SUMMER Eclectic marks the reopening of Blue Tree Gallery, in Bootham, York, in an exhibition running until July 3.
“It’s good to see York open again for all to visit and enjoy, as we help to keep York culturally alive, safe and well,” say Gordon and Marisa Giarchi and their gallery team. “We’ll be open to the public with this show and it’s available online.”
On view are original paintings by Yorkshire artists Janine Baldwin Colin Cook, Deborah Grice and Karen Turner.
Leeds-born Janine Baldwin has settled into Scarborough. “Living on the North Yorkshire coast, I’m surrounded by beautiful moors, woodland and coastline,” she says. “These natural environments are a constant inspiration, and sketches made directly in the landscape form the basis of my studio work.”
Favouring a focus on mark-making and texture, she uses layers of charcoal, pastel and graphite to create her artworks gradually, influenced by Joan Eardley, Cy Twombly and Abstract Expressionism.
“I’m passionate about the conservation of our landscape and since 2006 I have been a conservation volunteer for the North York Moors National Park, working on projects such as tree planting and butterfly habitat management,” says Janine. “These projects have allowed a deeper understanding of the landscape, in turn enriching the artwork I create.”
Colin Cook lives and works near Whitby. “Originally I come from west London and lived in the south of England until moving to the north east to teach photography, digital imaging, drawing and painting in a further education college in 1989,” he says.
Colin had studied fine art at Isleworth Polytechnic and a degree in painting at Maidstone College of Art, graduating in 1979. He began exhibiting in 1987 at Gunnersbury Park Museum in west London, going on to be selected for the 10th Cleveland International Drawing Biennale at the Cleveland Gallery, Middlesbrough, and the BP Young European Artists exhibition of Works On Paper at the Barbican Concourse Gallery, London, in 1992.
Then, after many years of teaching, he began exhibiting again five years ago. The inspiration for his subject matter is drawn from the north-eastern coast and moors and the Lake District. “My paintings are representational, based on observation of the constantly changing and intriguing light,” says Colin
“Most of my paintings are about creating an atmosphere through dramatic light and bold mark making. Compositional tension is important and hopefully created by the careful arrangement of the different pictorial elements: colour, texture, light, etc.”
His paintings are reliant on careful under-drawing to make the structure for the looser brush marks to sit on. The strongest shapes are worked in with large brushes and the smaller areas of specific focus are developed later.
“I prefer to work with acrylic paints and enjoy the flexibility that working with a water-based medium gives. Sometimes the paint is heavily impastoed and on other occasions it is built up in layers or glazes. Acrylic allows for a certain immediacy as it dries fairly quickly.”
Born in East Yorkshire, not far from the Yorkshire Wolds, Deborah Grice is a graduate of Glasgow School of Art and the Royal College of Art, London.
“I paint wild landscapes and weather,” she says. “My paintings are metaphysical in nature, representing vastness and ‘otherness’. Although my oil paintings can be thought of as traditional in manner, with the introduction of geometric lines, I feel my work is forward looking, relevant and timely.”
Deborah began applying geometrical lines as a visual device in 2008 after gaining her private pilot’s licence. “Through the use of navigational charts for my cross-country flights, I became interested in making the invisible visible,” she says.
“After a decade of assimilating ideas and thoughts, the lines have also begun to allude to aspects of ‘vision’: perception, meditation, escapism and the physicality of looking.”
Easingwold artist and documentary photographer Karen Turner responds to land and sea, city and village.
“Living in the wonderful county of Yorkshire, I’m passionate about our beautiful countryside, rugged coastline, historic cities and working fishing villages,” she says. “They all have their own individual charm and give endless inspiration to an artist.
“I’ve always been drawn to the sea and love to paint it with the fluid, often unpredictable qualities of watercolour and inks on paper. I also enjoy creating using big brushes and the colourful opaque effects of acrylic paint on canvas, capturing marine life and other animals.”
Exploring with colour and bold mark making, Karen works in a semi-abstract, naive style, capturing the landscape, wildlife and other aspects of the inspirational natural world.
“I love to create art that makes people smile, adding a splash of colour and brightness to everyday life,” she says.
Blue Tree Galllery, York, is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11am to 5pm, as well as online at bluetreegallery.co.uk.