Artists' Biographies

Chris Alldridge Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

Chris started her working career as an accountant, but since attending classes in jewellery making in 2011/12, has been making jewellery in the summerhouse in her garden using traditional silversmithing techniques. She has been self-teaching ever since, and is constantly inspired to try out new ways of working with silver, which she finds to be a versatile and endlessly fascinating material. Her magpie tendencies mean that she has a constantly changing (and growing!) collection of gemstones to choose from, and these will be available for commission during AAW. Come along and try a bit of stamping and texturing with hammers, or try your hand at the traditional jewellers' bow drill.

Rachel Bentley

Mixed Media Artist
It’s been a formative 2 years for my art, having moved to Walton. Joining my local art group encouraged me to develop my painting style, having worked mainly in pencil, ink and lots of crafts previously.
Since, I have pushed my artistic confidence to extremes and exhibited several times. This year I challenged myself to become the first Waltonian to exhibit as part of Artists Around Wetherby, so here I am.
I relish working on canvas to create wild seascapes, mainly using my hands, and put loads of energy into my paintings which I think you can really see. I do like to reference my own photography of places I love, to create semi-abstract landscapes mainly using acrylic paints, ink and gesso to create textures. I also experiment with other media, including watercolour, wax and inks, so you will see a whole range of styles when you visit my open studio.
I do hope you will enjoy seeing my work which can be purchased during the event. (Spoiler Alert. Sometimes I do a little happy dance when I have sold a painting - it is fantastic to know that what I create is appreciated by someone who is not related to me!)
I exhibit work either framed or I use box canvases, finished to a high quality, and ready to hang. Some original unframed work will be available to purchase too. Take a look at for more information and to arrange private viewings.

Shirley Berrow Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

Ceramic Artist.
Painting on fine bone china has become a passion for me. I have been fortunate to be able to paint alongside many Worldwide, recognised, artists which has added to my array of painting skills. I paint on decorative and usable china & porcelain.
Using a limited palette of on glaze paints I create stunning colour combinations. Once fired, durable and tactile pieces are produced, and there is always the anticipation and excitement when opening the kiln to view the finished piece.
I paint from photographs, pictures and life itself although my preference is to paint freestyle which has no restrictions or boundaries and allows one to create individuality.
My love of gardening has influenced my painting and understanding of nature’s colours and form.
I will paint on any china or porcelain piece that stays still long enough.
I am available to take commissions
and personalised pieces always make perfect unique gifts for loved ones.

Lauri Bower Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

I make and sell handmade books and cards. My handmade books originate from a passion for books and all things paper related. Some are plain inside with beautiful, individual covers. Other journals have quirky pages filled with graph, lined and dotted paper, dictionary and map pages. The basis for all books is they are touchable art, designed to be handled and used as well as adored. The books can be used as journals, notebooks, and sketchbooks. The cards are my own images created in paper collage and printing. I work in multimedia, incorporating paper collage, block-printing, hand and machine embroidery, and often including my own words in the images.
I teach Mindfulness & Creativity sessions and workshops as THE Creative S P A C E at home.
I find Mindfulness & Creativity a great combination, each enhancing the other. I love to explore many different aspects of creativity and write a lot of poems, that often feature in my work or on my blog
I find being creative restful as it brings balance into my life, in much the same way meditation does. I also find creativity exciting, often following an impulse that I cannot predict where it will lead. I bring a lot of playfulness into my own work and my teaching, as this allows me (and those I work with) to be aware of unhelpful self-judgements and criticisms. The work I do makes me very happy!
Please find me on Instagram

Robert Broughton

Fine Art Photographer | Meditation Instructor
The Essence of Light
I have always loved being creative and I spent many childhood hours with paint brushes and pencils trying to capture some essence of a sunset or bird of prey. My father was a keen photographer and when I held his camera it felt like a natural extension of myself. I could feel a resonance as though I had connected with something profound, something which drew me with ever deepening curiosity into a medium that could capture images of light.
As is so often the case, that curiosity was dampened by the twists and turns of life, only to be rekindled some 20 years later by shafts of light pouring through the clouds spotlighting a cove and evocatively lighting a boundless sea. A scene so moving and awe inspiring that it etched itself into my soul and continues to inspire me to this day.
I aspire to create meditative images which evoke the spirit and awaken our primal nature to remind us of the beautiful world in which we live. My aspiration is to connect with the essence of light and move our spirit; to open our minds and to awaken us to the beauty of the world in which we live. To draw us together, provoke curiosity and reconnect us with the essence and fragility of life itself.

