Pic & Mix

October 1, 2018

An exhibition by Robin Hall and Laura-Jane Luff


Robin Hall

“I was born in Sleaford and my favourite subjects to paint are Lincolnshire landscapes, especially skies, trees, fields, and distant church spires. I paint not only because I enjoy the act of painting, but because I am passionate about the countryside.

RHall_MablethorpeDistantSqual_550Art for me is also a way of coping with the stress of modern life. I prefer to work at home rather than ‘en-plein air’. I don’t have a studio, instead I am very much a ‘kitchen table artist’, which suits my circumstances. I take a lot of photographs while I am out and about in the countryside and these form the inspiration for my paintings, though I do like to use my imagination and artistic licence rather than slavishly copy a photograph. I find that working wet on wet with watercolour helps to create a loose feel to my work. I tend to go-with-the-flow of the paint as opposed to trying to paint every bit of detail. This is for me the magic of watercolour.

I also like to use mixed media to create expressive paintings. For these I may mix acrylic inks, brusho, and watercolour. Once again the landscape is the inspiration for my work.

RHall_Chester_550As well as watercolour and mixed media I use coloured pencils. Most of my animal and pet portraits are created with pencils as I find I can get a better likeness with them, especially of a pet, as opposed to using watercolour.

I attend the Riverside Art Group on Wednesday afternoons. Several of the smaller pieces in this exhibition were created at art group. I do not mind admitting that in the past I was very anxious about creating art ‘in public’ but the group has helped me to overcome some of these anxieties.

I have taken part in a number of exhibitions at Carre Gallery including Nature and Structure with Photographer Martin Cameron, and Scene and Unseen with Anne Barnham. In 2013 I won the Carre Gallery award at the summer show that year. (Editors note: these can be seen on the previous exhibitions page of the blog.)

As well as art my other interests are playing guitar, walking in the countryside, doing crosswords, listening to music, and watching sport.”

http://www.robinswatercolours.co.uk/ and http://www.facebook.com/theartofrobinahall


Laura-Jane Luff

LJLuff_Elizabeth_450“From a very young age I found that I had an ability and keen interest for drawing and painting. I graduated with a BA Hons Fine Art degree at Lincoln University in 2012 and since then have set up my own fine art practice. I’m currently co-running an art group once a week in a relaxed environment for anyone at any level of artistic ability and I give demonstrations within the group on how to draw and paint different subjects , encouraging them on their artistic journey.

LJLuff_squirrel_550The world around me is my inspiration and I love to draw and paint a variety of subjects including people, animals, landscapes and still life. These are created through a range of media that includes coloured pencils, acrylic, water-soluble oils, and pastels.  As an artist I feel that it’s important to sometimes ‘get out of your comfort zone’ and explore and interpret various subjects and media.

I am a regular volunteer and exhibitor at Carre Gallery and have previously participated in exhibitions in Bottesford, Sleaford, Lincoln, Broadstairs, and Cirencester.

I welcome commissions for portraits and pet portraits, so if you are looking for a special gift for someone or for yourself then feel free to contact me.”

You can follow Laura online at the following links:  www.facebook.com/theartoflaurajaneluff  and www.laura-janeluff.blogspot.co.uk

The exhibition is open 10 am – 4 pm every day (except Sunday) until Saturday 13 October.


Gallery photos by Martin Cameron.  Images of artwork supplied by the artists.  Click on any image to see a larger version (opens in new window/tab).

An exhibition by Anne Barnham and Robin Hall


Anne Barnham

Anne originally comes from Cumberland but now loves living in Lincolnshire. She paints open landscape scenes, rivers, old buildings, boats and much in between.

ABarnham_TheLamp_550The skies and views here are an absolute delight, especially to a countryside-loving artist like myself.

I started painting later in life with help from many artists, including Peter Hayward from Timberland. I have attended courses with artists whose style I feel compliments my own, a desire to encapsulate the essence of a view.

I have painted in many different places, both in England and abroad, as much as possible on the spot, but if not then from my own sketches, photos and observation. I undertake commissions, either from photographs or the actual place. My paintings are hanging in collections in many parts of Australia, New Zealand, Europe and USA. (Mr. Trump hasn’t got one yet!)

