Living in Yorkshire in this stunning countryside can’t fail to inspire artists. I love walking the dog through green, lush fields, seeing an abundance of wildlife everywhere, rabbits, hares, deer, badgers squirrels and if you are lucky hedgehogs and once I saw a mole struggling to get in its hole…I helped it.
There are so many different parts of Yorkshire, the undulating Dales, including Coverdale and Nidderdale, Whardedale with the rivers. All great to sketch and paper cut with a tiny scalpel. In fact I have sketched the different landscapes for my one metre long paper cut for the Tour de France Grand Depart 2014 when it came to Yorkshire.
Love Yorkshire is sketched from the top of Almscliffe Crag. This is a millstone Grit outcrop located near the villages of Huby, Weeton and North Rigton. It is a place of breathtaking beauty as you climb the top of Almscliffe Crag to see the whole of Yorkshire as you turn 360 degrees. Spot the White Horse in the distance near the horizon, the Wharfedale Valley with Otley and Ilkley in the distance. At the other side you can see Harrogate with its valley and viaduct. To the other side you can see Huby, Weeton and Castley with its viaduct. I have spent many hours up here walking the dog and know the landscape well.
One view which inspired one of my paper cuts is the view of a farm at the back of The Crag. I sat up there and sketched the Yorkshire landscape, capturing the low flying Swallows, the rabbits below in the fields, the farm walls, the cows, sheep and the farm itself.
Back in my working studio and art gallery, I chose a piece of thin paper and sketched the scene out. Everything is in reverse. I added the words Love Yorkshire, Love the Countryside as I feel that this piece of artwork represents the love we all feel for our green, lush County of Yorkshire…the countryside, wildlife, the drystone walls, farms and animals.
This Yorkshire landscape paper cut would make a good present for someone who Loves Yorkshire and maybe doesn’t live there anymore. Indeed for anyone who loves Yorkshire, this would make a perfect piece of artwork to decorate a home or office.
Love Yorkshire, Love the Countryside is available as a giclee print here
My first ever paper cuts were Tiger Tiger and Paradise one metre designs, which were inspired by 15th Century rugs. This Harrogate map is the third project I set myself. My art gallery is in Harrogate and I thought what better way for people to find my art studio than for me to design a map with tiny details on showing the main attractions and landmarks and things we all love about this historical town.
My first task was to choose some paper. I love the colour turquoise, it is such a vibrant colour which would compliments most modern décor, so in my art studio, The Dove Tree Art Studio, I laid out the paper. Using a guide, my first job was to plot the map drafting the roads in pencil. When paper cutting this map, I drew everything on the back of the paper. I started drawing out the roads and then added the historical buildings such as The Royal Hall, Turkish Baths, Pump Room and Cenotaph. Next followed the landmarks of Harrogate including the two notable green spaces in the middle of the town, one of which being The Stray. It is used by many clubs and enjoyed by many habitants of Harrogate and surrounding villages. It occupies 200 acres of grass parkland and dates back to 1778. Here I incorporated runners and dog walkers enjoying the Stray whilst at one end there is a football net and two boys playing.
I then drew the Valley Gardens situated on this Harrogate map near the Pump Room. This immaculately kept park is covered in flowers planted and maintained by the Harrogate Borough Council’s gardeners. I love the cafe building and have included a couple of people sitting enjoying a coffee outside.
Next it became the time for cutting, using a tiny scalpel I set to it. All the roads on this map had to be carefully cut out. In fact, everything is in reverse when you paper cut, all of the writing and buildings have to be back to front. The trees took hours as I hand cut out the leaves on each of the trees. All in all it took me three months to complete from the research, drawing and cutting out.
I then had this Harrogate map photographed for taking Giclee prints from. Giclee prints are made using colourfast inks printed on archive paper. This map has been reproduced in the original turquoise colour, a turquoise and burgundy/pink colour and a grey/dark grey combination.
It is available in 3 sizes A4, A3 and the original one metre long size. The map has been reproduced as a laser cut in the original size and is also available as limited edition hand printed velvet cushions.
These Harrogate maps make perfect presents for those that love Harrogate, are perfect memorabilia and have been purchased by many people to decorate their houses in Harrogate. There is a colour and size to suit everyone. You can see the map on the wall at William and Victoria, a very well-known restaurant in the middle of Harrogate.
I was pleased with the finished result in fact the original map was bought by an American collector and is now in America…Time well spent!
Yorkshire Air Ambulance Notelet Cards
I was commissioned to create three Yorkshire Air Ambulance Notelet Cards designs following on from the success of the paper cut card design I donated to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance last year.
