Artists' Biographies

Claire Bentley

I enjoyed a 20 year career as a busy commercial artist, Poshfruit Creative, in Leeds, painting large-scale murals, shop windows, event decor and theatrical costumes & props.
The 2020 lockdowns challenged us all to reevaluate, so a move out of the big city and closer to rural life evolved into a return to my beloved equestrian art and portrait painting in the North Yorkshire town of Tadcaster.
I have been drawn to horses my whole life, but never had the luxury of my own. I grew up in Southeast Asia so I rode many horses in distant lands, learning and observing.
My Father moved to North Yorkshire when I was a teen, introducing us to the stoic world of farming and field sports. Now based in Tadcaster I am blessed with Toulston Polo Club on the doorstep, York Races nearby and the Samuel Smith’s brewery dray shire-horses that pass my home in the mornings. Inspiration everywhere!
I use different mediums for myriad styles of work. Acrylic, watercolour and oil paints, mixed in with inks, pastels & pencil.

Rachel Bentley

Mixed Media Artist
A contemporary mixed media artist, Rachel Bentley is on a creative journey shaped by Yorkshire's serene landscapes and dynamic coastlines. Over the last 6 years of self-taught exploration, Rachel has delved into various artistic techniques, from acrylics to oils, collage to watercolour. Her creations, often characterised by intricate layers and the use of recycled materials, capture the emotions inspired by natural light, vivid colours, and the beauty of life's transitions. Transitioning herself from a successful marketing and coaching career, Rachel now devotes herself entirely to developing her art. Exhibiting locally and regionally, her artworks, available in original and limited-edition prints, encapsulate the essence of the beauty of our region, fostering a unique emotional connection with viewers.
Facebook: @RachelBentleyArtist

Shirley Berrow

Ceramic Artist.
‘Shirley has been painting on China and Porcelain for 50 years, gaining her knowledge and expertise from professional artists around the world, and forever improving on her own natural skills. From her first lesson she was inspired and it has remained a passion. Her work is varied and includes framed pictures painted on ceramic tiles, she paints from all forms of nature on pieces of all shapes and sizes, plates , vases ,bowls, and beakers, in fact anything that stands still gets the ‘Shirley’ treatment using classical and modern techniques, providing stunning results and pieces of art which will last forever.’

This year, 2024 she is displaying her work in Thorner

Lauri Bower

Paper Collage Artist

Lauri is a paper collage & mixed media artist working mindfully to create one-off paper collages, giclee prints, and greeting cards.
Her inspirations are words, poems, and nature, particularly her garden.
Her artwork is colourful and textured, loose abstract art. Using watercolour paint, lino-print, marbling, and ink she begins by creating papers to work with.
Mindfulness is part of her creative practice and is reflected in her subject and colour choices.
She offers workshops and demonstrations locally and can be found at Made in Yorkshire events in York. Her work is on the walls of local Apotheco coffee shop in Collingham.


Michael Brereton

I am primarily a plein air painter in watercolour and gouache. I usually spend about 2 hours in situ and in this time I hope to have captured the essentials of the subject. I am happy to take on whatever presents itself from cafe scenes to open landscapes.
Many trips abroad are recorded in these paintings as well local Yorkshire scenes and beyond. They also provide the inspiration and starting point for indoor painting, some of which are in acrylic and oil.

Jackey Brown

Jackey started with watercolour painting at an evening class in Leicestershire over 40 years ago. However getting married and moving to Cambridgeshire, she did not paint for nearly 20 years. Then a move to Yorkshire stirred up the desire to paint again. She now mainly uses pastels and mixed media to capture landscapes and animals but enjoys having a go at any different type of paint, given the chance.

Jan Bulley

Jan’s primary interest is in mixed media landscape painting in a loose and fluid manner over textured backgrounds and taking inspiration from nature. Her process has evolved using lots of washes and wet-in-wet techniques into semi-abstract landscapes that strive to capture the ephemeral effects of light, atmosphere and tranquility.
Jan also works in printmaking, in particular with collagraph, which produces a very expressive and textured finish creating a unique print every time.
Jan also works in hand built ceramics, using ancient techniques; pinch pots, coiling and slabs constructing pieces of simplicity. Again, taking inspiration from nature, she uses texture and mark making to create truly original pieces.
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Hilary Burnett-Cooper

Hilary paints in all mediums and specialises primarily in landscapes and how the light affects her chosen subject. She owns her own private gallery, The Frog Bank Gallery

Clare Dean

Clare is a mixed media artist, who particularly likes to work with acrylics in a loose textural way, finding inspiration from nature and her garden, and particularly enjoys painting meadows. She also works in pastel and oil occasionally. She has a large range of cards and prints, including animals and birds along with floral and landscape work.
Clare is happy to do workshops or demonstrations for local art groups and runs her own workshops. She has undertaken several commissions. She regularly exhibits at RHS Harlow Carr and other events. Please for more information.