Jan Bulley

Working as a garden designer, it is not surprising to find that plants and plant material are integral to my art. More than the flowers and leaves themselves, I have a love of their skeletons and structures in particular; seed heads, grasses, branches and trunks. I am passionate about texture and pattern, and natural forms that resound in our collective subconscious. I hope to capture the ephemeral effects of light and atmosphere creating landscapes to dream in. Working as a garden designer, it is not surprising to find that plants and plant material are integral to my art. More than the flowers and leaves themselves, I have a love of their skeletons and structures in particular; seed heads, grasses, branches and trunks. I am passionate about texture and pattern, and natural forms that resound in our collective subconscious. I hope to capture the ephemeral effects of light and atmosphere creating landscapes to dream in.
My painting process incorporates many different materials including acrylic paints and inks, tissues and collage papers, mediums, pastels and sometimes plant material. I work in many layers creating texture, which is very important to me, and building up a rich patina.
I also work with collagraph printing; creating a printing plate using a collage of different materials to create texture. This plate is then inked and printed on an etching printing press. Although 10 or so prints can be taken from a plate, each one is individually inked and printed; each one is unique. I often work back into them with paint, and they become an original collagraph painting.
Ceramics is my new baby. I am a hand builder, using ancient techniques; pinch pots, coiling and slabs to construct pieces with a purity of line and a sculptural

Katy Small
Textiles Artist:
Over the last 30 years I have explored many different artistic mediums, including working with fibres and yarns, painting and embroidery. I’ve worked in Theatre, making props and costumes, studied Fine Art, Sculpture and Millinery, and for the last twenty years been teaching Design & Technology, Art and Textiles.
A felting workshop rekindled my love for working with fibres to create textiles pictures, playing with different fibres and yarns, experimenting with their possibilities and finding my own fibre language.
Originally from the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland, I moved to Yorkshire almost 30 years ago, gathering inspiration from both. My work draws on the changing skies and landscapes, as much as 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 a technique called ‘wet felting’, agitating fibres similar to blending paints or pastels. The wool has a life of its own and often my pictures will take exciting and unexpected directions. For the finer details, I use machine felting and embroidery with a variety of yarns.
I love the textures of tall grasses and heathers, discovering patterns in the rolling fields and furrows. The majestic silhouette of a tree, dancing and rolling clouds. I do not aim to re-create an actual scene, but rather evoke a feeling, an impression, a mood, allowing the viewer to choose what they see.
Please visit my website to view my work.

Lesia Davidson Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

My work shows my individual style and this comes through in the bright, colourful paintings I produce. I paint from nature and photographs and try to emulate all the colours I see producing vivid paintings in acrylic on canvas. I like to paint quite fast and create texture with palette knives, finger (my own!). Recently I have been layering on top of the acrylic paintings using layer upon layer of soft pastels. This created even more depth and colour!

My work is based on the awesomeness of nature and I try and add a bit of magic to make things stand out but it is all there in my florals, woodland scenes and seascapes.

Some of my work has a whimsical quality and collectors have noted the more they look at one of my paintings the light in them changes from dawn to dusk. I love that alternate perception that comes with the light source changing depending on the time of day. I very much enjoy painting the feeling of walking through a darker woodland towards the light and enlightenment.

Please see my work at and

Clare Dean

I have always been interested in art and all things creative. In December 2000 I started my own business “Clare’s Creations”. I am a mixed media artist, who explores using texture and natural materials in my art to give a very textural piece of work. I particularly enjoy making paper and use this as a basis for art work. I am primarily inspired by strong colour, form and nature. 2006 saw the launch of my website, which displays the range of pictures and products available. I am a member of Walton Group of Artists and was voted best in show in 2010 and 2012. I am one of three artists who organises Artists Around Wetherby – Open Studios which is now in its sixth year. My husband, Tim joined the business a few years ago and frames my work and is able to provide a bespoke framing service for your own artwork. Since stopping full time work two years ago I am concentrating more on my art and now run workshops demonstrating my style of painting using gesso and mixed media.

Sandra Dean Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

After many years in the Civil Service I took early retirement at the age of 51 and went on to run my own soft furnishing business. I had always been able to translate what I could see or visualise into various soft furnishing mediums. As retirement approached my ambition was to learn to paint as this had always been my aim in life, unfortunately I did not have the opportunity before.
Since then painting has been part of my life, I enrolled myself at Park Lane college and studied art for three years before joining Walton Group of Artists. I have attended many art courses and workshops and have developed my own unique style using mixed media, acrylic, oil and pastels... Colour and form are the basis of my work which includes Landscapes, seascapes, also Human and Animal Portraits. I am happy to undertake commissions and also if wanted have prints made from my pictures.
Over the last few years I have been on the committee of the WGA which is renowned for its high standard of work. I have also exhibited in Artists around Wetherby, Boston Spa Arts and Craft Fair, Walton Group of Artists Exhibitions, Collingham Gala, and various one day events.

