The Acorn Gallery
5 Market Place, Pocklington, YO42 2AS
Tel: 01759 307652
Open: Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.00pm

      Know What You Want? Call Now 01759 307652
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VISIT POCKLINGTON: Great Shops and Cafes and FREE PARKING Right outside the door!


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And the Winner is...

Every year we like to tell you who has won our 'Little Acorns' Top Sellers Award, 
in other words, who has sold the most pieces in the last twelve months... the results are in:

Danny has had another phenomenal year here at The Acorn Gallery! 
His exhibition in August was almost a sell-out and every week we are finding people who are just discovering his work for the first time! 
Danny is going from strength to strength and as one of his top selling galleries we are very proud to support him on his rise to greatness :)

After another incredible year Kerry has maintained very strong sales ! Kerry is one of the top artists in the UK and with the increase in her exposure these last few months we are sure the coming year will see her profile continue to grow :-)

This well loved artist has maintained a steady level of sales and with his recent Autumn releases we guess he may challenge for second or maybe even top spot!

 These ladies have had a fantastic year with us here at The Acorn Gallery and we are looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings for them and us!
These guys have had a great year here at The Acorn Gallery and we are very excited to see what fantastic new pieces will come from them in 2017 :-)

* * *
A Question of Artistry… Marie Louise Wrightson 

Your works are completely and unmistakably yours and your distinctive style is appreciated all over the UK. 
How long did it take to develop this unique look?

I started to develop my own style at Art School, where over a period of four years I explored the emotional response to objects. How an object can take you back to a place in time and to a cherished memory.  My paintings over the years have in a way represented my childhood memories of summer holidays, trips to see my grandparents with tea and cakes, films, cartoons and books, such as my favourite Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Always using strong imagery and bold colours, my paintings have become a reflection of me.

Your inspiration from literature and film is very clear but which fine artists did you take inspiration from growing up? 

A couple of the great Victorian illustrators such as my personal favourite, Arthur Rackham and the original Alice in Wonderland artist John Tenniel. A few other artists I refer to are the fabulous Beryl Cook, the sumptuous works of Gustav Klimt and the fantasy artists Chris Achilleos, Julie Bell & Boris Vallejo.

If you could be anything else other than an artist, what would it be? 

Oh that's a difficult question, I would still want to be artistic and creative in the work that I do.

When not painting, how do you enjoy spending your free time? 

I really enjoy woodland walks & love taking long walks on the beach & beach combing for old and unusual found objects, such as sea glass and sea pottery. Drawing in my sketch books and sitting in tea rooms drinking tea and eating cake people watching.

You are currently touring new works, what is your favourite thing about solo shows? 

It's a wonderful opportunity to introduce yourself to gallery owners, meet & greet art collectors or just happily chat away with people who are interested in art and in how an artist works from day to day in their artists’ career.

This is your first show in Yorkshire and with The Acorn Gallery, what is the most exciting thing for you about this show? 

Yes this is my first show in Yorkshire and I am so excited to have a show in a place that I love going to. I have visited the north east coast of Yorkshire on many occasions, especially the historically beautiful town of Whitby, which has inspired a large number of paintings such as "Beach Babe" I am very much looking forward to this solo show with The Acorn Gallery and I'm delighted to have the privilege.

2017 is fast approaching. Your works in 2015 and 2016 followed different paths. What can we expect for the New Year?
I have some exciting and bold ideas in my sketch book for the New Year and you should be able to expect very dramatic, enticing, colourful new works with a touch of magic!

* * * 
A Beautiful Thing...
A few weeks ago we were contacted by artist Lee Colman and offered tickets for his next exhibition. 
We accepted his kind offer and went along last night to The Baths Hall, Scunthorpe.

Since his first public exhibition in 2010 Lee has come a long way and is really making a name for himself 
with his Mr Faceless character. Lee is also however, a big fan of scooters, the fashion and the music too and this is what 
last nights exhibition was all about!

There were several mint condition Lambretta's on show courtesy of local enthusiasts 
and a live DJ added plenty of atmosphere with a constant stream of popular tunes...

The artwork was all set up along one end of the room and the pieces were amazing! 
Lee chooses to draw, in pencil, the faces of musicians and sections of shiny Lambrettas! 
Sometimes with colour and sometimes without!

The detail makes his work photorealistic and several pieces sold whilst we were there!
Here is just one of his beautiful Lambretta artworks for you to admire...

John & I would love to work with Lee in the future... Watch this space!

* * *
The Wonder of it All!

After 12 long years as a published artist Alexander Millar has taken the next step 
and is now totally independent!

Having taken back the reins Alex now has total control over his work 
and as such we are delighted to welcome him back to The Acorn Gallery!

This superb NEW Collection comprises

7 Colour Limited Edition Prints
4 Timeless Sketches
A Stunning Sculpture!

Having complete control over his work has given Alex the freedom to release 'Wheee!' 
his best loved and most collectable piece as a beautiful bronze sculpture!

This next piece is taken from an original painting exhibited at THE GREAT NORTH MUSEUM otherwise known as THE HANCOCK MUSEUM in Newcastle in 2012.

The original forms part of Alex's personal collection.
It was much admired and often requested as a print and now 
Alex has the freedom to make it happen!

To order any piece call 01759 307652
or click the images to order online!

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Katy and her Amazing Technicolour Palette!

In this world of neutral minimalist furnishings and carefully chosen muted mood boards 
East Yorkshire artist Katy Jade Dobson has burst onto the scene with bold and glorious colour! 

£395 framed inc. VAT and Free UK Delivery

Her heavenly hummingbirds will make a gorgeous addition to any room! 

Katy has also just released her latest works which include this magnificent Siberian Snow Tiger 'Felid I' 
(taken from the Latin meaning 'Big Cat'). 
This and some other works directly support the Born Free Foundation - a superb link for this exciting new artist!

'Felid I' Siberian Snow Tiger by Katy-Jade Dobson
£395 inc. superb black Italian wood frame

The Born Free Foundation has now made Katy Jade their 'go to' artist for 2016 
and a celebrity attended charity auction will be held in the Spring! 
This girl is really going places so remember her name... you will see her again and again!  

* * *
And the Winner is...

Each year we tell you who has won our 'Little Acorns' Top Sellers Award, 
in other words, who has sold the most pieces in the last twelve months... so here goes:

TOP SELLER: Danny Abrahams - Danny has had a phenomenal year and the number of pieces sold has increased hugely! His exhibition in August was almost a sell-out and every week we are finding people who are just discovering his work for the first time! He is going from strength to strength and as one of his top galleries we are proud to support him on his journey :)

SECOND PLACE: Kerry Darlington - After another incredible year Kerry has maintained strong sales and if it wasn't for Danny having done so extremely well she would certainly have come top! Kerry is definitely one of the top artists in the UK and her growing popularity is finding new collectors all the time! 

THIRD PLACE: Mackenzie Thorpe - This well loved artist has maintained a good level of sales which would have kept him in top position in last years rankings but strong sales from Danny and Kerry have pipped him to the post!

FOURTH PLACE: Sarah Louise Ewing - this great result is fantastic for Sarah who has become totally independent and has seen huge loyalty and widespread appeal to new audiences throughout the year! We are expecting great things from her in 2016 too...   

