Limestone Waterfall, Gordale, original painting by Katharine Holmes


18 November - 2 December 2023

Katharine Holmes

Limestone and Moor

This exhibition includes 28 new paintings by highly regarded, Yorkshire painter, Katharine Holmes.

A note from the artist:

My work in this exhibition Limestone and Moor is an exploration of the landscapes surrounding my home in Malhamdale in the Yorkshire Dales. Whether the limestone features of Malham or its surrounding moors and farmland this is the place I live and am immersed in.

Boss Moor, not far as the crow flies from Malham but quite different in character, with it’s sandy tracks and walls of millstone grit is a particular favourite and a place to which I have returned repeatedly to paint. It is now twenty eight years since I first worked there and over many seasons I am slowly coming to know this place.

Alongside working in my native Yorkshire I make annual painting excursions to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Over the decades since student days I have also come to know something of these places.

The watercolour, ink and acrylic paintings I make outside in all locations inform my studio practice. At home and in my studio I am surrounded by the paintings I bring back in different stages of development. Although I work quite quickly outside, trying to capture the feeling of being in a particular place I often won’t complete a painting in one session. This may be because the weather is closing in, the light is going or I’m simply getting too cold and need to walk to warm up. Many of the places I like to work are quite exposed and warm layers and strong drawing board clips are essential. Sometimes I will return to a place with an unfinished painting the following season and once again try to enter into the spirit of the place and capture its atmosphere. The paintings are made up of lots moments in time and track the ever changing weather and light.


In my studio, I make larger paintings mostly in oil or acrylic on canvas. As I work, the painting takes on a life of its own, evolving into an object with its own unique character. Using rags, brushes and palette knives the painting emerges as I build layers and glazes, scraping into the painting I work and rework. Like the paintings made outside it may be set aside for some time until the moment is right to engage with it again. I am trying to find equivalents in paint for the different elements of the landscape.

Occasionally I take the larger oil or acrylic paintings started in the studio back outside to the places that inspired them, allowing the painting to evolve further in response to the environment. There can be much looking and thinking time and some paintings just happen more quickly than others.

Working with landscapes I have been part of since childhood I am interested in the traces of human presence. It may be the the stonewalls, well worn tracks, greenlanes, roads or the play of light on a metal farm roof, these details become part of the narrative.

Central to my practice is drawing and mark making. I like the simplicity of working out in the landscape with ink a few brushes a pen or maybe a stick I’ve picked up to use as a drawing tool. Some of my sketchbooks from travels near  and far form part of this exhibition.

In essence, my work is a deep exploration of the relationship between my surroundings, my creative process, and the mediums that I employ. It’s a dialogue between the external world, and my internal, artistic vision, a reflection of the ever changing weather and light and a testament to the passage of time in the landscape.




You can view the exhibition catalogue here.

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