A LOCAL art gallery is celebrating the approach of spring with a watercolour exhibition featuring six different artists

The Bingley Gallery is featuring work by Stella Verity, Carole Gaunt, Helen Shearwood, Ron Thomson, Kate Lycett and Jane Fielder.

Retired teacher Stella turned to watercolour after attending lessons at Shipley College. She has since developed the technique and allowed her enthusiasm for both gardening and cooking to influence her subject matter.

As Stella explains, “I have always been amazed by the colours, textures and details of fruit, vegetables and flowers. I love to paint quite wet using watercolour and I am always fascinated watching the colours mingle and mix on the paper.”

Carole lives on the edge of Baildon Moor. “I feel so lucky to live in Yorkshire – a county which inspires my artwork with its dramatic landscapes and rich flora and fauna,” she says. “My work stems from observation in the landscape from photographs and sketches. I enjoy the use of rich vibrant colours in my pictures portraying, in particular, a modern interpretation of the flowers and plants found in my garden and the countryside.”

Helen Shearwood, who divides her time between Bingley and Western Australia, is fascinated by the way things can change if viewed in a different light. She celebrates the ordinary moments in life with her art and uncovers the beauty that she believes can be found in everything.

Her work begins with close-up abstract photographs of the ordinary, from lampposts and rusty old rubbish bins to paint palettes, which she prints and then experiments with different media to highlight beauty.

“My collection is from my ‘Perpetual Palette’ series, based on photographs of my aunt Jane Fielder’s paint palette,” she says. “Captivated by the sections of vibrant colour and stunning texture I found on the metal lid when I looked very closely, I took photo after photo, then used my prints as reference to paint abstract watercolours.”

An active member of the international group Urban Sketchers, Rob ‘Tom’ Thomson is a former architect who has always enjoyed drawing in his spare time and, now, professionally. As well as the watercolours on show at the Bingley gallery he also works in pastels and oils.

His drawing board skills ensure an unusual degree of precision in his usual architecturally-themed studies. His subjects include abandoned classic cars which are depicted with affection and empathy.

Kate is a Hebden Bridge-based artist, whose early influences include, aged nine, being taught technical drawing by her grandfather. More formal training included studying fine art, where she specialised in textile design. When commercial design work failed to enthuse her, she returned to painting.

“My textile design background is present in the way that I paint and interpret what is around me. I see patterns in everything; the hills adorned with houses and washing lines, rows of flower pots and stripes of brightly painted drain pipes. I want to paint beautiful pictures of the places that I love.”

Jane is the former owner of Bingley Gallery. Her popular watercolour ‘Janescapes’ portray familiar surroundings and people in quirky detail.

Her new work for this exhibition is typically diverse. “A view of Bradford City’s Valley Parade was undertaken wrapped in a blanket at the top of the fire escape of an abandoned building, then there are her gloriously lively vases of flowers,” says gallery owner David Starley.

Adds David: “If anyone associates Yorkshire watercolour with endless views of damp and dreary moorland then this bright and breezy assemblage of work should show an alternative, more cheerful side to the technique.”

*Bingley Gallery, 29 Park Rd, Bingley. The exhibition runs until Sunday.