For those of you who ask what criteria we use, the answer is... the decision!
You could say that its easier to buy lower-priced pieces so those artists are more likely to see higher sales. 
For us it is clear that the most important part of the buying process is to buy something you love. 
If you don't like it then it doesn't matter what the price - you won't buy it!

If we use value to judge the top seller then the results could be very different - or would they?
A few sales of a very high priced artist could still be outweighed by lots of sales from a very popular artist...
so the decision to buy is the measure we use - we think that's fair :) 

* * *
Dolls and Dockers

Imagine growing up just off the Shankhill Road, in Northern Ireland… 
Imagine being the parent trying to keep your child indoors and away from the troubles…

Terry Bradley was born in Belfast in 1965 and his mother did all she could to keep him safe. 
Bradley found refuge in drawing and painting and in ‘Herges Adventures of Tin Tin’ 
whose books he still collects and whose characters still influence him to this day.
Seeking escape from the reality outside his door, Bradley tuned in to Radio Luxembourg, 
a pirate radio station whose music was stimulating and together with the books it gave him stability and inspiration. 
His observation of people soon became the main focus of his artwork and soon was the theme which was to follow him through his life.

After trying his hand in manufacturing Bradley turned back to art. 
He decided to combine it with fashion and opened his own clothes shop in a trendy area of the city. 
The shop called ‘Retro’ soon became a leader for the fashion conscious students of Belfast! 
They were the first to stock ‘Red or Dead’ footwear and he even had a regular DJ playing in the tiny store!

Despite its success Bradley still had an empty space inside of him and eventually he moved to Dublin in 1989. 
He did some modelling to make ends meet but still in the background he was always painting and drawing. 
After all this time it was still the art that held him and the opportunity for a solo exhibition came during a chance conversation 
with the owner of the famous POD club in Dublin. 
Bradley agreed to do a show and the event was a huge success! 
Finally Bradley could see his way forward!

Now, he brings to life the burlesque dancers and ex-models whose defiance and inner strength is worn like a chainmail suit. 
In balance Bradley paints the hard-drinking, hard-working dockers of Belfast’s Sailortown, 
where the proud and rugged faces dare you to stare 
and where the tattoo’s show that honour is everything!
Several exhibitions later and Bradley has an awakening audience. 
Ronan Keating has become not only a fan of his work, owning several pieces, but is also a close friend and advocate. 
Terry Bradley has become a brand ambassador for Harley-Davidson 
and has even had his artwork used by Nokia on a limited-edition mobile phone.
The latest collection of work is entitled ‘Dolls & Dockers’ and is available on impressive large scale canvas 
or on smaller paper editions. Prices start from just £395 and the edition is selling fast! 
Click the images for more details or call Diane on 01759 307652

* * *
Did you Waite?

On 3rd October young artist Edward Waite came back to Pocklington with his latest stunning collection! 
We always have a great display for Edward but that day was extra special as we had a total of 27 pieces on show! 

Ed was delighted to meet so many of you - he is such a down to earth young man and he is always very happy to shake you by the hand and thank-you for your support!

The exhibition is on for just a few more days so you should try and pop in and take a look! 
If that's not possible then take a peek at the website - all the pieces will be on there too 
and you can see sizes and prices and even zoom in on the images...
Any questions just ask :)

* * *
The Dearest of Dear Old Friends...
Mackenzie Thorpe is a very busy man and keeping close ties with his galleries across the pond is one of his favourite jobs! Last month he visited his gallery in Chicago to release his beautiful new bronze sculpture entitled 'My Dear Old Friend' which shows an elderly man sitting in his favourite armchair with his faithful companion by his side.

It is an intensely emotional piece as Mackenzie has taken pains to emphasize the close bond between the two... the paw resting over his masters foot is a touching connection between the two, as is the old man's hand as it rests gently on the dogs head...

It stands a very impressive 10 inches high on a beautiful circular base allowing you to position it exactly where you get your favourite view of this 360 degree piece of pleasure!

For more details please call on 01759 307652, there is no obligation and all questions will be happily answered! 

Don't forget our layaway service is also available so call Diane for details :)

* * *
The Lady Arrives...
And Hera she is! The beautiful and visually stunning 'Bird of Hera' by Kerry Darlington!
This is the XL size but she is available in a smaller size too and is sure to grace any wall!
Hera is the goddess of marriage, fertility, childbirth and love and is often depicted as a peacock!

* * *
From Little Acorns...

Back in 2012 we took in some original paintings from a young artist who had a very unusual style of painting using old mugs and squeezy ketchup bottles...

This very engaging young man has done a few events for us now, with painting demonstrations and insights into the way he works. Your appreciation for his skills has given him a strong footing as this ambitious young painter from Lincoln has gone on to have several, very successful exhibitions across the UK. 

Edward Waite has been lucky enough to travel widely and takes his inspiration from monuments and iconic architecture from all around the world with his unique methods and a fantastic sense of perspective and movement he has certainly made his mark on the art world! 

Now in 2015 Edward is back at the Acorn Gallery with a brand-new collection including three especially commissioned pieces of York.

(Private Commission)

Come and see the collection for yourself on Saturday, 3 October and Edward will be here personally between 12 and 3pm. 
Pocklington is full of beautiful, boutique shops and coffee shops and there is free parking everywhere so come and make a day of it! 

* * *
You Blew Him Away!

Let's just recap on last month's fantastic exhibition for the much-loved Danny Abrahams. Danny's Summer Exhibition was booked for 15th August and the day itself was busy from start to finish! Visitors came from as far as London and Coventry also there were lots of people from Danny's home area of West Yorkshire.

There were 36 brand new original paintings on display including the biggest canvas Danny had ever painted! It measures 4 feet high by almost 6 feet wide and is a real sight to behold! 
Sales went on all day with some people choosing two or even three pieces! Danny stayed much longer than he had anticipated and was delighted to do so! He was chatting and signing paintings and having his photo taken all day long and he loved it!

Danny is now busy painting again and we're hoping for more pieces very soon!
To see the current stock of work, including his biggest canvas ever, CLICK HERE!

* * *
Small Business Saturday UK - Are You In?

Entries are now being accepted for this years Small Business Saturday UK Top 100! 
If you are a small business then apply now at

As one of last years winners we have been invited to travel to London 
for the launch of this years event and we are excited to meet other businesses and see 
what's on the cards for this year!

Put your business out there and apply for Small Business Saturday UK Top 100! 
You'll be glad you did!

* * *
The One That Got Away…

Have you ever persuaded yourself not to buy something and then spent months if not years trying to find one like it?

We hear it all the time, people tell themselves they don’t need it… Funny how ‘need’ is often the word of choice for something beautiful or intriguing who’s only purpose is to make us happy when we see it… 

This piece by Mackenzie Thorpe is one of those pieces which people are drawn to but which for some reason they chose to go without... it is now sold out from Mackenzie and we are down to our last copy so for someone it will soon be 'the one that got away'.
Middlesbrough artist Mackenzie Thorpe once said ‘It’s not the art that’s elitest, it’s just the hangers on!’

Art is like that… there is something about art that intrigues people, that draws them in for a closer look, it's irresistable! Some people are drawn to art galleries like others are to cake! Some people even buy cake that looks like art! See this piece by Gaz's Cakery based on Kerry Darlington's 'Tree of Life'!

Art has followers from all walks of life but unfortunately some people still feel that it is an interest which escapes them... The truth however is that art reaches out to many and whether you are educated in the history of it all or whether you simply know what you like… the fact remains that drawn to it you are!

