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2017 - an amazing year

It’s fair to say I have neglected blog writing for a long, long time so I thought an end of year blog might be just the thing. This year has been very busy but certainly worth all the hard work! There have been so many highlights so it’s tricky to include everything...

The year began with having my work selected again for the Pastel Society annual show at the Mall Galleries, London, which was fantastic in itself, but I was then absolutely delighted to actually be elected a member of this prestigious society. What an honour! The society is crammed full of talented and interesting artists and it’s a really lovely feeling to belong to that group. I’m looking forward to many years of getting to know, and exhibiting alongside, everyone in the society. 

Throughout the spring and summer I exhibited with excellent galleries I have shown with many times before, including the Blue Tree Gallery in York, and Watermark Gallery in Harrogate. This summer also had international connections as I was selected to show in the ‘100 Artists – 11 Countries’ exhibition at the Kunsthuis Gallery in Crayke (near York) and also won a prize in the process, kindly given by The Picture Framing Workshop! At Dean Clough Galleries in Halifax I exhibited in a group show bringing together British and Dutch artists all with a love of landscape. I enjoyed meeting my fellow exhibitors, half of which had travelled over from the Netherlands for the opening of our group show ‘Landshapes’. Later in the summer I was fortunate enough to visit Unison Colour Pastels in the beautiful Northumberland National Park, to see firsthand where the magic happens! Their pastels really are exceptional.

In October I submitted work for the first time to the Society of Graphic Fine Art annual exhibition in London, and was thrilled to have all three works selected. A wonderful surprise was to then also win the Highly Commended Work in Monochrome and receive a prize from Stabilo of pastel pencils. These have been very welcome in the studio and I have been incorporating them into my new work. October also saw a trip to the gorgeous coastal town of Pornic, France, where we received a warm welcome from the Art-Multiple association. In 2018 we will be exhibiting together in France and the UK – more on this in future updates!

As we moved towards the end of autumn, I was very excited to open a large show of my work at the Birch Tree Gallery in the heart of Edinburgh’s art district. The show was beautifully curated, alongside the monochrome ceramics of Moyra Stewart.

As a final cherry on the cake, in December my work on paper ‘Stark Hedgerows in Winter’ was included in the 2017 edition of The Encyclopedia of Pastel Techniques, by Judy Martin.  

Thank-you to everyone who made this such an amazing year – all the brilliant artists I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with, and to all those who organised the shows, visited them, and gave my artwork new homes. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with you all in 2018!

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Unison Colour Young Artist Award

It is such a huge honour to receive the Unison Colour Young Artist Award for my three works at the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2016. The award, new for 2016, celebrates the use of soft pastel and is awarded to encourage young artists to work with this inspiring medium. I was interviewed by Unison Colour about how I created the works and my inspirations – read my interview here

To be given an award from the makers of pastels I have used in the paintings themselves is wonderful. I would not be able to create the depth of layering in my paintings without the exceptional quality of Unison pastels – they have a gorgeous soft and creamy consistency, and create beautifully rich colours on the paper that can even withstand my constant reworkingsThe award itself will allow me to travel further afield to explore new landscapes to paint and it's exciting to consider possible locations both in the UK and abroad.

Unison Colour is based in the Northumberland National Park, and was started in the early 1980s by artist John Hersey. Unison Colour Soft Pastels are still completely hand made and are mixed to John's meticulous recipes, based on traditional pigments such as cadmiums, cobalts and natural and synthetic earths. The difference in the manufacturing process - hand rolling rather than extrusion - gives Unison Colour Soft Pastels a unique texture that is unmatched and loved by artists. 

See all Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2016 award winners


View the embedded image gallery online at:

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Selected for the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2016

I’m excited to have been selected again this year for the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition, at Mall Galleries in London. Three new works have been chosen – ‘Midwinter Fire’, ‘Hedgerow’ and ‘Stormy Skies’. Together with my continuing fascination with dry media and creating texture on the paper surface, there has also been a re-emergence of colour in these new pieces. Colour has slipped away from my larger works for quite a while but I now find myself reaching for it again. I think it is better to allow these developments to happen naturally, and embrace them when they do.

As always the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition is wonderfully diverse, incorporating both abstract and representational works from so many brilliant artists, and it’s also such a strong reminder that pastels are underrated as a medium.

The show runs from 23rd February to 5th March, to view the catalogue and works please visit www.mallgalleries.org.uk

“Pastels are the most exciting of all the mediums. What better than to grab a small piece of chalk and make an immediate blast of colour. No mixing, no fiddling around with Flow Improvers or Slow Drying mediums, no brushes to keep clean. Just pure colour at your fingertips.” Cheryl Culver, President of the Pastel Society

View the embedded image gallery online at:


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