This original design features a Yorkshire Air Ambulance yellow helicopter with a black paper cut of woodland animals and birds looking up at the helicopter. It has proved to be a best seller. I originally donated the postcard sized image to the Anonymous Art Fair the previous year to raise money for Yorkshire Air Ambulance. (Insert picture)
This year I was inspired to create the three following Yorkshire Air Ambulance notelet card designs. These are:-
‘Yorkshire Butterflies and Yorkshire Air Ambulance Helicopter’
Inspiration for this card design came from the colour of the yellow Yorkshire Air Ambulance helicopter blades as seen from above. When flying you can see a flash of yellow stripes on the helicopter blades from above. I had always had it in mind to design a Notelet featuring butterflies as I think there is something so special and spiritual about them, they are, it is said, Angels. Butterflies are always a popular on greetings cards, so I chose common Yorkshire species of butterflies to fly around the magnificent yellow helicopter. Each one took hours to paint. I used Windsor and Newton artist’s watercolour on a flat hot pressed Sanders watercolour paper with a tiny miniature brush. Again each one took hours to create, but it was a labour of love and I am very pleased with the result.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance Helicopter landing in a field of Flowers
I have always loved Libertys London, that famous shop off Regent Street stocking wonderfully tasteful merchandise. I used to be the Buyer of the fashion Accessories here and have always loved their Tana Lawn fabric designs. These usually feature miniature flower and other animal designs. Having taken a trip to Liberty’s London I once again acquainted myself with the designs and on the train coming home came up with this design. It took me hours to complete this card design using a tiny miniature brush first sketching the flowers in pencil, then adding the odd rabbit and bird and finally the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. I used Windsor and Newton paint on Bockingford watercolour paper.
Yorkshire Air Ambulance following a line of dogs
I love dogs and many people do. It is reminiscent of the pen and gouache I designed twenty years ago when I had my own card business and aims to be quirky and fun. In those days I created 30 different animal cards which sold in 120 shops. Hopefully the viewer has a smile on his or her face when looking at the yellow Yorkshire Air Ambulance hovering over this line of dogs carrying a bone.
“As a Harrogate artist, I absolutely loved creating these designs for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance such a worthy charity and one that we all may need the help from their helicopters one day.”
Pop into my art gallery and working studio The Dove Tree Art Studio, Harrogate to see the original artwork and to buy these Yorkshire Air Ambulance notelet cards which are £5 for a pack of 10 very high quality blank notelets and envelopes. www.anitabowerman.co.uk
They are also available to purchase from the Yorkshire Air Ambulance online shop
Hand printed cushions seem to me to be the perfect way to combine my artwork and interior design. I love being creative and am always looking for different skills to learn and master. I recently learnt how to screen print onto textiles. Velvet is such a tactile, beautiful fabric and seemed so fitting to print my paper cut designs onto to create cushions.
Using my own paper cut designs, I prepared the screens for hand printing. I am drawn to Purple, green and bright pink, so thought I would start by screen printing in these colours. I was absolutely delighted by the results. The velvet became embossed when I printed the fabric. As a Harrogate Artist I thought I would start with my Harrogate paper cut Map and my Paradise paper cut design images for these luxurious cushions.
I had the cushions made up by my neighbour Justin at BSpoke soft furnishing interior design in Harrogate. He did a fantastic job and I am absolutely thrilled with the end result.
My velvet hand printed cushions have proved very popular particularly as gifts. I suppose it is difficult to buy art for other people, but everyone probably needs a lovely cushion. You can never have enough cushions.
I am creating new cushion designs for Christmas. Pop into my art gallery and working studio in Harrogate to see them.
Blue is one of my favourite colours. Spring arrives and for an artist there are so many joyful scenes to paint as nature springs to life after sleeping through the Winter.
As a landscape artist, after painting pink in all shades whilst capturing the amazing Blossom on Harrogate Stray, for two weeks I felt impelled to sit amongst the blue Bluebells and put paint to canvas.
I set off one day with this precise mission in mind. Armed with a rucksack containing acrylic paints and brushes, a painting table -which I use to rest my canvas on, a one metre long canvas and my Sheepdog Poppy to a wood near Harrogate. The sign said ‘keep dogs on a lead,’ however seeing the public footpath, Poppy and I strode forth through a very small field of cows, stupidly……as the cows started charging towards protecting their calves! Poppy and I ran, me with this huge canvas raising it in the air. We managed to get over a fence to safety with the cows, some with horns, trying to get through the gate. I have never been so frightened! Luckily a farmer came to my rescue. He was rather mad as he might be, but escorted me to safety and told me how to get to the woods another way with no cows.