Some collections come about by accident, borne from a single purchase that became two, then a few and now is a much loved and carefully added to story of your life.... Some of the most prized collections in the world have come about because the owners bought what they loved. Pieces which came to them at different times and which held a fascination, often for reasons unknown... these are the pieces they collected. 

'I have no wall space' many complain and yet still they find themselves drawn to pieces and still manage to find somewhere to keep it...

Here at the Acorn we have a saying...
 'Let yourself be drawn to what you love... your heart will not lead you astray'

Join the people who collect beautiful things... Come visit The Acorn Gallery! 

* * *
Mods & Scooters Exhibition 
16-23 May 2015

On Saturday we launched our ‘Mods & Scooters’ Exhibition showing a range of paintings borne from this fantastic era. The artist is Mike Jackson, a larger-than-life Manchester lad who now lives and works in the West Country. We’ve worked with Mike since the gallery opened in 2007 and his work hangs in homes and offices up and down the country, bringing smiles and happy memories to many.


Watercolour features strongly in the collection although Mike works just as well in acrylic and in oils. Each piece has its own character and generates its own response from the viewer. For some it is the look of a piece that catches the attention and for some it is the collection as a whole that brings the memories flooding back!

We were delighted that some guys from nearby York used the exhibition as an excuse for a ride out and the street outside was soon full of brightly coloured machines, each sporting their own name and creating an instant rapport with the locals!


The oldest machine was a 1961 Lambretta named ‘Pressure Drop’ and her proud owner told me her type was affectionately known as a ‘fat lass’. Her turquoise paintwork shone in the sun as passers-by exchanged stories and compared notes. The kettle went on and the biscuits came out and conversation rolled easily on…

Eventually the lads decided that they would carry on their afternoons adventure by visiting the war memorial at the new Beckside Health Centre where the restored engine of a Halifax Bomber marks the spot where it crashed in 1943. The lads often make a tour of the area visiting these often forgotten sites and paying their respects. Their stories made for a grand afternoon of storytelling…

The exhibition runs until Saturday 23rd May and all are welcome!

* * *
LIVING NORTH LIVE - Homes and Interiors Event!

We're counting down the days til LIVING NORTH LIVE, one of the biggest and brightest Homes and Interiors events in the North of England! 
It all happens at YORK RACECOURSE from 27th-29th MARCH and we'll be giving away pairs of FREE TICKETS!

Whether you're in the middle of your plan or even if you haven't got a plan... come and get some great ideas and free expert advice!

Put the DATE in your DIARY
and book your friends for a great day out! 

* * *
And the Winner is...

We have just found out that we have been awarded the Constant Contact All Stars Small Business Award for 2014! This is the third year in a row that we have received this award and it's all down to YOU! 
Each year Constant Contact looks for small businesses who not only keep regular contact with their customers but who also get good response rates to the information they send - they have determined that we are pretty good at it, and that's all down to you!

Thank you all for your enthusiasm and your interest in the artists we support :) 

* * *
A Question of Artistry… Sarah Louise Ewing

Seeing as you all enjoyed the Mike Jackson interview we thought we would ask the lovely Sarah Louise Ewing if she would take part next... and she very kindly agreed!

1) At what age did you first take a regular interest in drawing or painting?

I have always painted and drawn, for as long as I can remember.  My father still has pictures I created from when I was 3 or 4 years old.  It has always been my most favourite thing to do.  When I was a child I would always ask for WH Smiths vouchers for birthday and Christmas, so that I could go and buy pencils and paint.   I have painted all my life, I have never stopped.

2) When did you sell your first painting and what was it? 

My first sale was a portrait commission – as doing very traditional, oil portraits is how I started out.  My first “sale” was a long time ago – sometime in the 90’s.  My friend Rosemarie asked me to paint her son Conor, who was then only about 3 years old. Conor is now a very handsome young man in his twenties and I still wonder where all that time has gone!

3) How did you feel when you first realised you could earn money from this?

It was a complete thrill – and it still is.  I am always excited each and every time one of my paintings is sold.  I love to know about all of them – either thanks to the gallery or the customer themselves getting in touch.  Life is expensive.  When someone chooses to spend money which they have worked hard for on something I have created – well it is a huge honour.  If you are an artist and you don’t feel this way each time you make a sale, then you should put down your brushes and find something else to do.

4) What is your preferred medium and has it always been the same?

These days I use mainly acrylic paints and ink.  But I started out using oils.  I still love oil paint – the rich, buttery nature of it is alluring.  But acrylics are more adaptable and you can achieve many more different effects with them.   They also dry quickly, which is a bonus.

5) Have you ever painted something you couldn’t bear to part with? Why? 

Yes.  Some years ago I was wrestling with the idea of giving up my “normal” job and painting full time.  It was a hard decision. I was nervous about how I would make ends meet.  I decided to give myself the Christmas holidays (from work), to make a decision.  During this time I painted an oil portrait of Samuel Beckett, who had the most extraordinary face - one which told a million tales.  For some reason it just worked.  The painting came together better than I could ever have hoped.  And as I stared at his face and he stared back at me, I thought yes, I am going to go for it and paint full-time.  I still have that painting and I would never part with it.

6) Where does your inspiration come from?

Much of the inspiration for my fantasy worlds is rooted firmly in the fantastic  rock album covers of the 1970’s and 80’s.  I remember pouring over these when I was a child, on the rare occasion I was allowed into my brother’s bedroom!  Incredible artists like Roger Dean, Patrick Woodroffe, Barney Bubbles – I used to love the cover art they produced for bands like Hawkwind, Yes and Pallas.  It encouraged me to seek them out and look at work they had done outside of record sleeves.  I also have a deep love of Kit Williams’ paintings - you might remember him from the book Masquerade.  His work is an enormous influence on me.  There is a certain kind of Britishness in his work and a good amount of humour.  I think these artists fell out of favour for a while.  But I have never stopped loving them.

7) What do you do when you’re stuck for ideas?

If I get a bit stuck, I will try and get out of the studio, out of the house.  I am very inspired by my beautiful surroundings.  I am lucky enough to live in Gloucestershire, in the Cotswolds.  My garden backs on to rolling fields with horses and sheep.  The garden itself is abundant with wildlife – birds, squirrels, even a badger.  Sometimes the best thing to do is to just get out, get the sun on your face, breathe in the fresh air and take in your surroundings.

8) Do you listen to music as you paint? If so what do you like best? 

It all depends on my mood.  I love listening to audiobooks as they help me to focus.  I go through quite a few per month.  Other times I like to listen to music – which can be classical or contemporary.  Sometimes, however, nothing else will do, but sticking on some Motorhead and whacking the volume right up to Eleven!

9) If you couldn’t paint what else would you like to do for a living? 

It would have to be something creative.  I have often thought that I would like to do stained glass window restoration.  I love stained glass – and the fact that the process has changed little for hundreds of years.  I like the sense of continuity which that brings.  Restoration means placing your finger tips in the metaphorical indents of those made hundreds of years ago – both sets of hands doing more or less the same thing, divided only by time.  That appeals to me.

10) Do you plan to retire or will you just paint forever?

I couldn’t ever imagine retiring because this isn’t a job, it’s a passion.  If I didn’t or couldn’t paint I would be very unhappy.  It is something which I am driven to do.  It’s part of who I am.  I can’t see that changing.