I think it is very necessary to capture the atmosphere and feeling of a place. My paintings reflect this with the idea that you could ‘walk into’ the scene, they are varied and interesting with wonderfully strong and harmonious colours.

I enjoy selecting my paintings for an exhibition, there are a number of local views as well as some with a little difference! More paintings can be seen at my Studio in Digby, you are very welcome to come and visit.”

ABarnham_TheLockAtHaverholme_550Anne has been given several awards, including The Carre Gallery Award in the 2015 Summer Exhibition, and she was selected to be a wild card in the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year 2016. Unfortunately she was unable to take up the prestigious offer because of prior commitments. She is entering again this year.

Anne is also Chair of the Sleaford Art Group, a member of The Shelford Group of Artists, an Ambassador for SAA paints and a Professional Associate of the Society of All Artists. She does workshops and demonstrations for local Art Groups, give talks to WI and Ladies groups and teaches art on the Cruise Liners.

Robin Hall

Robin is a Sleaford-based artist who paints mostly landscapes inspired by the Lincolnshire countryside. Born in Sleaford, he attended York College of Arts and Technology where he attained a BTEC National Diploma in General Art and Design. He then went to Coventry University where he graduated with a degree in Graphic Design. Robin has also studied calligraphy with the Open College for the Arts, watercolour with Christine Burnett at her studio in Grantham, and drawing with well-known SAA art tutor and author Trudy Friend.

RHall_AtTheFieldsEdge2_550“My half of the exhibition with Anne features work created over roughly a seven month period. I can definitely say that my contribution to the exhibition is the unseen bit! Despite my work having mostly an imaginary style, my paintings are inspired very much by the Landscape, especially the Lincolnshire landscape.  Skies, trees, hedgerows, cow parsley, sheep, and colourful yellow fields have all inspired the various paintings I am exhibiting. I have used a variety of media to create the images for this exhibition including watercolour, coloured pencil, mixed media, acrylic inks, and watercolour pencils.”

RHall_GrazingSheepNearRauceby_550In 2013 Robin won the Carre Gallery Award for his painting Sunset at Silk Willoughby and his paintings were used in 2016 as part of a presentation for the Lincolnshire Environmental Award about Mareham Pastures.  Robin, a member of the SAA, also teaches painting on Wednesday afternoons at The Source in Sleaford.

The exhibition is open from 10 am – 4 pm every day until Saturday 03 June. (Closed on Sunday.)

NB: OPEN on Bank Holiday Monday 29 May.


Images (from the top).  Ancient Sentinel (Robin) and Grange in Borrowdale (Anne); The Lamp; The Lock at Haverholme; At the Field’s Edge; Grazing Sheep near Rauceby.  Click on any image to see a larger version (opens in new tab/window).


Robin Hall

Robin’s exhibition features work mostly created between June and October 2016. Along with new Lincolnshire scenes painted in watercolour, Robin will also be displaying images painted using acrylic, coloured pencil, and water soluble pencils, these feature a range of subjects inspired by nature and the landscape.

“The Lincolnshire landscapes I have painted are all in the Sleaford area and are inspired by agriculture.  When I am not working with watercolour I like to expand my artistic repertoire and explore using various media. I am displaying these ideas along with my landscapes so that visitors can see my full range of ideas and work.”

Robin will be at Carre Gallery on Saturday 5th and 12th November.



Anita Mortimer

Anita Mortimer is an artist using mostly pencil. She also uses pastels, pen and ink and very occasionally acrylic or oil paints.  Pencil is an unforgiving medium but one that Anita feels comfortable with. It enables her to show the sweep of feathers or the curl of fur with breathtaking accuracy.  Her subjects are mostly animals but she also does portraits, landscapes and sometimes buildings.  In this current exhibition she focuses mainly on pets but not exclusively.

Anita grew up in Croydon, Surrey and now lives in Lincolnshire.  Her pictures have sold internationally and she has taken commissions for portraits, wildlife and pet portraits.  Her current project is to open a small gallery in Horncastle.


