Exhibit: ‘Why I love the great outdoors at Staithes’

Plein air artist Andrew Farmer.
Plein air artist Andrew Farmer.

An exciting body of recent works painted en plein air in oils by artist Andrew Farmer will form the April exhibition at Staithes Studios.

The paintings are a response to some of Andrews favourite locations in Yorkshire, from his local woodland to the cliff tops of Flamborough Head and Staithes.

Andrew is part of a recently-formed group called The Northern Boys, which includes among its members celebrated UK artist David Curtis.

They had a paint out in Staithes in January, with their passion for paintings outdoors put to the test as they braved bitterly cold weather.

“There are a lot of studio-based painters and artists and when I’m in the studio, I just yearn to be outdoors,” he said.

“The countryside permeates you; I’ve always holidayed on the east coast from being tiny, slightly further south, but in the past decade, I’ve been coming up to Whitby and Staithes.

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“There’s something to paint on every corner.

“It’s just an incredible thing to be doing and we’re surrounded by beauty.

“Artists travel around the world but this is on our doorstep.

“There is so much here to see, you can’t do it all and anyone who thinks they have seen it all is wrong, there are so many hidden gems.”

Anyone who thinks they have seen it all is wrong - there are many hidden gems

Andrew Farmer

With its historic roots in the Staithes Group of Artists, the small seaside village has, as Andrew puts it, been painted to death for more than a century but says there is plenty to see and is a completely different world at night.

“I discovered Staithes by chance – my father-in-law booked a cottage there and I thought as the in-laws were there, it meant babysitters, so I went up there and came back with about 15 paintings.”

After gaining distinctions in his Fine Art Diploma and Foundation Award, Doncaster-based Andrew went on to study Fine Art Painting at Canterbury Christ Church were he gained a first class degree.

This, along with a growing excellent portfolio, gained him access to the prestigious Royal Drawing School in London where he was awarded a Prado Residency in Madrid.

His work certainly impressed the co-owner of the Staithes Studios Gallery, Ian Mitchell, who first came across Andrew while out walking on the cliff tops at Staithes.

He was struck not just by the stunning quality of the painting on Andrew’s outside easel but by also by his commitment and determination to a career in the tradition of en plain air (in the open air) painting.

They got chatting and Staithes Studios has been happy to represent Andrew since that clifftop meet-up in 2015.

Ian said: “Andrew is going from strength to strength and is certainly a young artist to watch with his work finding its way into a steady increasing number of collections.

“In this show we are presenting the largest collection of Andrew’s work that we have shown at the gallery.

“We will continue to hold and show a smaller selection of his work after the show.”

From the Woodland to the Coast is on at Staithes Studios from tomorrow for the entire month, open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 5pm.

Email info@staithesstudios.com for more information.