Why "a Saddleworth painter?"

Eileen in Uppermill I was born in Saddleworth and it is Saddleworth which has reignited my enthusiasm for painting. For those of you who are not familiar with Saddleworth it is a cluster of beautiful villages found around the edges of the moors on the south western boundary of the old West Riding of Yorkshire. For local government purposes, Saddleworth is now linked to Oldham with which town it has always had strong economic ties. Nevertheless the area retains its own, long established sense of individuality of place and community.

The Reader I was educated at the Hulme Grammar School for Girls, Oldham. On leaving school I trained as a specialist teacher of art and craft at C. F. Mott college, then affiliated to Liverpool University. Whilst there, I attended additional courses at the Liverpool School of Art. Teaching first in Colne Valley High School, outside Huddersfield, enabled me to participate in further courses, in drawing and painting, at both Bretton Hall and Woolley Hall study centres of the West Riding Education Committee. Marrying and moving south in 1962 I continued to teach art and craft to pupils in an 11 to 18 school but also took on the teaching of pottery to adults.

I returned to Saddleworth in 1969 and, whilst teaching first part-time then full-time in local schools, attended evening and weekend courses run by John McCombs, RA. Using pastels and oils I completed life studies and paintings of local scenes.

Returning to Sussex in 1974, and teaching once again in a secondary school, I decided A stole for Daphne to broaden my art studies to include work in batik (which I exhibited in 1981) and later collage and bead embroidery

Since retiring from teaching, whilst still retaining a home in Sussex, I have been able to return to Saddleworth much more frequently. Here, inspired by closer observation of the very varied yet always evocative local scenery and environment I have now become fascinated by the intricacies of painting in water colours. This, for me a new art form, is currently occupying all of my time and creative energy. I have been fortunate enough to find a ready market for this new work, some of which may be seen on display in the Millyard Gallery in Uppermill in Saddleworth. Those paintings and all of my other work may also be seen by clicking on the "Saddleworth Scenes" or "Beyond Saddleworth" links above. Nevertheless I continue to paint principally for my own satisfaction. I continue to find that I am driven by a wish to go on exploring and developing my ability to capture and convey the many different effects of light on the landscapes and buildings I am lucky enough to see - whether in Saddleworth, the persisting source of my inspiration, or elsewhere.