The exhibition will be open 10 am – 4 pm from 31 October to 12 November 2016. (Gallery closed on Sunday.)

Images: Blackberries by Robin Hall. Parrot by Anita Mortimer.  Supplied by the artists.  Gallery photographs by Martin Cameron.  Click on an image to see a larger version.

An exhibition of photography by Martin Cameron and paintings and drawings by Robin Hall.


Local artists Robin Hall and Martin Cameron present a joint exhibition of images exploring natural and man-made aspects of our landscape. Each artist observes different facets of their worlds. Robin, who works with a variety of media including watercolour, oil and pencil, is drawn to nature while Martin uses photography to concentrate on architectural details. Their individual views of the world create an interesting contrast of observations.

Both artists met through their involvement at the Carre Gallery, where this exhibition is being held. Martin explains, “Robin and I often take trips out to Lincolnshire locations with a view to creating images. We came to realise that, although we might share the same location, we observe very different things. Robin notices wildlife that I am oblivious to. I tend to look at the detail of buildings and other man-made features. I have a real love of architecture.”

Robin says, “My paintings are greatly influenced by the Lincolnshire landscape, its skies, and the wildlife that lives there. I enjoy going for walks in the countryside both around Sleaford, and further afield at places such as Gibraltar Point (where I was a volunteer in the late 90’s), and Donna Nook. I have a garden devoted to wildlife, and many of its wild visitors are becoming subjects in my paintings. I use photography as a means of gathering reference material for my pictures, whether it is a dramatic sky, a view across the Lincolnshire coast, or a cheeky squirrel feeding in my garden.”

The pair thought their different styles would make an interesting mix so decided to go ahead with Nature and Structure, their first joint exhibition.

The exhibition is open every day 10 am – 4 pm every day until Sat 04 June.

RHall_GibraltarPoint_500Robin Hall:

Robin is a Sleaford-based artist specialising in landscape, wildlife, and pet portrait painting.  Born in Sleaford, Robin attended York College of Arts and Technology, where he attained a BTEC diploma in General art and design. He then went to Coventry University where he graduated with a degree in Graphic Design.

Robin has also studied calligraphy at the Open College for the Arts, watercolour with Christine Burnett, and drawing with well-known art tutor and author Trudy Friend.

Robin works with a variety of media, including watercolour, coloured pencils, pen & ink, oil, oil pastel, soft pastel, acrylic ink, and graphite.

Robin has recently become Artist in Residence at Carre Gallery, where he is also a volunteer.

MCameron_ThreeHuts_Mablethorpe_500Martin Cameron:

Originally schooled in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, Martin spent many years as a London-based studio photographer in the commercial fields of advertising, corporate and editorial work. Now living in Grantham, he has moved out of the rigid studio environment enjoying the freedom to travel and photograph people and places.

Martin still undertakes commissions although he mainly shoots images for exhibition prints and stock photography. He prefers to show the world as he finds it and does not create composite images or use digital colour enhancing; what you see is more or less what the camera saw. Martin’s work is held in private collections internationally as well as in the UK.  Local venues, which have exhibited his work, include Lincoln’s Sam Scorer Gallery, Sleaford’s Carre Gallery, the National Centre for Craft and Design, Grantham Museum and Stamford Arts Centre.

Martin is actively involved in promoting Lincolnshire artists and is a great advocate for protecting artists’ rights. He is a director of Carre Gallery and also a director of EPUK (Editorial Photographers UK), an organisation which campaigns for photographers’ rights. He is a law graduate with post-graduate qualifications in commercial and copyright law and has worked as an advisor to the Association of Photographers in London.

Images from the top:  Fly Past – Canada Geese over Gibraltar Point by Robin Hall; Corrugated Lines by Martin Cameron; Gibraltar Point from Mill Hill by Robin Hall; Three Huts – Mablethorpe by Martin Cameron.  Click on any image to see a larger version.


April 25, 2016

An Exhibition in support of Sleaford Live Week.