Ruth Dorrington

I have a fine art degree at Leeds University and have lectured in art and art history at Leeds College of art and Park Lane College
Previous exhibitions include Carr Manor Mills Gallery, Leeds, Leeds Dark Arches and Doncaster Library among others
For some time I put painting on back burner whilst I built up Nursery and Garden Design business and I now have gallery/ classroom at the nursery where I run twice weekly art classes and other workshops

Rebecca Faulding BA (Hons)

My subject matter is the female form, the ethereal beauty of flesh and the fluidity of draped fabric combine to really captivate me and has fueled my desire to paint. Composition is a puzzle I enjoy exploring through my paintings. The balance of tone and colour as well as the way that lights plays against the body combine to create something really quite beautiful and captivating to me. There is a definite dense of ambiguity which I deliberately create by choosing to focus on the body rather than the face. I leave my backgrounds empty, allowing the negative space to focus the viewer on the subject. I have always worked in my unique style on sized linen or flax canvas which I prepare in a way to expose the natural beauty of the material. I build up the paint in fine layers as I like to really emphasise the sense of light in my paintings. My work is generally light in tone and low in contrast as I hope to create a sense of luminosity throughout the piece. I have studied the work of artists such as Euan Uglow whose balance in composition and use of colours is an aesthetic I aim to mirror. Alison Watt and her use of drapery, the simplicity of the composition, the sense of weight and calm within white drapery is inspiring. I enjoy the fluidity in Alfonse Mucha’s designs with a sense of weightlessness to the figures which I find very beautiful. As well as more contemporary artists, always look back to classical and renaissance art and have recently studied at the Edinburgh Atelier of Fine Art, studying classical drawing and limited palette figure painting. I am constantly developing my skills and hope that my style continues to evolve and develop as a result.”

Sheila Holloway Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions but you can visit by appointment

I didn't study art at school as I was directed down the science route despite the love of drawing that my mother had instilled in me as a small child. I started going to classes when my own daughter started GCSE Art and have been to several different ones over the years. My love of painting animals started when the artist Ian Risely demonstrated to the Leighton Buzzard Art Society
I soon developed a love of working in pastels and this is now my preferred medium for animals and landscape painting. I undertake commissions and have work exhibited both in this country and abroad. Living in Cumbria for a few years, I loved watching the play of light across the landscape and try to portray this as much as I can in my pictures.
I enjoy attending workshops to try out using different media and techniques trying to develop a more abstract approach and at present am experimenting in producing paintings by pouring acrylics.

Jane Horton

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.

Maggie Goodwin Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

I love sketching and watercolours and never go out without my sketchbook. At home I like painting on a larger scale using acrylic and mixed media. Printmaking has been a long time passion and a printing press takes up much of my space. My inspiration comes mainly from nature and natural things and I like experimenting with different printmaking techniques to achieve results I am happy with. This year I have been exploring eco printmaking, working with nature as the “printing plate” and using the natural dyes present in the plants to print onto paper. I love every part of the printmaking process, from finding inspiration in nature to the smell of the ink and the excitement of pulling the first print off the press.
I am a member of a small group of internationally based artists who exchange miniature art six times a year.

Susan Mackie

The world around me and an eye for linear shapes and form gives me my inspiration. My preferred style is mixed media working on paper or board often abstracting elements from my photographs and sketches; by juxtaposing images, lines and shapes, using various mediums and collage, I build up my final image.
With a career background using the printed word I am drawn to text and love to incorporate words in my art. Although I don’t enjoy doing them, jigsaws come to mind as strangely I can place scraps of paper into something new which seems to work as a whole.
I am delighted my work has been accepted and sold at the Harrogate Open Exhibitions in the Mercer Gallery and HNAC exhibitions at Ripley.

