Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Where Did the Summer Go

I knew that it would be difficult to keep my blog going over the summer as my son and daughter in law were visiting from Russia and lots of work being done on the house. Much of the  painting I did consisted of rolling emulsion on walls!
At least we had a summer this year...that is until we had our holiday on The Llyn Peninsula, fortunately I like painting atmospheric scenes. Here are a few sketches I completed during my few days away. I am not saying it rained all the time but I think the sketches speak for themselves!

I will be working on some paintings of the area throughout the autumn and winter.

My big painting of Stunning Staithes that I showed the developmental stages of before the summer sold shortly after I delivered it to Staithes Gallery. 
Stunning Staithes

Many years ago when I was a student in Hull I did a series of paintings around the Land of Green Ginger (no idea where they are now).  I was wandering around the old industrial area of Sheffield and was struck by the similarities of the two places which inspired me to produce this painting of this old building in Kelham Island, Sheffield.
Wharncliffe Works

And, now we are moving into autumn, the house renovation is nearly complete and my studio is raring to go after a big clear out...though there was a moment of extreme panic when I thought I had thrown out my 'most important note book', after much racing around like a headless chicken and emptying the recycling bins I remembered that I had put it in a 'safe place' before the holiday!!
so, what next....well I have many plans, an exhibition next year with other artists from 'The North' a gallery in Scarborough requesting some of my work and an exhibition next year, as well as Open Studios and supplying work to four other galleries...plenty to keep me busy over autumn and winter.

On my easel now?

Staithes, of course
WIP Staithes

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Stunning Staithes A Painting in Progress

I have been working on a second big painting 4' x 3', this time of Staithes, my favourite painting location. As in Dramatic Whitby I applied texture paste over the whole canvas before priming with white gesso. After a 2 -3 washes of diluted oil colour I began to draw in the houses clinging to the sides of the two nabs that make up the village of Staithes. Next week I will be delivering this painting and some other new work to Staithes Gallery, very exciting.

I love this initial drawing seeing the scene appear as if out of the mist
The drawing was very complex but I enjoy working it all out.

The drawing complete now the fun can begin,
I use more washes and glazing to create Cowbar Nab and the sky

Using a palette knife I add colour to the sky and houses

Almost finished, just need to soften the horizon line and one or two details.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Open Studios, New Gallery and New Paintings

May has been such a busy month with two weekends of Open Studios which were very successful with around 300 visitors and lots of lovely visitors and and some good sales. I still feel a thrill of excitement whenever someone loves a painting enough to buy and it is always great to have such positive feedback from clients and visitors alike. I was particularly pleased to sell some of my etchings this time. I have been wanting to brush up on printing skills for a long time and have only been working  on them this last year.

Views of Open Studio Event

I am very pleased to announce that a lovely gallery in Sutton Bonnington approached me to exhibit some work. Last week I went to visit and they now have some of my work on show.

I started a painting before Open Studios of Whitby to show as my work in progress and I knew it was going to be an exciting adventure as soon as I began to work on it. I have really begun to explore the possibilities of working with texture paste and working with strong colour and shapes painted with a palette knife. The painting is big 4" x 3" and I feel as if it is a leap forward in my work. I have also completed a smaller painting in the same style and have plans for one of Staithes on a large canvas, which I have ordered today! Watch this space...

Dramatic Whitby

Whitby Reflection

Monday, 22 April 2013

Exhibitions and Work in Progress

 Some photos of how my work is looking in the new exhibition 'In The Harbour' at The Harrison Lord Gallery, 5 Bradford Road, Brighouse, West Yorkshire

Sue at the In The Harbour Exhibition
The lighting in the gallery is superb and really shows the work off to its best advantage.

The exhibition is on until May 11th and is going really well so now I am preparing for Open Up Studios. I have one last week for painting and one week to tidy my studio, gallery, house and garden...but I am not panicking ...yet!

I have a great variety of paintings for the Open weekends ....first two weekends in May....see exhibition pages for more details.

The paintings cover all my favourite locations and , of course, a few Swaledale sheep.
Below is a little sneak preview. 

View to Whitby from Sandsend

North Pennine Farm

Swaledale Wall

The farm and Swaledales are my homage to the poor hill farmers and their livestock as they have really suffered during the long, hard winter. Let's hope Spring is well and truly established and we get a really good summer.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

April, Holidays and Exhibitions

April has been a very busy month as I have been preparing for an exhibition at The Harrison Lord Gallery in Brighouse which open on the 20th of this month. I have now completed all the work for the show and it all packed ready for delivery on Monday.
In between time I managed a few days in the Lake District meeting up with family. We had wonderful sunshine but it was very cold. Great for photos though.
Castlerigg Stone Circle

Derwent Water

Now, I am getting very excited about the forthcoming exhibition In The Harbour. This is from a press release.


