the person looking at the painting to fill in the gaps if they wish to, and to imagine the people who lived there.

Posted on May 19th 2020 on 02:58pm
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Tuesday 12th November 2019Countryfile, Sunday 1st December

I spent an excellent 2 days with Countryfile‘s Matt and Dan last week as they filmed me painting near Stagshaw, Corbridge for the show. It will be screened at 6 pm on 1st Dec and the theme of the programme is Teesdale and Northumberland. 
 
Producer Matt Smith wanted to see me exploring Northumberland to find windows, houses and landscapes to paint and we went up past Stagshaw, Corbridge, to film at Wall Fell Farm. Next, we walked across to Great Whittington Fell and filmed a window there.
 
 
This was at Wall Fell Farm. Filming finished up in my Prudhoe gallery.

Posted on November 12th 2019 on 11:42am
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Wednesday 19th July 2017New Series of Small Windows Watercolours

Having just completed two very detailed watercolours, it's very refreshing to develop this new series of smaller Windows works. This small window has developed dramatically in just one week, as you can see if you look closely at the photos below. I've been planning this new series for some time and I have a real sense of enjoyment working on these colourful originals.
 
The richly textured paper feels fine to work on, and is creating exactly the layered, textual effect I am after.
 
 
The second painting in my series of small Windows watercolours is now underway also, see below. I am working on the two, turn by turn. I have many ideas of exactly how to develop the series and it's very satisfying to see the new work taking shape.
 
 
 
 

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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