Rachel McNaughton

Painting is a way of life which began as a fascinating hobby but has gradually become a profession.
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.
A few years ago my work was accepted by Advocate Art agency and now I have paintings published by a number of household names such as W H Smith, Matalan, Marks and Spencer and the National Trust. I recently illustrated a book for National Geographic. It is always exciting to find my images on sale. I rarely know where they will turn up!
I teach workshops at Bardsey Village Hall through the year in watercolours, pastels and Brusho and belong to a few art clubs locally. ( You can also download projects to paint from my Etsy shop ArtbyrachelArt). I am a founder member of Artists Around Wetherby .
You can see more of my work by visiting ( see below) where there are details of the workshops and galleries of my art to buy as originals and prints. I am also happy to paint to commission, whether it is a portrait of a pet or a house, a wedding venue or a bridal bouquet. click here to e mail

Sarah Nicholls

I am a self-taught artist living in Collingham and have been working on many art commissions in my spare time over the years but through the encouragement of family and friends have turned my passionate hobby into a profession.
Since moving to Yorkshire from London in 2008 I have been so inspired by the breath-taking Yorkshire countryside and in particular how the colour and texture of the trees change across the year. My favourite subjects are trees and I'm always fascinated by their beauty and value how integral they are to our environment.
I love painting in vivid colours and a lot of my more recent work incorporates a ‘pointillist’ style. I have also recently been working on paintings where I apply the paint directly onto glass or acrylic sheets (rather than a canvas or paper) which creates very bold colours and 3D effects

Annie Page Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

Annie has always been creative. As a child she would spend hours drawing and making things to play with from anything that came to hand. Naturally, she went on to study at art school. Firstly at Jacob Kramer college in Leeds where she studied textiles and then on to study fine art in Birmingham. Then life happened and Annie put her art work to one side to bring up her three children. Six years ago she left work to care for her husband, this also allowed her the opportunity to rekindle her creative interests and continue her creative explorations. Her failure to find a suitable sketchbook sparked what would become a beautiful obsession, book binding. The lack of anything beyond the obvious lead her to explore the art and craft of making beautiful books. Annie finds inspiration in her immediate and wider world. Upcycled drinks cans sit alongside the more traditional materials to become fascinating and beautiful books. As well as these, Annie works with digital imagery. Recently she completed a calendar based on town and cityscapes of her native Yorkshire.

Irene Pearson Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

I am a mixed media artist, using Acrylic ink, Acrylic paint and Watercolour.
The subject dictates which medium I use.
I am interested in urban and industrial environments, both old and new.
Particularly liking the way our history is depicted by structures showing signs
of decay and change.Living here in Yorkshire I cannot fail to be inspired by the beautiful countryside and coast which also reflects change across the four seasons.

Chub Perkins Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

Little Land Woodland Art Gallery Tadcaster
Proprietor and main artist Chub Perkins

Inspiration and Style
I work fast and loose without brushes; preferring instead such found objects as badminton shuttlecocks and kebab skewers. Anything goes really, with the mark making requirements dictating the appropriate tool for the job. I'll paint positively anything but one of my favourite themes is capturing subjects illuminated in the half-light at dawn/dusk - that tantalising period when nature's light is in delicate equilibrium with human-made light. When streetlights and vehicle lights are at a similar intensity to the skyscape I find the interplay between the two truly mesmerising. Trees are also another of my favourite subjects.

Little Land Woodland Art Gallery
When the weather allows, I exhibit my work at my very own pop-up Woodland Art Gallery called Little Land, in my home town of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire. Here I simply hang my work amongst the trees and allow visitors to peruse the artworks and amble through the tranquil woodland setting at their leisure. With a Victorian 3-arch railway bridge serving as the entrance, a visit to Little Land has a decidedly Narnia-esque feel about it. I am also represented by Post Fine Art Gallery, also in Tadcaster

Sara-Jane Postill Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

I love Yorkshire, I love photography and I love vivid colours, so I combine all these in my work, which features the buildings, streets, corners, walls, ginnels, crannies and trees of my home county.
My particular passion for the picturesque Colne Valley, where I now live, was the trigger for a series of images to populate the walls of my local pub in Golcar near Huddersfield, when I ran out of wall space at home! Those photos proved so popular that I decided to broaden my portfolio with images of my birthplace, Boston Spa, where I was lucky enough to grow up and where my Dad still lives. I have spent happy hours on photo-safaris around various villages, with some colourful results. As well as architectural angles, my process seems to suit trees, which I am a little obsessed with, so they are well represented among my images. I also create seascapes from rusted boat close-ups, which look like tiny abstract paintings.
I have no artistic background, but my artistic challenges to myself are two-fold: firstly, I will not crop any photo, so I need the lines, perspective, textures and framing of the original shot to be right when I take the photo, and secondly, which may seem strange, given the layering of apps which are used in the process of creating my images, I will not edit anything out of an original photo, so I try my best to get shots with no cars or wheelie bins or people, which is a big challenge in villages like Boston Spa! Each photo chooses which colours it is happiest to wear, so the end results are always a surprise!
I mount all my images to fit standard frame sizes which can be bought easily off the shelf, so that there is no expensive framing required, but I do also provide framed work. I have also completed commissioned photos of private homes from interesting angles, in Huddersfield, Boston Spa and Wokingham email-please click here

Ailsa Read

The sea has always held a deep fascination for me, with its ever changing moods & colour. There is an unexpected excitement in its ceaseless energy which I feel compelled to paint.