Thanks to Sarah for her memories and for sharing her thoughts with us!
I wonder who to ask next...

* * *
What to ask Mackenzie? 
By Jason Chinnian

How could I come up with a different angle to interview one of this country’s most celebrated living artists? A man who has two of his works hanging in The Queen’s private collection. Football? From what I understood, he was not a real football fan, though some of his work relates to it and many a football stadium’s boardroom displays his work including that of Barcelona FC. What about music I thought? A subject close to my heart and also to that of this famous artist from what I had been told. What could I discuss with Mackenzie Thorpe?

This interview was to take place at The Acorn Gallery in Pocklington, near York. John and Diane Wass, the owners, had secured a prestigious book signing by Mackenzie and his PA presented me with the opportunity to interview him. So this is why I wanted to bring a different angle to the interview and show a different side to the man and possibly his work.

So after the book signing I managed to sit down with Mackenzie to ask him what music inspires him to paint. His answer was straight, unswerving and surprisingly quick “Bryan Ferry seems to be the most effective. But there have been other artists too. But Ferry is who I listen to most. In fact I just bought one of his latest albums and a couple of the tracks drive creative energy from my brain down my arm and to my hand. I don’t know why but it just does”.

In regards to his work as a whole Mackenzie makes a broad statement; ‘Everything I do is a self-portrait. Music inspires me but is not really reflected in my work’. He goes on to explain that “elements about him, his life experiences or his personal life are expressed on canvass every time he picks up a brush or pastel”.

His first childhood works were influenced by his Roman Catholic upbringing and were pictorial representations of Christ or Bible stories. Much of this influence is still seen in his current work including the 'Apostles' sculpture which is based on the last supper. 

Mackenzie elaborates on how he has taken something that is ‘familiar to him and to billions of us throughout the world and made it is his own and something more modern. The guy walking the dog is a depiction of Judas and The Devil – The Hound of Hell. The other guys are deep in conversation and others are distracted’. But the ‘key is to make it relevant to all us so we can imagine the conversations they are having will be about football, work, their wives and home lives’.

Mackenzie’s ‘Outlaw’ series of work are also the result of a major childhood influence. He recalls how ‘all the kids in the neighbourhood would have seen the latest cowboy film or episode for a TV series and then be out playing the characters. Some kids would be in one gang, some kids would play Native Americans and other kids would be in the bad gang. We would run round on a pretend horse and call round on our friends and speak as though we were an Apache or Sioux. I’d like to think that many people can relate to this’.

His Sheep works are ‘those that depict my family. They capture the moments when I step outside the scene and look in.’ He points to one of his paintings in the gallery and recalls ‘seeing his wife with his two children and the love and protection she showed and how they were reassured by this. I wanted to capture this. I see myself as the shepherd with his staff guiding and protecting my family. But I also feel a sense of pride because my family is also partly my own creation’. These works seem to work on many different levels.

But possibly his most personal of all the styles in his repertoire are the faceless works. These seem to cut to Mackenzie as the child and even the man sitting in front of me now. He felt a ‘faceless child growing up because of his dyslexia’ and how he was treated as a result. It was not understood in the way it is today. Even the religious implications meant he was told he ‘would not go to Heaven and it was implied that God did not love him’ and so expectations were set somewhat low. Mackenzie felt he had become invisible, hence the faceless pictures, and used this as his self-expressing theme. But ‘I still believed in Love and wanted to give and receive it. This is why I try and create colourful scenes from the back streets of the areas I knew. I wanted and needed to make these places my Paradise. I suppose I used this rejection to drive me on and prove those, who had judged me, wrong’.

This is why I do so much work with under privileged young people throughout the world. Recent workshops have been in Japan and New Orleans. I want young people to make the most of their God given gifts and reach their full potential. This is what I mean by wanting them to take ‘The Leap’. ‘I want to create an environment in my workshops that allows these young people to motivate themselves to have dreams but to also make plans to achieve those dreams. In New Orleans 10-12 year old's had their work exhibited in Mackenzie’s own exhibition. He said to one of them ‘I had to wait till I was 46 to have a painting exhibited. But here you are at 12 years of age with your work on show’. Of this he says ‘it makes me feel very proud to provide these platforms for young people all over the world’.

Finally getting back to music, he also seems to be influenced by other more sombre and poignant artists and songs. When I asked him if he could name a song that represented him and his work he, as possibly expected, gave me two. The first was the very melancholic ‘I Tremble For You’ by Johnny Cash. It is a simple but strange song with a, somewhat, ambiguous meaning. But it shows Johnny Cash’s style in delivering a sometimes terrifying but heartfelt message that is understood by different generations. I can see how Mackenzie presents his work in the same way. The veiled simplicity of his work coupled with the deep personal and social issues he tackles. The second was Edith Piaf’s ‘Hymn To Love’ which though still a sombre and chilling love song and, because of her delivery, very poignant. There is the message of hope and this rings true with much of Mackenzie’s work. He is, perhaps, a living testament that life’s trials and tribulations can be overcome to achieve your full potential.

I also managed to have a quick word with John and Diane Wass to thank them for staging this prestigious book signing and to get some feedback from them about the event. Diane said they were ‘delighted that Mackenzie had chosen The Acorn as the first date on his World Tour! We've been asked by many of our clients to bring him to Pocklington and we have now made that a reality!' She goes on to say that they have had ‘so much lovely feedback from their clients who thoroughly enjoyed the evening and were thrilled to have had the chance to meet him and hear him talk in such depth about his work'. John continued by adding that ‘many happy people will receive signed Mackenzie Thorpe books in their Christmas stockings this year!' I added to that by saying I will be one of them.

Finally Mackenzie discussed one of his most recent projects. It was a specially commissioned piece for The Northern Echo, the Darlington local newspaper and part of the Newsquest Group. He was asked to paint something for the front cover of their edition to commemorate the centenary of the Great War. The inspiration hit him at 2am the morning following the request. The result was a large lonely, but beautiful poppy set against a dark and disturbing landscape with a slight dull sun trying to shine through and shed some warmth. On the poppy is a single tear. In that tear are the silhouettes of some soldiers walking wearily with rifles slung over their shoulders. He has done this work in support of Help For Heroes. Of this commission Mackenzie says ‘it was an honour and a privilege to be asked to help commemorate this event’.

So, thanks to Mackenzie Thorpe for his time, thanks to John & Diane for use of their lovely gallery and thanks to all of you for reading this article...

* * *
A Question of Artistry... Mike Jackson

John & I have been asked to do a few interviews lately and we thought it would be interesting to do something similar with the artists! We picked Mike Jackson as our guinea pig...

1) At what age did you first take a regular interest in drawing or painting?

When I was a child I loved to draw, I was always doodling and would spend hours in my own world. It was just me and my mum when I was a child and we lived with different relatives till I was around nine years old. As a result of this, I didn't get the opportunity to make many friends growing up, so I suppose drawing pictures was my constant. I put down my drawing desires in my teens when I began to fit in and make friends and discovered girls! However I remember being excluded from biology for drawing a very realistic body part.

2) When did you sell your first painting and what was it?

When I was in my 20's I worked in the operating theatres in Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester. I brought in a pastel drawing of a painting which I copied (it was of Bubbles by Millais) A doctor asked me to paint a portrait of his baby and I got £15 for it. (Around a days wage at the time). Word got around and I was drawing at least two each week, nicely supplementing my meagre salary. My first 'proper sale' was from a gallery in Yeovil. When I got a great price for a painting. I was asked to paint 12 more pictures, which was the start of my art career.