Natalie Elderton

Natalie is a ceramic artist making both decorative and functional pieces such as large platters, vases and garden decorations. All of her work is hand built using slaps, coils or pinching methods. Often, she will then apply coloured slips and then scrape and carve into the clay to show the colour of the clay beneath. This is a process called sgraffito. Working as a florist for many years she takes much of her inspiration from flowers, plants and the natural landscape.
You can see more of Natalie's ceramics at

Paul Heaney

As a photographer of landscapes and architecture I often artwork my images using a range of digital techniques ranging from black & white semi-line drawings to muted colour and exaggerated colour. I like to achieve an emotional and even spiritual response. I'd like to think my heritage images help people appreciate the richness of craftsmanship and beauty around us in the urban and semi-urban landscape.

I run regular art fayres mostly in Leeds Kirkgate Market and Leeds Corn Exchange called Art House Art Fayre (AHAF).

I also have a poetry podcast on Podbean called Lightpainting With Poetry." Visit my instagram here

Jane Horton CPAGB, BPE3, AFIAP

Jane's passions are horses and photography and loves nothing more than to capture the beauty, spirit and nobility of these amazing animals.
She is mainly self-taught but has, and still does, attend photography workshops, as she is a great believer in the old adage that you never stop learning.
She also enjoys taking wildlife images, both in Britain and in Africa.
Jane has had work included in exhibitions at Northern Ballet 2013 – 2018 and a number of images featured in magazines, books, leaflets and newspapers.
She has also had a number of images accepted by the Yorkshire Photographic Union and British Photographic Exhibition
See Jane's work at
or on instagram at janehorton92

Maggie Molyneax

Retired from a Technical Drawing background Maggie likes nothing better than to sit and sketch or paint, but not usually the view that others may notice. Buildings, Bricks & Mortar are all part of the game, A Street Scene A City Scape or even a House Portrait

Rachel McNaughton

I paint mostly in watercolour although sometimes use pastel and my early choice of subject matter was flowers. Since then I have broadened my horizons and paint landscapes, animals and whatever takes my fancy! I now have a looser style but I still always have to fight against painting in detail.
Work has been published by National Trust, Laura Ashley, Unicef, M and S and WHSmith.
You can see more of my work by visiting ( where there are galleries of my art to buy as originals and prints or click here to visit my Etsy shop which also includes painting tutorials.
click here to e mail

Sarah Nicholls

Sarah Jane Nicholls is an artist that specialises in painting tree inspired art onto sheets of glass. Her paintings are often of local landscapes with her main focus being of trees. Her paintings are bright and vibrant with details of texture in a pointillist style. Sarah is self taught and has developed her style of painting over many years through lots of experimentation. This will be her 5th year taking part in the AAW Open Studios where she will be selling original paintings, giclée prints and greeting cards. She looks forward to welcoming you to her home.

Jill Neale

Jill enjoys painting many subjects, primarily meadows, showing the harmony in nature to be found in the countryside around her. Jill hopes that her paintings and use of colour convey a feeling of joy and happiness. Jill also paints the countryside around Collingham as well as abstract mixed media pictures, animals and house portrait

Lisa Pickard

Lisa is a Yorkshire born artist, trained in graphic design, who has spent her working life in the advertising industry. As a lover of all things art & craft Lisa has been creative from a young age and can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a pencil or a glue stick in her hand!
She is best known for her pastel landscape paintings but enjoys working on different
themes and in a variety of mediums.
Her subjects are varied and include all manner of flora and fauna, pet portrait commissions and much more. Fascinated by rolling landscapes and turquoise seas, Lisa never tires of the views and is always on the lookout for her next project. She loves to see the sunlight dancing on water, or filtering through the clouds in contrast to the backdrop of a stormy sky. Lisa is permanently in awe of the beauty of nature and likes to capture that essence in her paintings.
To find out more visit:

Linda Quartermaine

I am Linda Quartermaine, a Watercolour and Pastel Artist. The subjects that I like to paint are Landscapes, Wildlife and Pet Portraits.
I have always been very passionate about animal conservation and any wildlife paintings that I sell, 10% of it will be donated to Wildlife Charities. At the moment I am working on Chimpanzees, using photos from the Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue & Protection Charity.
Paintings are available as prints and cards, 10% of sales from these items will also be sent to a conservation charity.
I have been painting for many years and I am a member of the Walton Group of Artists.

