Artists' Biographies

Rachel Bentley

Mixed Media Artist

It’s been a formative few years for my art, having moved to Walton and joining the well regarded art group based there.
I worked in Financial Services as a marketing specialist for many years, then started my own small businesses working around my family caring responsibilities, which didn’t leave much time for creativity.
From hardly touching paints, Walton Group of Artists members encouraged me to develop my style, having worked mainly in pencil, ink and lots of crafts in and amongst my other duties. Since, I have pushed my artistic confidence to extremes and exhibited several times.
I 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, creating 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. Take a look at for more information and to arrange private viewings.

Shirley Berrow

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

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

Kirsty Bowe

Kirsty is a self-taught mixed media artist and photographer. She creates imaginative and energetic paintings using unconventional items, her tool of choice is the palette knife. Her large abstract canvases are perfect for any wall to deliver that pop of colour and vibrance to any room you walk in. Pencil and ink are also a favourite medium of Kirsty's, and she has drawn a portrait of Marcello Bielsa that has been signed by him. Photography is a form of escapism for Kirsty, and she captures the most mesmerising images wherever she is and has a soft spot for the African Elephant.

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

I am passionate about the quality of light, of texture and pattern, and the natural forms that resound in our collective subconscious. In my paintings I hope to express the ephemeral effects of light and shadow, creating atmospheric landscapes to dream in. I work in mixed media, primarily acrylic, with an accent on fluidity using techniques learnt from working with watercolour.
From time to time I also work with printmaking using many materials including leaves and grasses to make unique textural collagraph prints and monoprints.
My interest in texture is also in evidence in the ceramics pieces I produce. I am essentially a hand builder, using the ancient techniques of pinch pots, coiling and slabbing to construct pieces with a purity of line and a sculptural sense of form.

Visit me at and

Clare Dean

I started my business “Clare’s Creations” in December 2000. I am a mixed media artist, who explores texture and natural materials in my art. I am primarily inspired by strong colour and nature, particularly painting meadows. 2006 saw the launch of my website, which displays the range of originals, prints, cards and coasters. 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 set up Artists Around Wetherby – Open Studios which is now in its seventh 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. Please visit or my Etsy shop

Sandra Dean

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.

Natalie Elderton

Natalie is a ceramic artist making both decorative and functional pieces. All of her work is hand built, using slaps, coils or pinching methods. Often, she will use a decorative process called sgraffito, where coloured slip is applied to the body and carved into revealing the colour of the clay beneath.
Recently she has concentrated on using porcelain and gold lustre and is delighted with the translucency of the material.
You can see more of Natalie's ceramics at

Dawna Goss

Deliciously bespoke art for your kitchen.
Fruit and veg. Nuts and seeds, plates, platters, bowls. Your home. Your taste. We can stir up a painting together and I can serve you with a tasty number to brighten up your walls.

Sheila Holloway

Although I enjoyed drawing and painting as a child I went down the science route at school and it wasn't until my daughter started to study art that I took up my brushes again.
I started painting in watercolour but at various classes through the years I got the opportunity to try out different media and I soon realised that pastels were my preferred medium. I like painting landscapes and living in Cumbria for several years I was inspired by the play of light on the fells and strive to portray this in my paintings.
Most of all I like painting animals and have taken commissions for pet portraits.
I also experiment with acrylics to produce abstract paintings.
During lockdown I have enjoyed several on line courses and zoom demonstrations.

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.
She has also had a number of images accepted by the Yorkshire Photographic Union and British Photographic Exhibitions

Susan Mackie
The world around me and an eye for linear shapes and form gives me my inspiration. My preferred style is mixed media painting on paper or board often abstracting from my photographs, sketches and found ephemera to add into the work. By juxtaposing text, lines and shape using various mediums and collage papers I build up my final image. Finished acrylic paintings on wooden panels are created by adding many layers introducing texture by line drawing, mark making, scratching and collage which offers a richness of history to the work. Sketching flowers and botanical shapes in my garden gives me a welcome contrast to the more abstract work which usually dominates my studio time.