3) How did you feel when you first realised you could earn money from this?

This was when I was asked to paint the 12 pictures. I couldn't believe it, you would have thought I had won the lottery. To be able to do what you love the most....and get paid for it! Does life get any better? If I didn't get paid, I would still paint, it is in my blood.

4) What is your preferred medium and has it always been the same?

I have mainly been a watercolour artist but moved over to oils as I began painting larger pieces. I feel that an oil painting is usually a statement painting, something you would hang in the lounge. Whereas watercolours are ideal to be hung in kitchens and bathrooms etc.

5) Have you ever painted something you couldn’t bear to part with? Why?

Yes, I painted a hoody called the stowaway. It was such a rich painting and it just made me smile.

6) Where does your inspiration come from?

I love to pop down to the harbour quayside and sit and have coffee. I people watch and am fascinated by the funny things people do. 

7) What do you do when you’re stuck for ideas?

I sit with my pad and just sketch anything, it doesn't have to be anything clever but it is funny how just drawing triggers off your creative part of the brain. It is just about practising and pushing through.

8) Do you listen to music as you paint? If so what do you like best?

I love to listen to David Bowie, the kinks, and a bit of opera. I have all of David Bowie's early songs. My favourite is 'Hunky Dory'

9) If you couldn’t paint what else would you like to do for a living?

I would love to be a gynaecologist! ;) Seriously, I cannot think of anything else I would like than to paint.

10) Do you plan to retire or will you just paint forever?

I will never retire if I can help it. As long as my eyes are working and my hands don't shake, I will be painting. I may paint pictures which take years to complete and I am not reliant on an income.

Thank you very much to Mike for sharing his time and his inspiration with us :)
Keep watching to see who will come next... 

* * *
Respect and Remembrance

If you are the lucky owner of one of the 888,246 ceramic poppies from the Tower of London then you will probably have received it by now. So the question on your lips may well be 'What do I do with it now?' 

Well some people have 'planted' it in the garden... some have stood it in a vase with other artificial flowers... and some have sought the professional advice of framing companies such as Ford Framing in Market Weighton.

Ford have been mounting and framing the poppies in a stunning deep presentation box frame with a high gloss black moulding and red inserts to compliment the colour of the poppy.

They have even mounted part of the box to verify the authenticity of the poppy. 
The certificate is mounted on the back too. 
I'm sure you will agree this is a very impressive way to show off the ultimate token of remembrance!
Ford Framing can be contacted on 01430 871672 

* * *

After a busy 2014 we thought it would be interesting to see which of our Artists have been our top sellers... So here goes!
1st Mackenzie Thorpe

Joint 2nd Kerry Darlington and Danny Abrahams

3rd Sarah Louise Ewing

4th Ed Rust

Interestingly Mackenzie was third last year so he's jumped up two whole places, thanks in part we're sure to his appearance here in November! The lovely Kerry Darlington has maintained her second position and shares it with the very popular Danny Abrahams who has moved up from fourth place in last years stats!

Everybody's favourite Sarah Louise Ewing has stayed in third place with the brilliant Ed Rust taking fourth!

It is interesting to note that Mackenzie Thorpe, Kerry Darlington and Danny Abrahams all sell prints and original work but Sarah Louise Ewing and Ed Rust only do original pieces. With prices varying between the artists too it is hard to draw a comparison so numbers is the only way we can do it :) For the purposes of this exercise we have excluded books as the sales of Mackenzie's new book would have distorted the figures massively.

Let's see what happens this year - will there be another re-shuffle?

* * *
Sarah Louise Ewing… The Story so Far…
In 2011 we came across a style of work which so very different from anything else we’d seen that it blew us away! 

The work was all original and came in the most vibrant autumnal colours with rich reds, gold and orange and with fantastic swathes of texture! (I always love good texture in a painting!) 

The artist was Sarah Louise Ewing, a self-styled ‘hippy artist’ living and working from a small cottage in the Cotswolds. Sarah was keen to hear what people thought of her work and customers very quickly decided that they liked what they saw!

Sarah allowed herself to develop from almost abstract beginnings into a more definite landscape, filled with chequer board hillsides and striped valleys. Little white cottages appeared beside rows of Autumn trees and so the fantasy began…

Over time the cottages gave way to little fat round houses, reminiscent of days gone by, the hills stood tall and mystical sprites danced across the sky… The squat little houses grew into tall towers and it was easy to lose a little time, drifting into this land of happy imaginings…

The turrets became more fancy and their steps and battlements led to the walls of mighty fairytale castles, standing tall on a golden hillside, Kings of all they can see…

Sarah's work is going from strength to strength and we always have a good display...

Take a look and see which one is your favourite - if you ever need extra photos or even if you want to call and ask a question, then do... Our number is 01759 307652 or you can email us

* * *

To Whom do we Owe This Pleasure?

"Never in the field of human conflict has so much been owed by so many to so few... " 

But whose words are they? And who were the 'Few'?

On 20th August 1940 a wartime speech was made by the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. His reference was to the pilots of the Royal Air Force who were engaged in a raging air battle with the German Luftwaffe to defend the shores of the homeland.

This famous air fight became known as the Battle of Britain and the pilots were of course 'the Few'.
The Battle was fierce and many lost their lives but the country was saved from invasion and 'the Few' earned their place in history.

The Spitfire became an icon of the day and indeed has remained so ever since. Now, in this year of commemoration, the Spitfire flies once more in the eye of artist Jonathan Shaw in this magnificent painting entitled 'Out from a Cloud'.

This superb painting takes your breath away and would look fabulous in any setting!

Ask us about free home approval :)

* * *
Are You Twitterpated Yet?

Facebook or Twitter? 
Most of us love one and hate the other, very few people have a great affection for either and yet here we are, spending (according to some reports) up to 2 hours per day on social media! 

If you are a private individual then you can choose how much time to spend on these and you can choose what element of your life you share with the world. For an Independent Business social media is pretty essential these days. It gives a relatively simple and effectively free way to promote yourself. 

Setting up a Facebook Page and a Twitter profile is quite straightforward... but what next?

What do you say? How do you say it? Can you really say something interesting in only 140 characters?


One way to use both mediums effectively when you don't have time to master both is to LINK your accounts. We suggest that you link your Facebook page to your Twitter profile but not the other way around. 

Facebook is quite easy to update with a simple status, a photo from your smart phone, a link from your website but when it comes to squashing all that into 140 characters then a kind of panic sets in... but when you link your accounts then a facebook post will AUTOMATICALLY tweet then same thing for you! 


Linking your Facebook Page to your Twitter profile is easy - click this link to see how!

Now go and do some Facebooking on your page and watch how your Twitter account suddenly gets busy too! 

* * *

This is the bench outside the gallery here in Pocklington (photo taken from our doorway). Following a few entertaining posts on Facebook and several requests from followers, here is a poem:

The bench it is quite welcome
For many in this town,
For visitors and locals
There’s folk from all around!

