My initial starting point is to collect on the spot sketches, subjects will vary from harbour coastal scenes to street and market scenes and the occasional still life. I am selective when describing detail, I want to portray only the essence of the subject.
Back in the studio I start my paintings, (surfaces can include, paper, board and canvas), with layers of paper collage, newspapers, tissue, leaflets, magazines etc, glueing with acrylic medium.
I create shapes which relate to the abstract structure of the subject. When the glue is dry, I apply acrylic ink in bold random strokes which encourages wonderful colour and textural ‘happy accidents’. From this state of chaos I endeavour to define the subject through various drawing techniques, to a finished stage where the subject has recognisable passages, but at the same time retain a semi- abstract, impressionistic feel, engaging the viewers imagination.
I now paint almost exclusively in mixed media, combining collage, acrylics and pastel. I enjoy the way textures, shapes, colour and ‘happy accidents’ steer the direction of my paintings. My favourite subjects continue to be harbour scenes, market and street scenes both in Britain and abroad.
Mike Bernard is exhibiting 30 paintings in his new solo show Yorkshire and Beyond here at Watermark Gallery from 27 October to 11 November 2023. View the exhibition here.
Janine Baldwin is a full member of the Pastel Society who is based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Janine has been represented by Watermark Gallery since its inception and we have seen her reputation grow consistently. Janine is a regular volunteer for the North Yorkshire National Park and her love and knowledge of the North York Moors is clearly evident throughout her work.
This new body of work explores the wild ruggedness of the North Yorkshire landscape, especially along the coastline and out on higher ground, in which fast changing weather conditions bring about interesting combinations of light and mood. The beauty of overgrown places quietly reclaimed by nature is central to these new pieces.
Watch Janine talk to owner of Watermark Gallery, Liz Hawkes about the exhibition below.
You can also read about Janine’s work for the North Yorks National Park here.
An exhibition of over 50 new original artworks by nine Watermark Gallery artists and makers. Paintings by Colin Black, Jill Campbell, Louise Davies RE, Andrew Farmer ROI, Emerson Mayes, Tessa Pearson and Tom Wood; ceramics by Yvette Glaze and a selection of both prints and ceramics by Louise McNiff.
This summer art exhibition of work is now available to view throughout our Harrogate gallery and also on this website. It runs until the end of July 2023.
Landscape and still life and the use of strong vibrant colour form the basis of Caroline Bailey’s work. She studied Printed Textiles at Manchester Polytechnic from 1972 to 76 leaving with a BA (Hons) and MA in Textile Design. She then taught and worked freelance until the mid 1980’s, by which time painting had become a full-time occupation.
Caroline has exhibited widely in the UK and was elected a full member of The RSW (Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour) in 1998. She has also exhibited at the annual exhibitions of The Royal Scottish Academy and Royal Glasgow Institute and also with The Royal Watercolour Society.
She works in water-based mixed media most particularly watercolour, gouache and acrylic. These act together to create layers of colour and texture. Still life in which flowers are the major subject are seen against colourful textiles with hints of land and seascape in the background. Caroline now lives and works in The Isle of Skye where paintings are based on days spent working in sketchbooks while walking in the landscape. The colour and textures are descriptive of this wild and beautiful landscape that has always inspired her and which she now calls home.
Meet the illustrator, Jane Ray, on Friday 21st April, 10-2pm at Watermark Gallery.
Jane Ray is one of the UK’s most celebrated illustrators of children’s literature. Timed to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio (the first printed collection of his plays) we are delighted to welcome Jane back to Watermark Gallery with this beautiful selection of original illustration from three of Shakespeare’s most popular plays.
“These illustrations from The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night, are part of an ongoing book project with Walker Books and Shakespeare’s Globe. It is an illustrator’s dream job to take on the challenge of illustrating these well-known plays, in this case beautifully retold by Georghia Ellinas for the youngest of audiences.
Mindful of their theatrical origins, I started and finished each book with a miniature stage, to take us from the moment that the curtain is raised and we are drawn into the magic of the play, to the resolution as it falls at the end.
Ariel, Puck and Feste are our narrators in these re-tellings and I took each of them as my starting point, to lead us through the book, using their magic, mischief and observation to tell the story.
There is such rich imagery to draw on in these plays, of course, and such emotion – love and loss, humour, pathos, fear and confusion. With settings as romantic as Athens, Milan and Illyria, summer woodlands, magical islands and midnight gardens I was free to indulge my imagination with a flight of dreaming fancy. Making these paintings has been truly satisfying and pleasurable work.”
Jane Ray April 2023
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Browse the catalogue (by clicking on the image to the right) for our forthcoming exhibition by Caroline Bailey RSW. This is the first exhibition that we are holding in partnership with our friends at Walker Galleries and we look forward to welcoming you to the private view on Friday 12th May. You can also view all of the works from the exhibition below on this website.
Tom Wood has a solo exhibition of recent still life paintings at Watermark Gallery. View the exhibition in our Harrogate gallery or online here. This exhibition runs from 6-21 October 2023.
Tom Wood was originally born in Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika in 1955 and in 1959 moved to West Yorkshire. He graduated from Sheffield School of Art in 1978 and since then his work has been exhibited worldwide. His numerous portrait commissions include paintings of Professor Lord Robert Winston and Alan Bennett, both of which were commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery. Other notable commissions have included portraits for HRH The Prince of Wales, Yale University and Cambridge University.
Tom was visiting Professor of Fine Art at the University of Leeds and is a Fellow of Sheffield Hallam University.
Tom has also been heavily involved in the creation of The West Yorkshire Print Workshop and also the Yorkshire Printmakers in Leeds. He was one of the first artists to have a studio at Dean Clough in Halifax and created a large studio gallery at Phoebe Mills, Halifax.
He has worked in Hong Kong as Art Adviser for The English Schools Foundation and, whilst there, was instrumental in developing art projects for gifted and talented art students, including large scale painted and digital mural projects in numerous schools. Upon returning to the UK he created the Art Academy at Redbrick Mill, Batley, where he continues to teach. He has also been featured in the BBC ‘Star Portraits’ arts programme in which he painted the actress Barbara Windsor.
Helen Thomas is a Yorkshire based visual artist, working predominantly with painting and drawing. Her work explores responses to plants in the environment. Helen’s practice includes field and studio work, alongside educational and collaborative projects.
Helen studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art and a year postgraduate study with Turps Art School. She is now based at The Art House in Wakefield and is a member of the Prosaic curatorial group.
In 2021 Helen’s project ‘Dandelions and Double Yellows’ – inspired by the overlooked, and sometimes contentious, self seeded plants in our everyday surroundings – was supported by Arts Council England and Wakefield Council. The project culminated in a solo exhibition of sixteen site responsive works at Wakefield Cathedral and a digital showcase of pictures of pavement plants contributed by over 60 people ‘Dandelions and Double Yellows – Your Gallery’.
The Hepworth Wakefield commissioned Helen to work with a group of young people to co-create visuals for ’What does Wakefield Sound Like?’ with musicians Duncan Chapman and Supriya Nagarajan from Manasimitra.