We settled ourselves down for the day having carefully picked a place with young trees growing through the Bluebells. It was sheer bliss painting en plein air with the birds singing all around, so peaceful. I grabbed a twig and set to painting. I wanted to capture the almost ethereal scene and created a misty effect using lilacs and greys with a complimentary lemon green leaf colour. Then added the Bluebells which were almost purple. This is the result.
After a hard day’s painting Poppy happily meandered back to the car and drove home for a cup of tea.
You can see the finished painting in my studio in central Harrogate, the Dove Tree Art Studio.
Nature’s Flowers are a gift all to artists in all their colours, shapes and forms. I love capturing their essence using all sorts of water based paints and other mediums.
Chatting to some regular clients on my art courses in the studio, I discovered that although people like the idea of painting outside, they don’t like the idea of people looking over their shoulders and casting judgement. So I set to Social media and Twitter and asked the question, “does anyone have a private garden that my art clients could come and sit in?” Jo Banks of the Harrogate Garden and Flower School replied and said she had the perfect venue. What a find, Jo has a stunning garden in central Harrogate where she grows her own flowers and teaches gardening courses.
The date was set for our first course which took place 6th May. Eight clients booked to attend. Jo gave a lovely tour of her garden which included her playful Golden Retriever puppy.
I then did a demonstration in watercolours of a Tulip. We had such fun experimenting with colour, salt and other techniques accompanied with Jo’s delicious homemade cake and tea.
These are the results of the morning’s endeavours.
This course was such a success that we have planned a Summer workshop on 29th July. Join in the fun?
For more information about the Harrogate Garden and Flower School see their website
I get so excited when Spring is in the air and the Stray comes to life. First the Crocuses, then the simply stunning Cherry Blossom Trees come into full bloom in April.
For two weeks, in between icy cold winds coming from the Arctic, I ventured to the Stray and set up my equipment. As a Harrogate Artist, I am absolutely drawn to these iconic Harrogate trees, reminiscent of the trees you see in the Far East. There are two walkways on the Stray each one lined with many Cherry Blossom trees which form archways.
The pink blossom in all its shades is simply breath-taking and as an artist in love with colour it is a joy to behold.
I always take Poppy my Sheepdog with me when painting outside, she’s great company and a good guard dog. She will lie down next to me, or have a sniff nearby. She has really soft fur which people love to stroke.
A gentleman came up to me and said that “it’s disgusting that the whole Stray is dead”. The council’s groundsmen spray the roots of the trees so the grass doesn’t grow. Consequently there are no Hedgehogs, Bees and other wildlife. It’s true that I did not see one Bee, so why don’t they get the pollen from these abundant blossom. Just find out.
Another man told me he had raised the money to replant dozens of trees. Apparently after 60 years the Cherry trees just die. So since they were planted for the Queen’s Coronation, many are due to expire. Here is the result… my Cherry Blossom Painting.
I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time when, Simon Hulme, photographer for the Yorkshire Post passed me as I was painting. I had met him recently as he took the photos for the interior shots of our house for the Yorkshire Post. I was the only Painter on the Stray and he loved the painting I was creating and the fact I had Poppy the Sheepdog. So I balanced my pictures on the paste table I was using. The next thing was to get Poppy to pose which took about 5 minutes. Every time I got her to sit under my table and let go of her collar she would walk towards Simon! What do they say “don’t work with dogs and children” I muttered under my breath, don’t you want to be in the paper, to Poppy.
Anyway after about the tenth take, Simon managed to get the shot. Subsequently it appeared in the Yorkshire Post newspaper on Wednesday April 19th page 9. Apparently I was knocked off the front cover since Theresa May called the election that day!! I was so happy just to be in there. Poppy took such a great picture.
It has been a fabulous two weeks, I have enjoyed talking to lots of people some more than once. I have painted 5 canvases with acrylic paint just using a twig. Bluebells next……
I was contacted by Helen Suckling of Harrogate Tourist Information Centre to see if I would be interested in creating a front cover of Harrogate’s newest local magazine The Harrogate Review.
Helen had been approached by Editor Haigh Simpson to see if she knew an artist who could create a special front cover especially for the Tour de Yorkshire 2017. Of course I said and lots of drawing, measuring and paper cutting ensued.
It’s a miniature paper cut map depicting the route of Stage 2 of Tour de Yorkshire 2017. It starts in Tadcaster, famous for its bridge and brewery, then on to Knaresborough with its iconic bridge, Ripon with its cathedral, past Fountains Abbey, finishing in Harrogate on the Stray. It’s similar in style to the Grand Depart 2014 map and features of the famous cherry trees with hundreds of paper cut pink dots stuck on, the cyclists, people, dogs, together with iconic buildings on or adjacent to Parliament Street such as Bettys and the Royal Hall. It took days to complete. Prints are available, please contact for details.