Julie McCready

Instagram link :
Speak to me on 07532265588

After a lifetime of teaching I now devote my time to my textile art and have exhibited both internationally and locally. I love to explore everything from dying and printing to embroidery, felting, soldering and heating. I am passionate about a variety of textile media and love to explore and mix techniques in new ways.
I photograph and sketch from nature and convert my images to stitch or print, bringing together a lifetime of knowledge and experience. I often use recycled materials and find it exciting to give new life and beauty to discarded or unwanted items. Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to keep. I hope you enjoy looking at the work I decided to keep.

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.
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 details of the workshops and galleries of my art to buy as originals and prints or click here to visit my Etsy shop. 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
and visit my Etsy shop by clicking here

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 portraits.

Sarah Nicholls

Hello! I’m Sarah Jane Nicholls, an artist in Collingham. I am passionate about painting trees and more recently have been working on lots of big bold acrylic abstracts. Most of my paintings are in bright vivid colours and rather than painting on canvases I paint on sheets of acrylic and glass. This is a technique that I have developed over many years and involves me painting everything in reverse, layering up paint from front to back. Please pop in and visit me in my home studio during the Artists Around Wetherby weekends, I’d love to show you more of my work over a lovely cuppa!

Annie Page

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.

Vivienne Rawnsley

Formerly a graphic designer, now painting landscapes and still life in oils, pastel and mixed media. I'm happy to undertake commissions of a favourite place or pet. Member of the Walton Group of Artists.

Ailsa Read

Ailsa Read is a graduate of Leeds Arts University and is a painter of contemporary seascapes.
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.
Dr A H Read
07831 326309

Elaine Shirtliff

My main inspiration is the Yorkshire landscape, coastal scenes and townscapes. Many of my paintings are my own take on classic Yorkshire views, whilst others focus on hidden gems or little known scenes. Together they reflect the variety and richness of my home county. I paint mainly in watercolour, often combined with ink, and also enjoy working in acrylic and mixed media.
I am a member of Studio 6 and Walton Group of Artists.

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.

Louise at Quilty Corner

Louise at Quilty Corner loves soft crafts, from hand stitching as a child and teenager, to practical soft furnishings as home ownership came along. Then to altering clothes for kids and now making items asked for by teenagers. She loves to create things that make people smile whether it’s because of the image or the physical feeling gained from an item.
Quilting allows experimentation of colours, pattern and textures. Quilty Corners items are often hand embellished with embroidery, buttons, beads, ribbon, lace and specialist threads.

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.
After taking early retirement I found the time to develop my art, and enjoy painting, textile art and needle felt. My work is inspired by the local countryside, nature, and the changing seasons.
I use a variety of techniques to produce my textile art. These include hand painting and dying fabrics, freestyle machine embroidery, hand stitching, and embellishment, which can take many hours of work.
I love to paint, and use watercolour and mixed media. I particularly love to paint animals, flowers and landscapes.
Facebook - @lilyandgingercrafts

Drew Ward

After a long career in Interior Design I now have time to explore areas which are of interest to me.

I started working in charcoal producing precise geometric drawings but more recently work in acrylic using anything but a paint brush leading to a much freer abstract style in marked contrast to my earlier charcoal drawings.

Jan Wilkins
Artist and Sculptor

Sculpture in various media has always been my first love though I also enjoy ceramics and painting. Creating artwork with a narrative can be fascinating and challenging with my interests varying from the endangered animals of our planet as well as the human species.

Pat Willard
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

Claire Wiles

Claire Wiles is a mixed media artist who specialises in creating pieces from felt. She loves the versatility natural wool fibres can bring to her unique creations. Claire loves felting animals, from pet portraits to playful sculpted creatures and has an extra special love for felting cute mice. Claire has worked on many unique commissions that can be seen on her website. She is really looking forward to seeing you and is sharing an exhibition space with Sarah Nicholls.
Instagram: clairewilesart
Facebook clairewilesart

Linda Wood.

Trained in Fine Art at Leeds City College.
With training in all mediums, her main interest is in oils and mixed media, in particular the play of light on surfaces and textures.