Ailsa Read

Ailsa Read is a contemporary seascape artist who graduated in Fine Art and Creative Practice from Leeds Arts University. The focus of her work is to capture the excitement of the sea in all its many moods.
Dr A H Read
07831 326309

Vivienne Rawnsley

Vivienne Rawnsley studied Art and Design from 1962 to 1966 and became a graphic designer, working in London, North Yorkshire and Leeds. She became a member of the Society of Chartered Designers and was a freelance graphic designer for over 30 years. Now she spends much of her time painting and drawing in oils and mixed media.

Ken Shippen

Ken is a retired Engineer and enjoys landscape painting in both acrylic and oils. He started painting in his early teens, but career, marriage and family took over for some time, and he returned to painting only a few years ago. Last year he began the challenge of plein air painting and took part as a “wildcard” in Landscape Painter of the Year. As a native North Easterner, he is drawn towards the rugged and spectacular coastline of Northumberland but is also inspired by the splendour of our local Yorkshire coast and countryside. His paintings are typically realistic interpretations of the landscape but also aim to capture the mood of the scene.

Katy Small

I work with felt, yarns and fabrics. My work is inspired by the changing skies and landscapes, or even the tiny, busy world of a hedgerow.
My pictures start as a drawing or small painting in my sketchbook. The background of a picture is created using ‘wet felting’, similar to blending paints or pastels. For the finer details, I use machine felting and embroidery with a variety of yarns. I do not aim to re-create an actual scene, but rather evoke a feeling, an impression, a mood. You can find my work on Instagram and website

Jenny Sharpe

Having visited a local art exhibition Jenny decided to enroll for watercolour lessons. She now paints landscapes and seascapes both in watercolour and acrylic taking her inspiration form the beautiful county she lives in. Jenny has exhibited in Walton, Boston Spa and Richmond Station.

Kamila Starzyka

Kamila's passion for fine art photography is fueled by her love for the natural world, music, and the timeless beauty of the Renaissance and Pre-Raphaelite eras. Her portraits are a captivating blend of classic and modern styles, showcasing the unique personalities of her subjects while exuding an elegant and sophisticated aesthetic. Through her lens, Kamila captures the essence of her subjects, immortalizing them in a way that is both timeless and contemporary.
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Vicky Thaxter
Textile and Mixed Media Artist

Inspired by the beautiful Yorkshire countryside around her home, Vicky creates a variety of artwork. Her watercolour paintings usually feature animals native to Britain, painted in fine detail. Her mixed media work is semi representational, inspired by landscapes, atmosphere and the changing seasons.
As a textile artist Vicky uses a variety of techniques. Hand dyed and painted fabrics form the background, followed by freestyle machine embroidery, applique and hand embellishment, to create soft meadows, delicate flowers and butterflies.

Facebook - @lilyandgingercrafts
Instagram -@lilyandgingercrafts

Jackie Watts
After retiring from teaching, I have done a variety of post-foundation stage art courses at York College of Art that included an H.N.C course, a vocational art course, and printmaking. I am a member of the Redbrick Artists and Walton Group of Artists. I feel my paintings are a reflection of my inner self, interests, life experiences and beliefs. Acrylics, oils, collage, and use of printmaking materials are used to represent my impressions of nature throughout the seasons, my love of gardening, music and walks in different landscapes, such as the Lake District and local historical battlefields.

Pat Willard
Silk Painter

Pat has been painting and selling her work in Yorkshire for 35 years - this included 22 years at RHS Harlow Carr......A Russian craft whereby the design is painted on to stretched silk resulting in a magic combination of gold, silver and copper edged images, glowing from the beautiful silk dyes used...A metre wide painting of Leeds Heritage buildings will be on display during Wetherby Open Studios..... Join my one day workshops and learn the art yourself!

Julia Williams

Julia is an independent Glass Blower based near Wetherby, West Yorkshire. She studied at The National Glass Centre in Sunderland graduating in 2014. In 2016 she set up a small glass blowing studio at home. She combines this with her work as an Occupational Therapist in the NHS .

Each piece of blown glass is unique, made by hand using traditional techniques partnered with a contemporary aesthetic. Julia draws her inspiration for this collection from natural forms and textures