Recently my work had featured in The Yorkshire Post. Sharon Dale, the Property and Interiors Editor had kindly featured my Tour de Yorkshire cut out wheel which I created when I was the Official artist for the Tour de Yorkshire in the Home Grown Section of the Saturday Magazine. Over Christmas 2016, she loved my Christmas cards which I had illustrated for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and featured one in the Home Grown Section of the magazine, saying it was her “favourite charity Christmas card”.
Sharon is always looking for interesting homes to feature in the Saturday Magazine and she told me once that artist’s homes generally make very interesting subjects which work well. I agreed to be featured and the date was set for January 2017.
I had my deadline, so hurriedly ensured that all the jigsaw pieces came together in our home…the front room had been upside down, being redecorated for about a year, so this gave me an incentive to finish it.
The day of the photo shoot arrived. Sharon arrived. She loved the colours and decor in our house particularly the kitchen and we had a long chat over coffee about my life, inspirations, interior style and so on. Sharon needed to get the background for the article first before Simon Hulme, The Yorkshire Post photographer arrived.
The ground floor is the most photogenic part of our house so this was featured. As you can see there is an explosion of colour throughout, it makes us all feel happy.
Sharon loved the kitchen. It was based on a retro theme and I was inspired to recreate a cupboard shape I had seen in America. Mark Wilkinson’s kitchen company helped plan the kitchen and make the cupboards. It was my husband Peter’s ideas to put our initials on the drawers of the tall cabinet at one end of the room.
Caryl Hallett, a local stained glass artist provided the blue glass for the star in our kitchen cabinet. I didn’t a want black work surface, preferring to source a light coloured one to reflect the light. The one installed has flecks of different coloured glass in, the perfect way to add colour to our kitchen.
The hall features one of my landscape paintings and a stunning window created by Caryl Hallett. The original frosted glass window had been in the door for 150 years, since the house was built. My son one day with a friend had been playing hockey with a golf ball and disaster happened…broken glass everywhere. So, I kept some of the glass. Meanwhile I had the idea of having my paper cut designs sandblasted onto the two panes of glass. I love the idea of bringing the outside in, so I laid down a design featuring the wildlife and countryside around here and had it sandblasted. Having chosen a turquoise glass, Caryl then cleverly put all the components together. I am reminded every day of nature and the fields and hedgerows around here.
The front room is an explosion of colour featuring floral Designer Guild curtains, purple and lime green sofas.
The photograph of me was taken in our garden. The sun came out for just a few seconds so Simon was able to take a backlit shot of Poppy, our dog and I.
I was thrilled with the article when it came out. Sharon’s imaginatively written article perfectly conveyed the essence of our house and my thoughts and inspirations as an artist. Simon’s photos were clear, colourful and stunning.
So many people I have met recently have seen the article and complimented me on it. The whole experience has been amazing.
As a follow up, Sharon rang me on 3rd March and said that the ‘i’ Newspaper was featuring the article. So it’s gone national now. Thanks so much Sharon and Simon.
You can read the full Yorkshire Post article here
What a gem of a place! Originally this unique place was purely vaults to store valuables. The London Silver Vaults is now occupied with small shops selling beautiful silver as well as traditional vaults. I was initially contacted to see if I would be interested in designing the backdrops for three display cabinets in the entrance through a contact. What a surprise and a challenge as each one was to be 1.5m wide.
I had to draw the scenes to scale, so I ordered a huge roll of Fabriano paper and cut three large pieces of paper ready to draw on. The designs were to represent the genres of silver sold in the Vaults such as the Countryside and London. As you know I love adding quirky details to my designs and spent hours measuring and inserting interesting scenes within scenes.
The London scene was to be set in the Docklands in order to form an appropriate backdrop to the contemporary Silver. I added people in their flats, sitting, eating Christmas dinner playing or admiring their Christmas Tree.
I was then inspired to create a large country estate with a focal point of a Christmas tree and children gathered round. Deer, rabbits and foxes also appear in the scene. Finally I drew out all the windows and doors for a Berkeley Square paper cut which took me ages. In addition, I hand cut some Christmas trees, people and dogs and cats out to put behind the Windows.
I had my designs laser cut as time was of the essence, these huge designs would have taken months to hand cut and I had a tight deadline of a couple of weeks. So in November, I excitedly travelled to London to see my work unwrapped and to help install the laser cuts. Next followed an invite to a Champagne reception. I checked into Lily Langtree’s old house which is now a hotel, The Grand Royale, and spent the afternoon at Liberty’s. Here are the final paper cuts installed inside the cabinets, dressed with the various silver themes.
I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to have my work displayed in such a prestigious Company. Let’s see what 2017 brings…