Rugby and whisky enthusiast Paul Blackwell “likes to paint a bit” for Village Gallery show

Duncombe Park, in pastel, by Paul Blackwell

NORTH Yorkshire artist Paul Blackwell will exhibit his Treescapes at Village Gallery, Colliergate, York, from January 14 to February 22.

Blackwell and his wife, fellow artist Anne Thornhill, ran a gallery in Grosmont, on the North York Moors, for more than 20 years before selling up and moving to an 18th century farmhouse overlooking the Esk Valley near Whitby. Here they have a barn studio, where they both continue to work.

Ash Tree In The Late Autumn Light, in pastel, by Paul Blackwell

Blackwell uses many different media, from oil and acrylic to pastel and pastel pencil. “Paul is passionate about wildlife and the natural landscape and a lot of his work is done from the 14 acres they have as a small nature reserve,” says Village Gallery owner and curator Simon Main.

Blackwell reveals he has always had two passions in his life. “The first is rugby and the second, malt whisky,” he says. “But I also like to paint a bit: landscapes mainly.

Paul Blackwell and Anne Thornhill’s home and studio in the Esk Valley

“My work is a reflection of my interest in the complex and emotional interchange of colours, as I attempt to convey the vibrancy and radiance of a landscape and the depth of its emotional impact.

“I often use the medium of pastel as it’s particularly suited to my way of working, using colour juxtapositions to create energy and dynamism, rhythm and balance.”

The Strid Woods, in pastel, by Paul Blackwell

After starting work on site, usually in monochrome, Blackwell enjoys exploring the colour structure once back in the studio. Frequently keeping the formal content simple, he creates a uniformity of atmosphere and feeling through his application of colours, as can be seen at Village Gallery from next Tuesday.

Gallery opening hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. In addition, the gallery will play host to a preview evening on January 13 from 5pm to 8pm, when Paul Blackwell will be on hand to discuss his work. Free tickets are available from Simon Main on 07972 428382 or 01904 411444 or at