Laura Knight by Alex Purves

Alex Purves made another visit to Pateley Bridge Art Club. This time to talk about, and illustrate the work of Dame Laura Knight and her fellow artists. Laura Knight (1877 to 1970) was a successful, popular English artist with a long career in painting, engraving etc.

Alex described her progress from Nottingham School of Art, where she met her future husband Harold Knight, who also became a successful painter.

She painted the people of Staithes, particularly women and portraits of local children.

They moved to Newlyn in Cornwall where they thrived in the company of fellow artists. She achieved success with her plein-air realistic paintings of women and of children, some were accepted at the Royal Academy.

She also painted in an impressionist style in thick paint.

Alex also illustrated the works of Alfred Munnings, Walter Sickert, Roger Fry and Harold Gilman.

Laura Knight became interested in ballet, theatre and circus, which she followed as official artist.

One ground breaking work was a self portrait of herself painting a nude. This was a reaction to early restrictions she had faced in the world of art. It was an important picture for her and has been acclaimed as a significant work.

She worked as a war artist in both world wars, sometimes showing war work by women.

A key work post war painting was of the Nuremberg trial scene, showing destruction in the background.

Laura Knight painted many fine portraits.

These are a small selection of the painting and photographs that Alex showed us.

We were also treated to a display of paintings and sketches owned by a guest, some not yet authenticated.


Sketching at Old Sleningford

Old Sleningford Hall

Summerhouse and Woods

The party met in the Stables Gallery and had a grand tour of the grounds, gardens, lake and woods (part of the National Gardens Scheme). There is an old mill, walled garden,  summer house, potting shed and greenhouse. Plenty of sketching subjects.

After a starter coffee, sketching started outside and moved into the Stable Gallery, a studio used for art courses, during the afternoon rain. Audrey promised sunny weather next year.

The smaller than usual group of sketchers produced the following results




Ian Scott Massie

Ian Scott Massie is a watercolour painter and printer based in Masham, North Yorkshire. His works can be seen, and bought, in Masham Gallery in the market square. His works, and details of painting courses and books, can also be viewed on his website at >

Mr Massie made a return visit to talk about and demonstrate watercolour painting.

He recommended that members use the best paper. He uses Bockingford and Saunders Waterford. He often uses cotton paper 140lb, either hot pressed or cold pressed.

He suggested that synthetic brushes are adequate and much cheaper than sable brushes.

He showed us his sample strips of watercolour combinations that help him plan colour mixes.

Before commencing Ian softens the paints on his dishes with a little water. He uses, amongst others, indigo, burnt sienna, permanent rose, yellow ochre, quinacridone gold, neutral tint.

Ian paints flat onto taped watercolour paper on board, tilting his board when needed.

Ian used strong pigments and plenty of water to diffuse the colour.

He allows the initial washes to dry before painting the skyline with dark colours with a fine brush.

Ian washed the base of the skyline with water to make a soft edge and added some colour into the sea.

Completed watercolour study

Ian showed us some more colour mixes that he uses for colourful landscapes.

He demonstrated a dales landscape with sky and hills in blue colours and foreground in warmer colour mixes

Samples of Ian’s work



Talk by Tony Noble

Tony Noble gave a talk to Pateley Bridge Art Club on his career and showed us images of his work.


He had a strong grounding in life drawing and portraits in pencil in a local art group.





Tony gave up teaching in 2008 and became a full time artist working mainly in oil on board. He has several in progress to allow for drying times.

He also paints in acrylic and watercolour.

He showed us his early portraits of children.




Tony entered his portraits into the BP Portrait Awards at the National Portrait Gallery and was accepted 5 times.

This double portrait is of his Mother-in-Law and her sister.

He also paints portraits and animal paintings as commissions.




He has a studio in Redbrick Mill in Batley. Many of his paintings include detailed objects associated with the subjects. In many cases, the level of detail and his realistic approach take months to paint.





Tony painted the portraits of a local biker gang and their leader.



His other major subject is of local buildings. He paints old mills, shops, flats, car parks  and old garages. They are realistically painted with every brick detailed. He has painted many in Batley, Marsden and Leeds.