For this year’s exhibition we gave our artists the general theme ‘Performance’, allowing them to interpret the word as they wished.  We have received some surprising, yet interesting  and quirky interpretations; the performance of nature in flora, fauna and moving landscapes as well images representing music, theatre and sport.

In the second week of this two-week exhibition, during Sleaford Live week we have a couple of performers of our own.

MNewman_WhoDoYouThinkYouAre_500Mary Newman, gallery stalwart who designs and paints theatre back-drops for local drama productions, will be creating a mural on a specially prepared ‘wall’ in the gallery.  The outline of her image has already been started and she will be painting in the gallery on the following days during ‘Live Week’

Mon 02, Tues 03 May:  10.00 am – 1.00 pm

Wed 04, Thur 05, Fri 06 May: 1.00 pm – 4.00 pm

Mary also produces paintings, ceramics and mixed media artwork and will be staging a solo show ‘Connections’ at the Carre Gallery starting 06 June.

RHall_GardenAcrobat_500Our Artist in Residence, Robin Hall will be in the gallery most afternoons demonstrating his skills in Calligraphy.  Trained as a graphic designer, Robin is best known for his landscapes and animals in watercolour and pencil.  During Sleaford Live Week he will be creating an intricate interpretation of the word ‘Performance’ that visitors can see developing as the week progresses.  Robin says, “The planning takes ages, especially for interlaced patterns but I like the challenge.”

Robin Hall will be staging a joint exhibition ‘Nature and Structure’ with photographer Martin Cameron at the Carre Gallery starting 23 May.

Both Robin and Mary will be happy to discuss their work, the gallery, art in general and the weather.  Don’t be shy.  Come on in.

Also please visit the blog during live week, updates will be added as work progresses.

Exhibition open 10 am – 4 pm until Sat 07 May.  Sleaford Live Week starts on Friday 29 April and continues until Sunday 08 May.

Images: Who do you think you are? (mixed media) by Mary Newman.  Garden Acrobat (coloured pencils) by Robin Hall. Below: Mural Wall and Calligraphy preparation.  Photographed at the gallery by Martin Cameron.  Click on any image to see a larger version


Live Week Updates:










Explorations is a collection of paintings in mixed media ranging from traditional watercolours, coloured pencil drawings and semi-abstract paintings using acrylics, inks, and watercolour. Almost all of the images are inspired by the Lincolnshire landscape.  Robin was born in Sleaford and has always been inspired by the surrounding countryside, the seasons, and the ever-changing skies.

Robin Hall

Robin Hall

“For me, as an artist, Lincolnshire is a truly inspiring place to live. Trying to capture that inspiration is a lifelong challenge and, through experimentation with various art materials and techniques, I try to capture the character of the Lincolnshire landscape.”

The title of the exhibition can describe the physical act of discovering the countryside and, more importantly, it reflects Robin’s belief that the way to learn about a particular medium is to explore. And that through this exploration we learn how the artists’ media truly work. That knowledge can then be used to depict the landscape and it’s ever changing atmospheres.

The Old Tree

The Old Tree

“Through exploration I am always learning something new about a medium. In a lot of my current work I use cling-film to create texture without the use of brushes. It gives another dimension to my landscapes.”

Explorations is held in the Bainton Room of the gallery and features framed paintings, original paintings in mounts, and hand painted cards.

The exhibition is open 10 am – 4 pm every day from Mon 24 March until Sat 29 March.


Artwork above from left to right: Helpringham Church, Moonrise, View from Mareham Pastures.  Gallery photos by Laura-Jane Luff.  Robin Hall photographed by Martin Cameron.

An exhibition featuring the winners of Carre Gallery Summer Show


Jennifer Cottis

Educated in London at Ealing School of Art and the Central School of Art and Design and twice winner of the RSA student travelling bursaries awards for design.  Examples of Jennifer’s designs have been included in major exhibitions at the prestigious Design Centre Stuttgart and the International Design Centre Berlin.  Her drawings, paintings and sculptures have been exhibited widely in private and public galleries throughout the country, winning prizes and awards including, Finalist in the national Arts Council-funded ‘Culture Cloud’ competition in 2012 at the New Art Exchange in Nottingham and Winner of the ‘Peoples Choice’ in the Carre Gallery Lincolnshire Community and Life exhibition, also in 2012.  Her work is in private collections in England and the USA.

