21 Special Invited Artists

Frances Hatch


Sunrise over the Coast Road.
(heading for Abbotsbury)

Works out of doors, in and with nature. Her work arises out of a relationship with any environment in which she chooses to spend time. She uses water-based paints and integrates them with locally sourced, and foraged for earths. Her paintings arise out of a conversation with the land, “in teamwork with weather”, and serve as containers of experience. Presently exhibiting at John Ruskin’s home Brantwood having been Artist in residence in the Lake District.

She is an elected member of the Royal Watercolour Society.

David Atkins


“My paintings are about experiencing and responding to the places I encounter. This is often achieved by spending periods of time in a landscape and looking and working directly from it. Working outside means I am immersed in the landscape and experience many different things. My senses are alive to the conditions of weather, the sounds and smell from the sea and land, the call of a birds and animals. I’m dressed for the cold, heat, wind and rain, even snow. Seeing the dawn through to dusk, the seasons change and the constant movement of the landscape is a real privilege and one I want to express in my paintings.

“I meet many people too when I am painting. I listen to their stories and share familiar thoughts on the weather and politics, some bring me tea and offer food. All of this in some way adds to the richness of being and painting in the landscape.

“As I try to capture the ever-changing scene before me, I do so in a way that allows paint and colour to be used in an expressive and gestural manner.

“Know when to stop? This usually happens when I have made something that has gone beyond anything I had expected. It’s a moment of discovery when painting and looking say something of the grandeur and beauty I experienced in that moment.”

In the garden of The Old Gatehouse.

Jane is an accomplished tonal painter who studied Art at Leeds University. After working for years the USA, painting theatre and opera sets, she has returned to live and paint in Dorset.

Last year she participated in “Art in the Open” the well-established en plein air Festival in Wexford, Ireland.

Rod uses the physical stuff of paint with a special energy and uncompromising gestures. Often he paints with a variety of tools and instruments that are not brushes. He balances his colourful responses to the observed world, espousing “composition without conscious control”.

Early on he studied with Euan Uglow and Frank Auerbach at Camberwell, latterly he spent time at the New York Studio School influenced by Abstract Expressionist values.

Her remarkable observational work with the colours and intricate beauties of plants, often enlarges the scale towards abstraction. The pastels and paintings are invested with the transformative rhythms of nature. She wants to draw you into the silent drama and inherent energy in the cycle of plant life. There is often a hint of something slightly other-worldly, slightly spiritual, something one step beyond what you can see.

She Studied at the Royal Academy Schools. Among her recent exhibitions are Kew Gardens and Oxford Botanical Gardens.

Helen’s paintings are no ordinary views of flowers. They are well observed, beautifully drawn but not immediately recognisable.

Hugh Dunford Wood


A versatile artist and teacher involved with many projects. Brings charm and a quality of liveliness to whatever he observes or touches. Hugh paints the intimate, hidden corners of a landscape. He explores hedgerows and Holloways, rich haunts of flora and fauna and old ghosts, places of reflection, felt from within.

Claudia Dharamshi


Claudia is a colourist painter with an impressionistic style.

There is calligraphic liquidity in her figurative and abstract forms and brushed shapes. A spontaneous fluid sketch process enlivens her work. Expressive and energetic mark making are characteristic of her work. Her plein air paintings are interpretations and often include an element of imagination. She aims to share her sensation of a space with the viewer.

The themes of nature, birds and animals in views and vistas permeate his work. His personal painting practise is in the spirit of a contemporary vision, espousing line and symbolism. Moby’s compositions sit comfortably beside recently published ingenious poetry.

He studied Fine Art at Camberwell and Southampton.

Rachel Sargent


“I feel so lucky to live in Dorset and be able to access so many beautiful places. Walking and revisiting the same places in all weathers, seasons and times of day give me endless references.

“I am absorbed with the way light changes and defines places, constantly transforming the same piece of land. This changing quality of light against the permanence and stillness of the landscape are fundamental to my work…clouds across a hill, flashes of light through woods or shadows along a track”.

Mike has a sculpture on the steps of St. Martins in Trafalgar Square as well as in a Dorchester public street and a life sized carved wooden horse in the Hospital.

“My first joy was in working stone. I loved the sound of it under a mallet, the smell when it’s cut, the colour and the texture. Most of all I loved its permanence, millions of years in the making, hundreds perhaps thousands of years in the form it gives me.

“Nowadays I am engaged on a journey that doesn’t have an end finding something deeply expressive in drawing and painting in the flat planes of the two-dimensional in the Life Room and now the Landscape”.