He has had paintings accepted into the RA  Summer Exhibition twice. Paintings have also been accepted in other competitions.


Many images are at wide angles, appearing even more photographic.


Tony also painted a series of garages in various states of repair.

Many more paintings can be seen at


Sketching at Dallowgill

On a glorious day there was another good turnout for the monthly sketching day. The location on a hill farm had good views around, especially from the nearby hilltop tower.

There were interesting buildings around the hamlet, including a Methodist chapel, a former pub and agricultural buildings.


After a welcome coffee from our hospitable hosts, the members spread out to sketch their chosen subjects.

Our hosts found enough chairs for the sharing lunchtime feast and entertained the group with humorous tales from  country life and time spent judging cattle at shows.


These are some of the sketches squeezed in between the distractions.



Demonstration by Helen Cassidy

Local artist Helen Cassidy made a return visit to demonstrate how she paints acrylic landscapes.

Helen’s used a range of acrylic colours. Titanium white, buff, warm grey, prussian blue, indigo, purple, olive green, yellow ochre, burnt sienna.

Helen had already prepared a board with burnt sienna as a background, with crumpled tissue to create random texture. She roughly painted the mountains with a purple/prussian blue mixture.  Using a small brush she added dark rock edges and started to paint the dark banks of the river.

Helen then used a rag to apply browns either side of the river.

She then applied buff colour by rag into the sky. The darker colour showed through a little.

Helen then rubbed the buff on rag over the textured dark hills to produce rocky highlights,  then worked in shadow in indigo/purple with a small brush.

After painting the river loosely in a purple/prussian blue mix, she added various colours to the valley, olive green, yellow ochre and burnt sienna, with a medium brush in a scumble effect. She used darker shades for the lower valley sides.

She added growing vegetation with vertical strokes in yellow ochre and added trees in an indigo/purple mix.

Again using a rag with buff, Helen rolled a mist over the top of the mountains

After adding foliage to the trees, Helen painted in an eye catching white house, completing the demonstration painting.


Demonstration by Jeremy Taylor

Jeremy Taylor is a Yorkshire teacher, artist and demonstrator who mainly paints in oils and watercolour. He came to Pateley Bridge Art Club to demonstrate watercolour landscapes.

Jeremy explained that he had been painting for many years and was self taught. He described how he spends a lot of time thinking about a painting and planning how to do it before commencing.  This enables him to paint quickly, avoiding changes that can ruin a watercolour and achieve a fresh look to the painting.

Jeremy used 140lb (300gsm) branded watercolour paper, as he believes that paper quality is important to achieving good results. He does not stretch his paper as it frees his approach to painting and encourages him to start again on the other side if it goes wrong. He thinks that this happens quite a lot in watercolour painting compared with oil painting which can be corrected more easily.

He usually limits his colours to warm and cool hues of the primary colours. His brushes are usually acrylic, 1.5 inch flat brushes for backgrounds and small round brushes for detail.


For his first demonstration he wet his paper thoroughly with several applications of water, then applied sweeping strokes of blue across the sky with his wide brush. He painted yellow ochre patches and strokes across the foreground, adding darker blue to create lines of hills.

He added trees in various shades of mixed green in the mid ground and background and did some scratching out for tree branches using paint tube caps. As a focal point, Jeremy painted a cottage with a warm colour and etched in a path. The photograph under dim indoor lighting does not do justice to the finished result.

After the break, Jeremy painting a snow scene in limited colours. He wet the paper a little less than the previous painting. He left areas of white paper to show the lighter snow. He washed in blue in various shades.

Jeremy added trees lines and walls, then tree branches with minimal strokes and some fine pencil for the thinner branches. The tree crowns are suggested by a light misting of browns and grey colour, avoiding greens. He added a path then a shepherd and sheep create areas of interest that would balance the composition.

The demonstration showed how results can be achieved with a freer approach to painting. His many suggestions and his dry Yorkshire humour were much appreciated.

Examples of his work
Jeremy brought examples of his paintings in a wide range of subjects. The following are just a sample. The images again suffer from poor lighting and reflections.

All images are copyright of Jeremy Taylor.