Exhibit: Plein-air painter set to showcase Whitby works

Goths in Whitby, oil on canvas, by Douglas Hill
Goths in Whitby, oil on canvas, by Douglas Hill

Whitby artist Douglas Hill is to exhibit his works, showcasing the town at its finest, at the Blue Tree Gallery in York.

Born in Yorkshire in 1953, this self-taught artist is a recognized plein-air painter, well exhibited and established in Great Britain.

Rock pools - oil on canvas, by Douglas Hill

Rock pools - oil on canvas, by Douglas Hill

Living in St Ives and Mevagissey in Cornwall for 22 years, he served as a great training ground which, seeped in the tradition of outdoor painting was a major influence on the future direction of his work.

Large beach canvases, harbour scenes and street shop fronts reflected on wet pavements are favourite subjects.

Douglas has exhibited in New Zealand, New York and Northern Ireland, as well as many provincial galleries.

Coming back to his native Yorkshire was an inspired return.

Now living in Whitby, this atmospheric seaside town has become an inspiration for his work, and his pictures reflect the charm of its mystery, and the surrounding North Yorkshire coastline.

Douglas paints directly from life, without reference to photographs.

“For me, nature is the teacher. What is important to me is the wonder and mystery waiting around the next corner, the joy of light and the beauty of the seasons,” he said.

Douglas will be exhibiting six pictures at The Blue Tree Gallery spring exhibition.

In Whitby Town, Douglas takes a position from high above the harbour, showing a view of the warm tones of the houses, and the natural tones and beauty of the estuary. Tate Hill Sands depicts lazy summer clouds, with a yellow pleasure boat against the soft blue of the estuary. Goths at Whitby was painted on a cold November evening.

The shapes that echo each other create a feeling of oddity, emphasised by the two figures in Victorian dress, a cyclist and a greyhound.

Douglas says: “People stop and talk to me often when I’m painting.

“Sometimes they ask ‘When is a painting finished?’

“‘When I’ve ruined it’ is my usual answer!”

The spring exhibition runs from tomorrow until June 2. The gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5.30pm.