Sketching in Hartwith

Audrey arranged a sunny day in an interesting area that we drive through quickly, wondering what the pond is doing there and why there is a toll bridge?  It was time for exploration and a trip to the bluebell woods. But first a morning cuppa.

Meanwhile others had started sketching the house

The wisteria was blooming in the sun

The mill pond across the road was a refuge for the ducks and a cool place for walk

Hag wood, up the road, was full of bluebells, garlic, trees and artists.

Despite the distractions there were good results achieved



Lesley Seeger, artist from North Yorkshire

Lesley Seeger is a North Yorkshire painter of colourful abstract flowers and landscapes, mainly in acrylic in a format of 3 foot square. She has been painting for 25 years and was influenced by her time in Sri Lanka.  She is artist in residence at Burton Agnes Hall.

Her style of painting changed over the years as she experimented with colours and repeated shapes, sometimes a riot of colour,sometimes limiting to a predominating colour. She also used scratching out to reveal colour underneath.

Her work moved towards landscapes, especially of Yorkshire scenes, with the familiar composition of front, middle and distant with a movement through it. Her work progressed from hot colours into lighter, calmer compositions.

Details of her work, with better images of her work than on this blog, can be seen at >

Lesley gave a slideshow of paintings images from 2007 starting with some imagined landscapes as illustrated. 

In 2009 Lesley developed her abstract flower paintings

In 2010 Leslie started to develop sketches into painted landscapes

In 2013 Leslie produced abstract floral paintings as “observed landscapes”

In 2014 Leslie took on more commissioned landscape work


Leslie combined floral and landscape

These are a couple of recent painting that she brought along

Some of Leslie’s more recent work.


Sarah Garforth – Drawing Techniques

Sarah Garforth gave a talk to the Pateley Bridge Art Club on some of her drawing, painting and printing methods, illustrated with her artworks.

Sarah is a well known Nidderdale artist with a studio in Ramsgill. She described how she immerses herself in the countryside, sketching local scenes.

She sketches, takes notes and collects samples to help with her studio paintings.

She adds colour notes in her sketchbook whilst travelling.

Sarah also showed us her drawing materials, including graphite sticks in dark, darker and even darker. They have useful pointed end, flats and hexagonal edges and ends for creating varying marks and shading.

Sarah enjoys making dip pens of elder twigs. She makes a point and a cut to delivery ink from the soft middle. They make interesting varying lines.

She draws with willow charcoal, clutch pencils that have thick pointed leads in limited shades and Mitsubishi Uniball eye micro pens.

Sarah showed us one of her drawing on Japanese Gampi paper.

For sketching scenes on location, Sarah also uses an Elegant Writer calligraphy pen with a chisel edge to make marks in varying widths. The ink can be spread with a water pen to separate into shades of blue and grey.

Sarah showed us her sketchbooks compiled on her travels. She includes descriptions of places visited and includes local collected images.

Sarah has developed her interest in printing methods. The drypoint method involves scratching into a soft plate to create a printable image.  The plate is not as durable as engraved plates.

Sarah showed us a couple of impressive monoprints. They were produced by indents made with a wooden tool into Japanese vellum paper placed over plexiglass that had been inked with water based lino ink. The process creates lines on the other side of the paper of a different nature to those created directly by pen or pencil.

The solar plate printing method requires a detailed drawing. The image is transferred to a polymer covered metal plate using daylight that reaches the plate through the drawing. The plate is processed in water to fix the indents. The completed solar plate can be used to print many images.

A print from the solar plate.

Sarah also showed us the way that a range of Daniel Smith watercolours can be used to split into constituent parts to make interesting paintings.

Sarah Garforth’s work s can be seen at >
There are also details of her monoprints and working methods in her blog.

Details of the Ramsgill Gallery >


Spring Exhibition

Spring Art 2018 Exhibition runs from Friday 6th April to Monday 9th April at St Cuthbert’s School Hall, King Street, Pateley Bridge HG3 5LE
Update – the exhibition has finished, however, images of the paintings can be seen here > April 2018 exhibition images

Valley by Sandra Gascoigne

• Original paintings & artworks
• Browsers of mounted paintings & prints
• Landscapes, figures, still life & abstract
• Watercolour, oils, acrylic, pen & ink.
• Photography, embroidery, printing, collage etc.
• Artwork greeting cards
• All works by members
• Hot drinks and delicious cakes

Previous exhibition images > – August 2017

AGM, Rembrandt & member paintings

Annual General Meeting 6th March 2018

The committee reported on a successful year artistically and financially, with increased membership, successful exhibitions, demonstrations and outdoor sketching. The programme of meetings and sketching for 2018 was circulated. The start to 2018 was disrupted by the weather but alternative dates were arranged.