‘Rest your weary legs’ It calls,
In solid wooden tones
‘Don’t push on when you’ve far to go,
You soon won’t be alone…’
People sit and stare awhile,
Watching world pass by,
Making conversation,
With strangers by their side…
Lovers sit and lose themselves,
Arms draped round one another,
Before they wander on again,
And make room for another…
Cyclists they love the bench,
It gives them place to rest,
As the daily challenge
Of the Coast to Coast is pressed.
Dogs mostly sit beside the bench,
(While owners drink their tea)
Or sleep beneath its welcome shade,
(The owners quietly read…)
Tiny tots, with ice-creams, sit,
Swinging tiny legs,
While Mother waits with tissues,
To wipe face despite protest!
Sometimes bags and jumpers lie,
Alone, unclaimed for days,
Then quietly they disappear,
As quickly as they came!
The bench is like a time capsule,
Where moments linger on…
A place where you can rest your soul,
Before you carry on…
So when you come across a bench,
Just like the one in Pock,
Allow yourself a moment,
To pause and just take stock…
Life is busy, busy,
With always lots to do,
It’s easy just to pass on by,
When STOP is what you should do…

Come and visit Pocklington and enjoy all the town has to offer...

* * *
Impossimally Beautiful!

Jayne Smith is one half of the well known and much loved partnership who gave us the 'Impossimals'. Jayne and Peter Smith have regularly toured the country meeting collectors and spreading happiness and goodwill with their amazing creatures but now it is time for Jayne to take the plaudits for her solo expedition into the creative world of ceramics.

These stunning works are all individually hand cut, naturally air-dried then carefully sanded by hand before being uniquely decorated and painted to create these joyful images! Bronze, silver and gold leaf are all used to give light and light and warmth with a beautiful range of background colours using clever techniques for a truly stunning effect!

With small pieces starting at just £195 ranging to the larger pieces at £1250 there is something for everyone 
so visit Jayne's Gallery (see left) to choose your Foreverbunny!

* * *
Original Prints? Original Thinking!
When an artist paints a picture it is called the 'original'. When prints are made there can be two types: Open edition prints are when they just keep printing more and more for as long as they keep selling. Open editions do not generally keep their value and most artists prefer a 'Limited Edition' .

A 'Limited Edition' Print run has a restricted number of prints in the run (eg 195 or 295). Occasionally there are 'Artist proofs' or 'printers proofs' or some times even 'Hors de Commerce' pieces, These are basically an extra number of prints apart from the main run. In the olden days the first few prints weren't as good as the main run because of the setting up process of the printers press. These days all prints are just as good as the next and there is no difference. Having said that some people do find that they prefer the proof editions - although they aren't always available!

Kerry Darlington has developed a new type of print called a 'Unique Edition'. They are limited in number but each one is hand finished and is different to every other piece in the edition. The main image is the same but the 3D elements vary, making each one unique. It is a brilliant concept and makes her work very collectable.

* * *
Easels are Weasels!
Who would've known that there are so many types of easel? Small ones, large ones and in-between sized ones! Wooden ones, aluminium ones, heavy duty metal ones… Who would know that you could have an H-frame, a boxed easel or a tripod version?
When considering display options for our forthcoming event at Saltmarshe Hall John and I were looking for a more portable and stylish way of displaying the artwork. We considered a few options but the easel seemed the best way forward… We started looking for something suitable, it had to be tall, floor standing, sturdy and of course smart! They would need to be stored when not in use so compactability was a consideration too!
We have now looked at and considered the practicalities of so many easels that we really are almost experts! Anyway, after the random use of the word craft on a Google search we came across these beautiful ornate wrought iron easels.

Standing 1.8 m tall they look beautiful and seem very sturdy too!
They fold flat when not in use and seem to fit the bill perfectly!

So we took the plunge and bought 15…

Come along to Saltmarshe Hall near Howden on Friday, 25 April between 7pm-9pm and you can tell us whether you think we made the right decision!
We look forward to seeing you there…
* * *
Art in the Marshe...
Last night after work John and I took a drive over to Saltmarshe Hall near Howden. Kate and Roland who own the property popped into the gallery earlier this year and we had a very interesting conversation about the possibility of holding an art event at the hall.

Set in 17 acres of Parkland this magnificent Regency building was designed by Pritchett and Watson who were respected Yorkshire architects of the day. They were also responsible for the design of Rise Hall, also in East Yorkshire and owned by Sarah Beanie of Channel 4’s programme ‘Selling Houses’. In fact the two properties recommend each other when functions overlap so that guests can take advantage of a building with a similar design but catering for varying capacities.
Kate and Roland have quite a story behind them having moved from a terraced house in Clapham to this totally new way of life. Kate is the first to admit that it has been a very steep learning curve but the lifestyle change to this wonderful rural setting can only be a good thing for their three young children.
Since buying the property last year the couple have renovated a significant part of the main house although one entire wing, the former servants quarters, are still as they were in the 1930s having being left unused since that time.

In the early days of the project Kate brought in a colour expert from paint experts Farrow & Ball who was able to advise them on the best colours to show off the beauty in the hidden gem of a building. Now beautifully painted throughout the venue is perfect for weddings and conferences and even though this is their first season the pair have an impressive 21 bookings so far!
A regular programme of events at Saltmarshe Hall has brought people from far and wide into the building allowing its new sense of identity to be advertised widely via word of mouth and Kate and Rolands idea of an art evening stems from existing interest in art and music in the area.

John and I have agreed to take a display of artwork to show on the evening of Friday, 25 April and the event will be open to anybody who is interested to look around the hall and visit the exhibition.

For more details please contact Diane at The Acorn Gallery on 01759 307652.

For enquiries about hiring Saltmarshe Hall for weddings, parties and other occasions please contact Kate Whyte on 01430 434920.

We look forward to seeing you soon...
* * *
And the Winner is...
We are delighted to announce that for the second year in a row we have won the Constant Contact All Star Award for Communication! This is given to just a small percentage of businesses who demonstrate exceptional communication and engagement with their audience!
That's you guys! You are also All Stars in our eyes!
If you would like to receive our FREE MONTHLY NEWSLETTER then CLICK HERE!
* * *
Where the Magic Happens...
Ed Rust and his brilliant sculptures have been a hit since he joined us here at The Acorn late last year but have you ever wondered how he makes his sculptures...? Well here's a fascinating little insight!
Click the image to watch this short video...
Don't forget to check back later to see the finished article!
* * *
After parting ways with Washington Green last February we thought it would be an interesting exercise to see which of our Independent Artists have been our top sellers and we must admit we are surprised by the outcome.
1st Rayford
Joint 2nd Kerry Darlington and Tim Bulmer
Joint 3rd Mackenzie Thorpe and Sarah Louise Ewing
4th Danny Abrahams
These figures are based on numbers rather than value and as you will realise a Rayford or Tim Bulmer sells for much less than a Kerry Darlington or a Mackenzie Thorpe. If we therefore take a look at the monetary value then the positions change - but not so much as you would think!
1st Kerry Darlington
2nd Mackenzie Thorpe
3rd Sarah Louise Ewing
4th Danny Abrahams    
It is interesting to note that we have worked with a far wider range of artists than if we had still been tied to one publisher. The diversity and the quality of the work we see and sell is second to none and the people we deal with on a day to day basis are friendly and full of enthusiasm and a love of what they do. 
We have been asked if we would ever work with Washington Green again but the answer is no! After building working relationships like the ones we have, after seeing the artists love of creation and their joy in presenting their final work, how can we not take pleasure in this almost daily ritual...
Artistic creativity is gifted to many, it can be learned and its secrets taught but the love of it, the joy of it is something which is inside a person and only a natural artist can make the most of that... 