The recent weather might not scream seaside holiday, but the Harrison Lord Gallery’s latest art exhibition embraces a love for English coastal scenes. ‘In the Harbour’ is a culmination of work from five different artists, from impressionistic seascapes to quaint cottages and bobbing boats there should be something for everyone.
One of the artists headlining the exhibition is Sue Nichol, a Sheffield based artist invariably drawn to the East Yorkshire Coast;
Fishing Boats in Staithes Beck

“I love Staithes, the people, the houses huddled together against the elements, the cobles that bob around in the harbour and beck, their swollen bellies present a comforting appeal that must be reassuring when out at sea, a bit womb like. They are a challenge to draw and paint but one that I never tire of. I find constant inspiration in the sea in all its moods and it is a subject to which I am drawn, striving always to capture its movement and strength, which I find both fascinating and frightening.”
Cornish Sea

Nichol’s current selection of work is no exception, the artist is submitting upwards of 15 new original paintings for the exhibition – which opens on Saturday 20th April – all of which encompass her passion for the coast and its heritage;
“My latest work reflects this love, through an exploration of the work of fishermen along the North East coast from Filey to Boulmer. Cobles are the fishing boat of choice and I have been able to get some interesting compositions of fishermen going about their daily work. For the first time I have included a painting of a trawler at sea. I was able to do this because Gloria Wilson, author and artist, kindly gave me permission to use one of her great photos from her book, Kindly Folk and Bonny Boats. Alongside these works will be new seascapes and Staithes cottages. I am very excited to be given the opportunity to show this new work that reflects our fishing heritage and love of the coast, in the forthcoming exhibition at The Harrison Lord Gallery.”
Bamburgh castle

Other artists featured in the exhibition include Anne Aspinall, a self confessed colourist whose work is found in collections in Europe, the United States and Australia, Nola McGaul, Emily Mugridge and North Yorkshire based Sheila Venamore.
The exhibition opens on Saturday 20th April will run for three weeks and is free to enter. For more information call the Harrison Lord Gallery on 01484 722462 or visit the website
Bempton and Gannets

Tuesday, 12 March 2013


Goodness, how did it get to be March and what happened to February? I have been so busy getting ready for the exhibition at The Harrison Lord Gallery in Brighouse, which opens on 20th April that the time has flown.
I have been working on a big painting 5 x 3' of a Trawler, the Freedom II. I was very kindly given permission to use a photo taken Gloria Wilson for her book Kindly Folk and Bonny Boats. Gloria is an authority on the fishing boats of the North East coast and well she might be, growing up, as she did in Staithes, with her mother, the wonderful painter, Lilian Colbourn. I thank her very much for allowing me to use her photograph as a resource for my painting Trawler At Sea.

Trawler At Sea

Revisiting some old photos I have of Boulmer, Northumberland I was inspired to paint the tractor below. It was really fun to paint and seemed to develop a personality as I painted.

Old Tractor, Boulmer

I also managed to fit a couple of little seascapes which I did as I was waiting for the trawler painting to dry before building up layers.
Sea Study 1

Sea Study 2

Today I have been working on my etchings. I decided to have a go at hand colouring some of them with water colour washes. I have enjoyed the process so much I may very well hand colour them all!

The images shown here are three of Old Hartlepool, the place of my birth and a Swaledale ram and Hawker's Hut in Cornwall. I will be having them all mounted, some even framed to sell at Open Studios in May. More about that nearer the time.
In the meantime I am hoping the weather improves for a trip to the Lake district and the coast next month.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

And, January Brings the Snow!

House and Garden
Sledge Run

 We have snow! I have been sledging but still found time to paint and have loved being in the studio working away in the warmth whilst watching the snow fall and transforming the garden into Narnia!

Josh Sporting His Jacket
Coble Loves The Snow!

Continuing my theme of painting from some slides I have scanned I found this wonderful one of Ocean reward a coble that was based in Filey during 1980's, wonder if it is still there.

Ocean Reward

My Finished Version
I was really taken with the power of the figure stepping into the coble and almost abstract shapes of all the fishing equipment. The following show my progression. It has taken about a week to complete. My painting is obviously a lot lighter than the photo as I wanted to show more of the inside of the coble and I added a few floats for interest.
Blocking In

Adding More detail
Beginning To Add Coloue
Working Around The Canvas

Detail and Form

Loving The Shapes
Almost There