Project: Thursday life drawing classes at St Olave’s Church Hall. Result: Donderdag Collective exhibition at Pyramid Gallery

Tranquillity, chalk and charcoal, by Diane Cobbold

THE Donderdag Collective will be exhibiting at Pyramid Gallery, Stonegate, York from Saturday to June 25.

Founded in 2011 by a group of artists in York, they meet at St Olave’s Church Hall, in Marygate Lane, on Thursday evenings to sketch or paint from a life model (‘Donderdag’ being Dutch for ‘Thursday’).

The group comprises both professional artists and keen amateurs who want to hone their technique or explore new ideas by working freely with a life model.

Comfortable In Your Own Skin, life drawing artwork, by Donderdag Collective member Carolyn Coles

“This exhibition is a celebration of the art of life drawing and an opportunity for the collective to show together the art that they make for pleasure or as a means of earning a living,” says Pyramid Gallery owner and curator Terry Brett.

Fifteen members will feature in the Artists And The Human Form show, exhibiting both life drawings made during the Thursday sessions and other artworks for sale.

Away, charcoal, by Kate Pettitt

Taking part will be: Julie Mitchell; Rory Barke; Bertt deBaldock (aka Terry Brett);  Diane Cobbold; Carolyn Coles; Leon Francois Dumont; Jeanne Godfrey; Anna Harding; Adele Karmazyn; Michelle Galloway; Andrian Melka; Kate Pettitt; Swea Sayers; Barbara Shaw and Donna Maria Taylor.

The artists will attend Saturday’s official opening from 11am to 2.30pm, when wine, soft drinks and nibbles will be served. Gallery opening hours are 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday; closed Sundays.

Ring Of Fire, oil, by Leon Francois Dumont

Six of the best artists from Arnup Studios go on show at Blossom Street Gallery

Fire Spirals Bowl by Hannah Arnup

SIX York artists and makers are taking part in the Arnup Studios Group Exhibition at Blossom Street Gallery, Blossom Street, York, until March 28.

Arnup Studios, in Panman Lane, Holtby, near York, was originally the home and workplace of renowned painter and potter Mick Arnup and sculptor Sally Arnup. Now their daughter, potter Hannah, is continuing its creative story.

This Could Be, by Michelle Galloway

Exhibiting alongside her are Michelle Galloway, Emma Frost, Kate Pettitt, Reg Walker and Emma Welsh, who all have studio space in the village studios.

In Sally’s Studio, Hannah creates stoneware decorative pottery, handmade for everyday use and enjoyment, her pieces appealing to both practical and aesthetic values. She also enjoys making one-off sculptures and tripod pots that form a delightful addition to this month’s exhibition.

Watford Pylons, by Emma Frost

Working in the Pottery Studio, Michelle Galloway paints calm, harmonious watercolours, quiet and contemplative, atmospheric, yet gentle and light, punctuated by the intensity of her oil paintings. Her inspiration comes mostly from her interest in archaeology, architecture and man-made structures.

Landscape artist Emma Frost works in acrylic paint in the North Studio, where she conjures scenes that depict the world around her, exploring the constant presence of power lines and structures in her daily life, resulting in a body of work showcasing pylons, telegraph poles and such like. Work is nearly entirely created using palette knives, incorporating some large brush work.

Breathe, by Kate Pettitt

Based in the Gallery Studio, Kate Pettitt specialises in studio and plein air paintings and drawings of the natural environment and the human form. She works in a variety of media from oil to charcoal, her work being elemental, instinctive and often textural.

Reg Walker constructs abstract sculptures, both contemplative and playful, mostly in steel and aluminium, in the Kiln Studio. He also makes small pieces for the hand, in bamboo, and distinctive collages in natural materials. For Blossom Street Gallery he has created a collection of paperbark collages from the natural shedding of the Japanese birch tree in his garden.

Paperbark collage, by Reg Walker

From the South Studio, Emma Welsh creates silver, gold and platinum jewellery. Each piece is hand-made individually using traditional techniques. For this exhibition she has assembled a fossil-themed collection inspired by happy days spent searching for ammonites along the coast.

Kate Pettitt and Reg Walker will attend a Meet The Artist event at Blossom Street Gallery, York, on March 12. Gallery opening hours are 10am to 4pm, Thursday to Sunday.