Celebrity is not artistry, although some celebrities can paint, there is a difference however between buying something which you love and buying something which someone tells you will be worth some grand amount in a few years time!
The biggest joy in our job (and there are a few!) is the discovery of someone new who has yet to see the light of day... someone who is newly set off on their artistic journey and who is still untarnished by the hangers-on who pontificate and deliberate on the values of such creation...  
* * *
Having recently ventured into the world of outside exhibitions we decided to invest in a mobile chip and pin machine. Quite a sensible idea we thought and we held a reasonable expectation that the process would be simple! We couldn't imagine there would be so many alternatives!

The card processing companies each offer their own Bluetooth version of a handheld machine which is rentable for a small fortune on a month by month basis. This would seem to be a sensible way forward for something which will only require intermittent use... But no!

There are a wealth of new companies vying for this market (and that of small stall-holders who frequent craft fairs and farmers markets). This, apparently, is very much a growing industry!

We looked into several of them and found appeal in paying a one off fee to own the device in stead of a monthly fee to rent one. One very well known company was well advertised on the web but even they still had issues, notedly with VISA, one of the largest card issuers!

At this point I did what any self-respecting businesswoman would do... I turned to the internet forums to see what suggestions and recommendations were offered by those who had already taken this journey!

Aha! 'WORLDPAY' was the cry from the web! They are better set up with Visa AND their device is almost half the price of some others! I scurried off to investigate!

Sure enough everything seemed so much more straight forward and the saving on the terminal whilst still keeping similar commission rates made it a no-brainer! The calculator-like number pad pairs up with an app on my iPhone and I merely type the amount and description on screen. The customer enters their pin and away we go...

It occurred to me that this wonderful machine had the potential to come in useful at other times too! Home Approvals for example! We are often asked to take a painting to a customers home so they can see it in situ before committing - but then we have to rely on the old-fashioned slider to process a card transaction... But not any more!

On its latest outing however, my customer surprised me when he announced that when he was travelling anywhere else in the world his chip and pin card worked fine but it always asked for a signature here in the UK...

Hmmm... I carried on with the transaction and tried not to look perplexed, not knowing what to expect... but instead of spitting out its dummy it merely asked my customer for a signature... on the screen of my iPhone!

Given the touchscreen nature of the phone my customer duly signed his name using his finger and (after I confirmed a match) the transaction was accepted! I typed in his email address and a receipt was emailed immediately! His phone made a suitably acknowledging ping!

We were both very impressed but even more so when the customer produced his own phone and showed me a confirmation from his bank that the funds had already been deducted and were winging their way to me! Remarkable!
* * *
6:41 of Kerry-liciousness! 
For lovers of Kerry Darlington this fab little video says so much...
and punctuated with gorgeous images it's a real feast for the eyes!
Just Click the Image below to begin... 
* * *
The effervescent Tim Bulmer is never still for long and lately he has been doing a lot of work with the Tour De France people getting ready for when the tour comes to Yorkshire! The chosen charity of the Yorkshire stage of the race is Marie Curie Cancer Care and Tim has been busy designing a Yorkshire Map with 100 places on it to use as a fundraising sweepstake. We can't wait to see that one Tim! 
Given that almost everything in Yorkshire this summer will have the two wheeled edge to it Tim has designed three fantastic new prints:-

 Watch out for these characters on a road near you!
* * *
Still Haven't Found What You're Looking For...?
We all know Kerry Darlington and her beautiful figurative and dreamlike paintings. Kerry has become a household name and in recent years collectors have seen her work go from strength to strength! Works of incredible beauty such as 'Ophelia' and pieces of playful mischief like the 'Eccentric Machines' are just two strings to the bow of this very talented Welsh artist, hailing from Rhyl on the North Wales coast.

Here at the Acorn Gallery we are delighted to welcome into our midst a beautiful new Kerry Darlington original painting entitled Akutan!

From Kerry's volcanic series the reds and silvers merge together giving a beautiful oil on water effect. The haunting abstract meld of colours are relaxing and yet at the same time boldly strike a chord!
This stunning original can be hung as a portrait or a landscape piece giving it's owner the flexibility to add the 'Wow' factor to any room in the house!

Viewing highly recommended!
* * *
Notes From A Painter...
Born in 1932 Lawrie Williamson is a genuine old school genius! He paints in many media but mainly oils and has won several prizes including the Cornellison Prize, the Stanley Grimm Prize at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (twice!) and the Canson Prize at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists.
He works from his studio on the side of a hill in County Tipperary...
Click the image to preview the book online...
This beautiful coffee table book has a stunning red cover embossed with gold lettering and is priced at just £45
It is filled with high quality colour images and the artists own thoughts on his journey through life...
 A stunning gift!
Order Yours by Calling John or Diane on 01759 307652 or email 
* * *
Do You Believe In...British Movie-Making?
British Director Joe Wright is currently casting for a new Pan movie which means that Peter and Wendy and the Lost Boys will once again be fighting the way forward for truth, justice and childhood...
J.M. Barrie's original text depicted Peter as a baby, charming the creatures in Kensington Gardens by playing music on his pipes... Kerry Darlington took this text as her inspiration for her latest release... 
'Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens'
Limited Edition Print
But of course Peter will always be that mischieveous boy to Wendy, who watches still from her window... waiting for his return...
With these beautiful images you can make your home a Neverland forever...  
* * *
It isn't ART that's elitist - but it's hangers on!
A fascinating article by Mackenzie Thorpe!
Click the image to read it...
* * *
Exhibitionism at it Best!
On the 1-2 February this year we took the Acorn Gallery to its first outside exhibition! This was done as part of the York Lifestyle Group 2nd annual event and reports of the first year had been very promising so we were looking forward to a good weekend!
We went to setup on the Friday afternoon at Dean's Garden Centre in York. Deans had kindly allocated the group a large area which had been divided up to allow each member space to set out an example of their premises. We had a lovely area in which to choose to display some work by some of our top artists. It took a good amount of time to setup and organise everything but by the end we were very pleased with what we have done and felt like a good display had been made.
Saturday morning came and it was time for the official opening! Local MP Julian sturdy attended to cut the proverbial ribbon and a queue of eager visitors was waiting to come and talk to the members of the group about their businesses services and their expertise. Let's face it you could plan your whole house from here! 
Visitors came in thick and fast and everybody was in high spirits! Many visitors made a beeline for the business which interested them the most but then made their way around and visited several if not all of the stands! A slight reprieve came at lunchtime when people headed off to The Bothy coffee shop to take advantage of Deans' excellent coffee and cake facilities. Thankfully this gave us chance to top up our stack of business cards and allow a little breather! We had prepared for some sales on the day and were trying out a new mobile payment device by WorldPay and it wasn't long before a customer gave us a chance to put it to the test!
Interest in the work and in the artists was high especially for Edward Waite a young artist from Lincoln who had brought at peace with him on the day so that he could demonstrate his unusual technique! Edwards table was situated just in front of our stand. People were happy to watch him work and he was happy to let them Edward was very chatty and people were not afraid to ask questions. 
By the end of day one we had attracted a lot of attention and the traders were smiling as we looked around the room. Herbert Todd and their 4K TV had proven very popular, Martin at style flooring had given out several Farrow and Ball goody bags and Steve at fabric gallery with his wife Bronia had spoken to lots of people about fabulous fabrics for their home. 
Julian and Liz from focus fireplaces had been talking to lots of people about the benefits and the possibilities of log burners whilst Richard at Aztec gardens had been working hard on his easel showing people the possibilities that are available with the garden space. His piece of design was truly a piece of art in itself. In fact he said it is not unusual for a customer to ask him if they can have his original sketch framed for display in their home!
The guys from Allerthorpe Lakeland Park were showing off their windsurf board and telling people about all the activities you can do when you visit them. From archery, open water swimming, sailing, yachting, kayaking and not to mention you could just be lazy and have a fabulous breakfast or coffee in their beautiful Lakeland cafe. 
All in all it was a very good day and we left in high spirits looking forward to evening of relaxation before we did it all again the next day. 
Sunday was again full of visitors with lots of people saying how glad they were to have made it. Doreen Greenshields was our guest artist that day and she chose to paint a café scene from blank canvas to finished piece! It was amazing to see the progression and people kept coming back to have a look and see how she was getting on!
The day was filled with more of the same and at 3 o'clock we held the raffle where prizes totalling over £1500 had been donated by the businesses and with raffle tickets selling at just 1 pound each there were some fantastic prizes up for grabs. 
Each ticket drawn out was met by a round of applause some winners were not there to collect their prize but the ones who were seems delighted! With prizes ranging from full English breakfast for two through to art vouchers, plants and woollen throws and cushions. There was a wide range of beautiful prizes available once the raffle had been concluded the show was over and visitors are drifted away we the exhibitors started to pack up and take things down after all tomorrow was a regular working day. 
Thank you all for your support in coming to the exhibition and for those of you who couldn't make it thank you for taking the trouble to ask about it. We're looking forward to our next event which will be the Living North Exhibition at York Racecourse which is 28th-30th March and we hope to build on our latest experience and put on an even bigger show!
'Sunday Morning' Original by Doreen Greenshields
* * *
York Lifestyle Exhibition 2014
Having just celebrated our 6th Birthday we have decided to venture into the world of outside exhibitions! 
Two months ago we were delighted to accept an invitation to join the York Lifestyle Group, a select group of independent businesses in and around the York area who each offer a specialised service to their clients. Together the group aims to raise awareness of the fantastic expert advice that is available freely on your doorstep from each of these independent businesses.