Film about Rembrandt

Gordon showed a film on the life and paintings of Rembrandt, particularly his late period. He painted many portraits and religious scenes as well as many self portraits.

Quarterly subject – Doorways by club members


Festive evening

The December meeting was a social evening for members and partners.
The shared food went down well.

Gordon and Dayna had devised a tough test of members’s knowledge of which artist painted well known works and in which country artists were born. John Belderson knew the most with Penny a close second.

Lynn Cook was presented with a trophy for the public choice of favourite picture at the August exhibition.

The quarterly subject for members’ paintings and drawings was Rocks. This attracted a diverse response in a variety of media and styles.
The most admired work was of Brimham Rocks by David Harrison.

Other works


Sketching in Hebden

The final outdoor sketching day saw a good turnout of artists in search of a  cuppa, soup, sandwiches, a chat, interesting location and a bit of sketching.

Audrey again arranged some good weather, several degrees above zero and little wind. Everyone was prepared with warm clothing but cold is insidious. One member kept on moving and made it to Burnsall and back. The dedicated sketching artists who sat it out, came back to the tearoom for hot soup to thaw out.

Scenes around Hebden


Members’ sketches in progress




“Artists & critics – Artists as critics” – Alex Purves

Alex Purves made a return visit to give an illustrated talk about artists and critics.

He started with a mention of Vasari, the 16th century artist, architect and who wrote biographies of fellow renaissance artists with a bias  in favour of fellow Florentine artists.

The 18th century art market developed in the salons and  at exhibitions. Art markets are very competitive, so most artists rely on critics to enhance their reputation. He mentioned that artists were  also often involved in art criticism themselves, sometimes to gain an advantage over their rivals.


He mentioned that membership of the Royal Academy depended on votes by members who were also artists. They could keep out new artists, especially those with new ideas in a conservative environment. The denial of entry into Paris Salons of the impressionists achieved similar outcomes for a time.

Mr Purves illustrated  many artworks that were the the subject of fierce critiques. Ingres, who painted with a classic precision, was challenged by the loose, colourful style of Delacroix.


These types of clashes were illustrated by a cartoon showing jousting between the brush and the pen.

He also illustrated and talked about critiques of artists: Degas, Toulouse Lautrec,  David and Gericault.

Mr Purves also illustrated controversial work by English painters.
A critic suggested that Constable should use less green and more brown like the old masters, even though he was painting the English countryside.
Turner faced  widespread criticism for his later vortex paintings. Even his champion, Ruskin, commenting about his mental state.



A cartoon depicting Turner painting with a mop, summed up contemporary attitudes of established classical artists to his loose style.

Mr Purves also illustrated pre Raphaelite paintings by Millais, Rosetti  and Holman Hunt.


One of the most famous artist and critic disputes followed Ruskin commenting on Whistler’s “Nocturne in Black & Gold, falling rocket”, illustrated.
He wrote: ‘I have seen, and heard, much of Cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face.’
Whistler decided to sue Ruskin for libel but was only awarded a farthing damages, resulting heavy costs against Whistler. Poor consequences for both.
Critics also commented adversely on Whistler’s “Symphony in White …”, paintings and etchings in Venice and his stark painting of his mother.
His pictures form a dangerous precedent


A portrait of Madam X  by John Singer Sargent offended critics in Paris. The loose strap was changed in some versions.






Monet’s  sketch “Impression of sunrise”, painted in London, was deemed unfinished and heavily criticised.
This painting gave a name to the impressionist movement.



Mr Purves showed post war images. This period was influenced by followers of the Bauhaus painters, including Victor Pasmore, who changed art school teaching away from its traditional approach.

The photograph is of the “kitchen sink artists”, included John Bratby, showing a kitchen sink painting.

A painting by John Bratby


One severe critic was Winston Churchill who was reputed to have destroyed Sutherland’s portrait of himself.

Lady Churchill is reputed to have destroyed a portrait sketch of him by Walter Sickert.


All new movements attract critics, not least artworks made by poured paint.

A notable comment on modern art appreciation in a New Yorker cartoon lampooned critical commentary:

“His spatter is masterful, but his dribble lacks conviction” 



And a final word by an art professional on the subject of art appreciation.
“I don’t know much about art but I know where the gents are”

It was an interesting, illuminating, broad ranging, well illustrated talk by Alec Purves.