Helen Lloyd-Elliott


“Ever since I can remember, I have been happiest with a pencil or paintbrush in my hands. From early childhood, I was obsessed with nature and would spend every spare minute in the garden, studying and drawing plants, flowers and insects.

Primarily a landscape and portrait painter my work is my visual diary; a recording of the light, colours space and form found in the objects and places that make up the living world. The act of putting charcoal to paper and oil to canvas is a compulsion that gives me great joy”.

Helen Lloyd Elliott was a finalist in Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year 2023.

Wind Blown Grasses

Jessica Gale is based in North Dorset. She is primarily a landscape painter who likes to investigate the dynamics of what is in front of her – the shapes, the light, the negative spaces – and then manipulate them, whether it is through form or colour, focussing on the energy of her subject rather than a visual truth.

You may have seen her recently competing on Sky Landscape Artist of The Year 2024.

In February this year she was selected by Messums West to show her work in an exhibition entitled “Four Artists in February”.

Linzi West grew up in the grounds of Windsor Castle, as her father was the carriage restorer and heraldic artist for the Queen. He was a disciplined and talented craftsman who taught her the skills of sign writing, gold leafing, trompe l’oiel, marbling and any faux finish you could imagine. He was Linzi’s critical eye and the supplier of all her art materials.

Linzi’s career has spanned a wide range of creative arts – from theatre set design, to children’s book illustration, advertising, then interior design and more recently, teaching.

“Painting is what I hold closest to my heart”. Recently Linzi is applying her skills to Landscape painting.

Iryna Yermolova


Her work has a breadth and freedom of gesture, balance of tone, and a unique flare for rich colours. In 2023 on international women’s day, she won the accolade of Best Woman Artist at the Affordable Art Fair in London.

Iryna grew up and studied Art in Ukraine; she has lived in Dorchester for the last 20 years.

Clare Hawkes


Has a special sensitive touch and rhythm in her brushwork, a feeling for the quality of paint and a fresh and clean approach to colours. Keen vision, dynamic composition, observational skills and gestural responses.

She studied at the Arts University Bournemouth and has a Fine Art Studio/Gallery at Abbotsbury in the Abbey Farm Workshops.

Ian Liddle


Ian Liddle is a painter and graphic artist who worked for 12 years in Berlin. He now lives and works in Dorset and over the past 2 years has been focusing on painting/drawing from life and en plein air.

His work is recognisable by its use of a palette of bright sharp clean colours with spontaneously made clean shapes.

Fiona Godfrey


An accomplished expressive landscape painter combining tone and colour instincts. Her works have compositional drama and energy with depth of space, while maintaining the flat picture plane.

Fiona lives and works in Bridport, balancing a busy psychotherapy practice with making time to paint in and from the local landscape. A sabbatical on a Scottish Island ignited her current painting practice, while living in the Cambrian mountains in Wales during lockdown afforded her time for sketchbook walks and studio experiments. “Painting for me is a vital and all consuming immersion in the natural world and an escape into the infinite joys of colour and texture.”

Kim Smurthwaite


Kim has breathe of vision combining observation with abstraction. Her personal energy conveys freedom spatial awareness and a wide variety of gestures.

After studying at Weymouth College, last year Kim completed her BA Fine Art at Bath Spar University

James Meiklejohn


James Meiklejohn is a painter living in Dorset. He studied Illustration at Brighton University (where his lecturers included Raymond Briggs) and Heatherley School of Fine Art, Chelsea where he studied life and portrait painting.

His portraits have been exhibited in the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. In Dorset, his work has been shown at the Jerram Gallery, Sherborne and Sladers Yard, West Bay.

He has been teaching life drawing, portraiture, and oil painting for many years most recently for Dorset Centre for the Creative Arts and The Dorset Museum.

Bend in the River

“My work is inspired by the Southwest landscape. I often paint outdoors to capture the environment around me. I like to experience a place, to gather inspiration in situ and be immersed in a location. The colours seem more vivid, the marks more visceral when applied outdoors. I work with acrylics, oils and mixed media to make at times semi abstracted pieces. Through colour, mark making and surface I aim to make an immediate response to the world around me. My practice has developed alongside a career in Art and Design education, which I enjoy and have continued learning through showing others how to make art.”

Fernando Velazquez


Fernando Velazquez is a Spanish Artist living and working in Dorset. His unique visionary spatial landscapes make us vulnerable and open to the dark chthonic power of nature, which is ameliorated by sublime, no less natural, bright angelic illumination.

He has exhibited individually in London, New York and Madrid. Among many awards he has won the local Marshwood Art Award 2023 in painting, also in 2023 he exhibited at the Florence Biennale, and the prestigious London Group Open.