Amateur painters stage a professional show in West Burton

View West From Addlebrough by Pierre Guillon, oil on board

By Betsy Everett

There is still chance to catch the fabulous West Burton Art Group’s bank holiday exhibition in the village hall overlooking the green and to take home an original artwork that won’t break the bank.

It is hard to believe that these artists are amateurs: most are retired and painting is their hobby. The prices reflect this, the quality of the work does not. Most look as though they have dedicated their lives to their art, rather than to medicine, or teaching or engineering.

Two beautifully mounted and framed watercolours by John Hopkins, for example, one a snow scene  one an industrial townscape, are available for just £95 each. It was impossible to photograph them, sadly, as the light reflected off the protective wrapping. The partners of two steam railway enthusiasts nearly came to blows over his Flying Scotsman, an original watercolour selling for just £35, but the red dot went on while one prevaricated.
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Storm Clouds over Semerwater by Pierre Guillon, oil on board

Pierre Guillon has been with the long-established group for just about two years: his Storm Clouds Over Semerwater capture this exquisitely situated, tiny, lake which feeds into the River Bain in Raydale, in sombre mood. At just £120 for the oil on  board, cleverly mounted onto a cream background, it was a bank holiday bargain, snapped up before I could reach for my wallet.

There are other, brighter works by Pierre, a retired  surgeon: The View West from Addlebrough, oil on board again, is a gentler landscape full of light and colour, still available when I left today, for just £65, as was River Wharf near Kilnsey at Whitebeck.

Pat Whitehead’s striking oils are a perfect foil to MaryRose Kearney’s gentle watercolours, while Steve Hill’s uniquely stark acrylics, Burtersett Barns and Gunnerside Barns, bring a different perspective altogether. Roger Lofts, Jonathan Woolley, Dinah Francis and Stewart Huntington are also regular exhibitors, forming this creative and dynamic group who meet every Wednesday in the hall where they exhibit.

The exhibition continues tomorrow – Bank Holiday Monday – from 10am-4pm, entrance is free but donations are welcome and proceeds go to the Herriot Hospice. Refreshments are served and there’s plenty of parking in the village.

Burtersett Barns by Steve Hill, acrylic


Storm Light by Pat Whitehead, oils
Flying Scotsman by John Hopkins, watercolour
Still Life, by Jonathan Woolley, oil on board