KENTMERE House Gallery owner Ann Petherick is determined to champion “great art from troubled times”.
Her gallery doors in Scarcroft Hill, York, may be shut amid the Coronavirus lockdown, but nevertheless Ann has issued a rallying call to support artists still busy being creative.
“Artists are not quitters – and in any case have to eat, pay rent, buy materials, etc. – so it’s likely that all of them are hard at work in their studios in enforced isolation,” she says.
“Artists need to sell, so for those of you who are indoors and bored with looking at bare walls, or at the same old images, the gallery is open online and you’re very welcome to browse kentmerehouse.co.uk.”
Ann has original paintings and artists’ prints by more than 70 artists, all unique to the gallery, at prices ranging from £30 to £2,000, as well as illustrated books by artists, priced £10 to £30, again unique to Kentmere House.
Gallery regular Susan Bower lives near Tadcaster, where she works from a spacious studio built by her husband, a former GP-turned-joiner and restorer of old fire engines. “The studio is lined with around 100 paintings: finished work waiting to be sent to galleries all over the country, work in progress, and postcards and cuttings for inspiration,” says Ann. “Dogs and grandchildren are banned but manage to sneak in nevertheless.”
John Thornton has a garden studio, self-built and looking on to a delightful sheltered garden. “Prevented from making his usual regular trips to the coast, he’s contenting himself with re-creating the scenes he loves,” says Ann.
“Likewise, Rosie Dean, always one of the most popular artists from York Open Studios, is working on her impressive seascapes from her terraced house in York.”
Suffolk artist Tessa Newcomb paints at her cottage near Aldeburgh. “Cats are always in evidence, and it’s necessary to pick your way carefully across the floor as paintings are everywhere!” says Ann. “It is perhaps fortunate that most of her work is fairly small.”
David Greenwood now lives in Keighley, where he is lucky to have a garden to paint in, says Ann. “The ongoing cancellations of race meetings are a disappointment to him but he can still enjoy the canal walks that give him much inspiration,” she enthuses. “Like so many artists, he has plenty of sketches from previous visits to work on, along with the ideas in his head.”
Rosemary Carruthers always enjoyed her visits to York, where on several occasions she was artist-in-residence at the York Early Music Festival. “She’s now based in a new house in Holt in Norfolk, where she has a new garden to occupy her considerable gardening skills but retains time for painting her exquisite oils of musicians too.”
Ann updates her website, kentmerehouse.co.uk, regularly and frequently posts on Twitter @kentmere_h_gall. “One day I may even figure out how to deal with Instagram,” she says.