Jennifer Cottis

Vaison La Romain – Old Town (oil on canvas) by Jennifer Cottis

“My work as an artist builds on a sound foundation in drawing skills and in the development of my personal visual language. I frequently move back and forth between two and three dimensions – each exploration informing and feeding back into the other – drawings translated into sculptures; sculptures translated into a further development of drawings and paintings.”

“The depiction of the sea has been a recurring theme throughout my career with an analysis of the constantly developing waves and the visual interpretation of movement. I have now moved these drawings into a three-dimensional form that tries to express the feelings and colours taken from the sketches – I think of them as three-dimensional paintings rather than functional pots. I am currently working on ceramic sculptures expressing the tension and compression of wave forms.”

“Recent Landscapes in Oil on Canvas from a painting excursion to Provence and the Ardeche depict the strong colours of the rhythmic landscape. Flat areas of colour and passive decorative zones are a description of the landscape reduced to bare essentials.  The paintings and ceramic sculptures of Whitby are in contrast to the vibrant colours of the South of France and depict the quirkiness of the area around the steps of Whitby with a vertiginous decent from the Abbey.”  Further information at  www.jacottis.com (opens new window).

Robin Hall

Robin has been painting since he graduated in Graphic Design in 1993.  His first subjects were wildlife, particularly birds, and he exhibited at Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve.  Robin stopped painting for a while in the late 1990’s due to ill health but returned to creating art after recovering.  In 2002, to develop his skills further, he took a course with Christine Burnett at her studio in Grantham and discovered a love for painting landscapes, especially skies in watercolour and he has spent a number of years perfecting his watercolour technique. He also studied drawing with Trudy Friend.

View Near Mareham Lane, Sleaford by Robin Hall

View Near Mareham Lane, Sleaford by Robin Hall

“I believe that creativity is a necessity to all people whether it is art, music, poetry or photography.  I began to exhibit my art again at Carre Gallery when I entered my first painting (a view of Mareham Pastures in Sleaford) into the 2010 Summer Show. Since then I have been a regular exhibitor and sold a number of paintings.  Recently I have begun to experiment with other subjects and media and I am currently working on a series of abstract paintings exploring texture and colour.”

Robin is available to take on commissions including pet portraits which he produces using coloured pencil. Recent commissions have included a King Charles spaniel, an American Bloodhound, and several cats.  He also produced a portrait of Lady Carre in 2012 as a special commission.  Robin teaches small groups and one-to-one lessons in art. “I particularly like to use abstract and experimental art techniques to help both beginners and the more experienced artists to loosen up.”

Barbara Melling

Barbara has been making art for around 30 years and now works mainly in batik using silks, cottons and paper to make pictures, wall hangings and scarves.  She has been successfully designing and holding creative workshops for over fifteen years.

Mousehole Harbour Looking West

Mousehole Harbour Looking West (batik) by Barbara Melling

“When making batik work I use a mixture of traditional tools and processes along with experimental methods in the creation of my pieces. I work directly onto cotton lawn, cotton poplin or silk stretched on a frame. I use cjantings, but often work with brushes and with other techniques for applying the wax – the simpler the better. I choose Procion cold water reactive dyes to colour the cloth, which I apply by painting with brushes and also by dip dying, taking particular enjoyment from the crackle effect created by the dye penetrating cracks in the wax.  The textile drawings which I make on cotton fabrics using pen and inks also add to the body of my work.”

“Life, memory and death are the underlying philosophies behind most of my work. We have our allotted time and the space we inhabit is temporary, given to another when our time is ended. We cannot remember everything, but that which we can makes up the picture of our lives.”  More information at  www.theoldforgeartstudio.co.uk (opens new window).

More information on the Carre Gallery Summer Open Exhibition can be seen in the previous blog post or by clicking on this link (opens new window).

Photography of gallery by Martin Cameron