Ancrum gets arty once again

A long weekend of creative exhibitions is making a welcome comeback to Ancrum from April 30 to May 2.

By Kevin Janiak
Friday, 1st April 2022, 12:02 pm
Updated Friday, 1st April 2022, 12:02 pm
Tina Holley's painting of Abbotsford.
Tina Holley's painting of Abbotsford.

The eco theme is at the forefront of this year’s offerings, and some exhibitors’ workshops are literally a stone’s throw from the village hall and nearby exhibition spaces.

New to Ancrum in the midst of an exciting and talented group of painters will be two newcomers, Michelle Scotzen and Helen McKnockiter, both of whom draw inspiration from their natural surroundings.

Landscape artist Michelle is inspired by big skies, wild seas and the ever changing vistas of the Borders, Northumberland and beyond. Working from her home studio in Melrose, she uses a mix of oil, acrylic and metallic pigments to recreate these atmospheric landscapes.

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Helen’s observations come from an acute awareness of nature in the moment, whether it be in her garden or while standing in a field knee deep in grass. Acrylics give vibrancy to her work with a variation of loose brush strokes providing a pleasing painterly effect.

One artist returning to the event is Tina Holley, who was told at school that she was hopeless at art.

Decades after leaving education she decided to paint a picture as a birthday present for her husband Frank while they were running a rare breeds farm in Wales.

Tina said: “To my surprise the mountain in my chosen Welsh landscape actually looked like one and shortly after Frank had framed the moody scene of a Welsh valley, a friend who came to the farm offered me £50 for it.”

Boosted by new confidence and a passion for her new-found skill Tina took a giant leap of faith and applied to be Artist in Residence in the Canadian Rockies, and she became the first ever non-American to be accepted and she flourished creatively during her time there.

A fascinating spell as Artist in Residence at the Petrified Forest of Arizona then followed, which helped establish her burgeoning reputation as a landscape artist.

The family have since moved to Hawick, and one of Tina's artworks on show at Ancrum is the beautifully presented painting of Abbotsford, seen above.

Also showing work are Pat Douglas, Stuart Douglas, Claire Norris, Ruth Bramble, Jennie Gibson and Fiona Luing.