I had a lovely day today, and got a lesson in just going with the flow.

I went to get a haircut this morning, and the drive back from Leeds takes me through lovely countryside with just a few farms dotted around. One of them had a sign out for an art exhibition (the sign, at the end of a winding lane, actually said ‘art gallery, asparagus, plants and topiary’ which I loved). I was so intrigued that I almost pulled in to see it but then decided ‘no I’m in a hurry and anyway the art might be awful’

But when I got back, I did some googling and found the artist’s name and website. Turns out he’s a farmer by day, artist by night and right now there’s an event called North Yorkshire Open Studios, where you can go visit hundreds of local artists in their studios.

His paintings looked so interesting that I was kicking myself that I didn’t go in, so I asked Phil to come with me and we went back. What a treat! The artist is Richard Snowdon and he has a gallery in a converted barn, with an attached studio where he paints.

His paintings are amazing – a riot of color and texture and movement – so joyous! Just as I was wishing I could buy them all, he walked in. Phil and I spent half an hour or so chatting to him about his work, his studio and Yorkshire. He gave us some great recommendations for drives out, pubs, etc. and showed us his work in progress. The whole experience was just a delight from start to finish.

Here’s his website:

I only wish I could afford to spend £350-£900 on a painting because there were loads I would have bought. I think this one was my favorite:

But it’s hard to say because they were all wonderful.

When you don’t see really great art for a while, you forget how good it makes you feel. I only wish I was free this weekend to drive around some of the other artists’ studios but alas it’s not to be. Perhaps it’s as well anyway – I want this experience to stay fresh in my memory for as long as possible.

One thing’s for sure, next time I see an intriguing sign by the side of the road, I’m pulling in!


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