Julia Rushworth Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

Julia is a small independent glass blower, she graduated from The National Glass Centre in Sunderland in 2014. Julia set up her studio at home in 2016 ,taking the plunge to make this her full time job after 28 years working in the NHS.
Julia uses traditional glass blowing techniques to make items ranging from exhibition pieces often inspired by disease and medical science, to decorative items for the home with organic forms and textures.
Julia will be demonstrating glass blowing each day during open studios.

Ian Sayce

I was born in Boston Spa and lived here all my life. I went to Tadcaster grammar school and when I left school I worked in Sefton Bakery. I also worked at Boston High School and St.Edwards RC school until in 2015 took early Retirement.
I married to Janet in 1981and we have travelled to 26 countries in 35 years of marriage.
I took up photography in 1988 and it has been my interest ever since.
I got my Licentiate in the Royal Photographic Society in 2013.

Elaine Shirtliff

On retiring a few years ago I attended art classes and started experimenting with many forms of artwork - drawing, painting, collage, printing etc. Whilst I enjoy all of these, I am always drawn back to the versatility of watercolour. My chief inspiration is the Yorkshire landscape, seascape and built environment. Many of my paintings are my own take on classic Yorkshire views, whilst others are inspired by little gems of unknown scenes. Together they reflect the variety and richness of my home county.
I am a member of Walton Group of Artists and Studio 6 and have been exhibiting in the Wetherby area and beyond for several years.

Vicky Thaxter Textile Artist

Since childhood I have had a love for all things art and craft. I have always loved drawing and painting, and creating new things.
My love of textiles led me to study for a diploma in Interior Design.
Since taking early retirement, I found the time to do the things that I love, and now spend my time as a textile artist.
My needle felted animal sculptures are inspired by nature and my surroundings. I love to study animal behaviour and movement.
I create pictures from textiles using freestyle machine embroidery and hand stitched embellishments. This allows me to combine my love of beautiful fabrics, sewing, and art. My work again is inspired by nature, and influenced by the seasons’ changing colours and textures.
I also love to paint, using watercolour with ink to create fine detail – mainly for buildings and interesting architecture. I also like to use silk paints to produce botanical paintings, using similar blending techniques.
Facebook - @lilyandgingercrafts

Jan Wilkins Artist and Sculptor

After retiring from teaching art in schools as well as sculpture to adults for several years, I have loved sculpting in a variety of materials, stone, wood, concrete, plaster and clay. Now I concentrate mainly on sculptural ceramics taking inspiration from environmental and social issues as well as endangered animals and plants due to echo damage.

I was privileged to have shown in The Mercer Gallery in Harrogate with one piece of a limited edition, “Responsible for Extinction,” based on the plight of the rhinoceros, is now in a CITES office in Geneva. I also have further additions in Vancouver, Greece and various parts of the UK.

Forest environments are being destroyed worldwide by chainsaw and fire. To illustrate this, I have made a series of bold works pressing clay into chainsaw cuts in tree stumps. Using an electric kiln many of these sculptures are fired to stoneware, 1280 C. making them suitable for the garden. A slice from a storm damaged Cedar tree led me to research into the clearance for tourist resorts of 2/3rds of the Cedars in Lebanon, the world's main source of this now endangered species. They will only grow in certain environments, taking hundreds of years to mature and produce seed. These trees featured in the Bible and their very durable wood has been used in ancient ships and buildings.

As well as ceramics, I enjoy painting landscape, portraiture, still life, using acrylic paint as well as inks and many other media to achieve a wealth of marks …….. so many wonderful subjects ……. so little time!

Pat Willard Not exhibiting this year due to Covid 19 restrictions

Silk Painter
A Silk Painter and Calligraphist for 35 years, Pat has exhibited regularly at Harlow Carr Gardens, Leeds Playhouse and Newby Hall amongst other venues in Yorkshire.
You will be able to see her metre wide Heritage Buildings on display for the first time, along with florals and wild life: also you will be able to try Silk Painting yourself