Geometric fossil earrings, by Emma Welsh

No York Open Studios in April, but all that art still needs a new home, so look here…DAY FOUR

Vasilisa the Wise, by Sarah K Jackson

YORK Open Studios 2020, the chance to meet 144 artists at 100 locations over two April weekends, has had to be cancelled in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, with doors sadly shut for the April 17 to 19 and April 25 to 26 event, CharlesHutchPress wants to champion the creativity of York’s artists and makers, who would have been showcasing their ceramics, collage, digital, illustration, jewellery, mixed media, painting, print, photography, sculpture and textiles skills.

Each day, in brochure order, five artists who now miss out on the exposure of Open Studios will be given a pen portrait on these pages, because so much art will have been created for the event and still needs a new home. Home addresses will not be included at this time.

Sarah K Jackson: Love of Russian design

Sarah K Jackson, textiles

SARAH specialises in transforming aged fabrics and precious items into original “keepsake” artworks. For York Open Studios 2020, she assembled Headstrong, a series of new pieces inspired by old photographs of Russian women in national dress.

Why Russian women? Sarah has a special affinity for Russian design from studying the language and literature at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and she both lived and travelled there extensively during the 1990s.

After completing a City & Guilds’ qualification in creative techniques in 2013, she set up her vintage and handmade textile art business, Winifred Taylor, named after her grandmother, who taught her to sew.

Sarah presents workshops and is a member of York Art Workers’ Association and two textile and mixed media groups, exhibiting with them regularly. Find out more at

Kate Pettitt: Painting en plein air. Picture: Olivia Brabbs

Kate Pettitt, painting

KATE’S paintings and drawings on paper explore the natural environment and the human form and are often elemental, instinctive and textural.

She works from life and en plein air, then referencing her sketches, studies, notes and collected objects when back in the studio, where she uses oils, graphite, acrylic and watercolour.

Inspired by movement, emotion, shifting light and changing weather conditions, her work aims to capture the character and uniqueness of people and place.

Rain Over Littendale, by Kate Pettitt

Kate’s background and training is in graphic design and illustration, and she has worked as a designer for more than 20 years, running her design practice, Bivouac, for 12 years.

This year’s York Open Studios would have been Kate’s chance to introduce visitors to her new studio in Holtby. Instead, in the Coronavirus lockdown, she is now working from home. Take a look at her work at

Reg Walker: Yorkshire Sculpture Park played its part in his artistic development

Reg Walker, sculpture

REG crafts abstract sculptures, sometimes contemplative, sometimes playful, mostly in Corten steel, together with small pieces for the hand in bamboo and distinctive collages in natural materials.

He took up sculpture when inspired by volunteering at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield, where he then took part in hot and cold metal courses.

Originally from Ireland, Reg settled in Yorkshire in 1988, working in social research and organisation development. He had a studio at Kildale on the North York Moors before moving last year to a studio in Holtby, where he would have been making his York Open Studios debut. Seek him out at

Connie Howarth, Constance Isobel jewellery maker

Constance Isobel, jewellery

CONNIE Howarth, of Constance Isobel, uses gold, silver and high-quality gemstones, sourced from ethical UK retailers, in her handmade jewellery. Traditional techniques are applied to create her exclusive precious metal work, also informed by her interest in ancient adornments and artefacts. 

Connie had formal, workshop-based training in traditional jewellery-making techniques. Earlier she studied fine art, which now seeps into her metalwork with use of colour drawing on her love of the natural world. Delicate pattern work and organic shapes decorate her jewellery throughout each collection. Her jewel of a website is at

Chris Utley, ceramics

CHRIS creates hand-built pots, carved, scraped and polished, then painted with slips and underglaze colours. The finished work is fired several times to achieve a strong depth of colour.

One of Chris Utley’s ceramics

She studied ceramics for three years in college and has been making pots in her stable workshop for many years. She has taught adults, been artist-in-residence in primary schools and run many workshops, as well as exhibiting widely in both Britain and Norway.

Look at for more details.

TOMORROW’S FIVE: Tim Pearce; Linda Harvey; John Watts; Wilf Williams and Jerry Scott.