A very successful exhibition was held last February and building on its success we are now putting together the 2014 York Lifestyle Exhibition to be held at Dean's Garden Centre, Stockton on the Forest, York YO32 9UE on the 1st-2nd February 2014. This is a FREE EVENT and everybody is welcome! 

Each of the businesses taking part in the exhibition will be available to talk with you about projects you are considering for your home. From elegant fabrics to stylish flooring, beautiful bedrooms and bathrooms and artful finishing touches for everywhere! You can even get a bespoke landscape design for your garden!
The York Lifestyle Group are there for you! A showcase of top quality, stylish products with expert advice available. Come along and help us to help you turn your dreams into a reality!

Whether art is the start of your journey or the end and however many stops there are in between, The Acorn Gallery and The York Lifestyle Group are there to help! For more details about the exhibition or to register for a free entry in our GRAND CHARITY RAFFLE then please visit

* * *

It's always nice to know when Google is working hard for you (as a business it matters alot!). Well on Sunday we had proof indeed as we had a run on Mackenzie Thorpe calendars! 

We took them off sale as soon as we realised that we were getting close to the end of stock but unfortunately a few people who placed their orders late on had to be let down! We try to never disappoint you but unfortunately the calendars are now sold out nationwide and we are unable to fulfil any more requests. 

Mackenzie has had an incredible year and obviously this has been born out by the interest in his calendars - they are the perfect stocking filler - but how odd that everybody decided to shop on the same day!
* * *
An Art Amnesty! What's that then?
Well we thought that you might fancy a new painting but really have nowhere to put it! So we reckoned that if you had one you didn't like anymore then a trade-in might be rather a good idea!
So, for the month of November we will accept any picture, print or painting as a Trade-In against any new piece or pieces to the value of £250 or more. All trade-in items will be given a value of £50 and all trade-in items will be given to charity to raise money for good causes.
Here's a selection of pieces for you to consider...

Danny Abrahams

Allan Morgan

Darryn Eggleton

Kerry Darlington

Mike Jackson

Sarah Louise Ewing

* * *
By Floral Appointment!
Nel Whatmore has exhibited at the International Conference Centre in Birmingham, the Albert Docks in Liverpool and has had many sell out one woman shows. She has been selected to exhibit at the Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show for the last five years, winning two awards for her stand. As a regular exhibitor she is lucky enough to have access to some of the most inspiring garden designs and floral exhibits in the world. 
Nel has a loyal following with many private collectors worldwide and her work has been sought out by celebrities such as Zoe Ball, Richard and Judy, Gary Neville and David Gower. 
In 2012 Nel was invited to a special private reception at Clarence House as part of the Prince’s Trust 35th Year Celebrations. She presented her painting ‘Devoted to You’ to HRH Prince Charles as part of the celebrations. The painting was inspired by the wonderful work done by multi award-winning peony growers, Kelways, and features their peony Coral Charm.

Seeking to constantly explore new mediums and their ability to convey emotion, Nels work is varied and encapsulates her interest in expressionist painting. From landscapes to evocative abstracts she continues to seek new ways of working. You might be surprised to learn that Nel has also had 6 books of poetry published called the ‘Reasons to Be’ series which have been extremely well received and are currently sold out.

Nel’s work is licensed worldwide through her agents Konnect (UK) and Jewel Licensing (USA). Her designs are also used by
Royal Worcester, Pimpernel, Coats, Claire Fontaine as well as having partners in Russia, Sweden, Australia and Canada.
Nel currently has 8 pieces on show here at The Acorn Gallery so come on along and enjoy the show :)

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Blorenge... Rhymes with Orange!
Over the Bank Holiday weekend John & I took a little road trip to South Wales, The Mumbles in fact, on the Gower peninsula. Its a beautiful part of the UK and we have had it on our radar for sometime so once artist Louise Collis joined the ranks of our 'little acorns' it gave us a fine excuse! Louise has a studio in Abergavenny but usually prefers to work in the open air, often aiming to complete a piece in a single sitting!
I had pre-warned Louise that we were planning to call in and she welcomed us with open arms! She has an attic studio in an old building which also houses several other businesses as well as another artist. Her space has plain white walls, oak beamed ceilings and stripped wooden floors which are splashed with paint and tell the tale of many a talented flourish! 
Proudly Louise tells us about the three large canvases which are mounted along one wall, a commission from a local family which will sit in triptych along their living room wall. Knowing the area like the back of her hand is a great help but Louise still has reference paintings alongside each canvas, reminding her of the landscape. "If I get the shape of the cliffs wrong they'll know!" she laughs in her easy to listen to Welsh lilt. 
Over a cup of coffee in the largest mug I've seen in a while, Louise tell us of the 'The Blorenge' one of her favourite places, and at the foot of which her studio sits. The summit is a grand walk, she says, and on a clear day you can see for miles! BY the time we leave we are convinced and we take a drive to 'The Blorenge', the only word in the English language to rhyme with orange!
The day is bright and clear and the views as we drive up to the car park are stunning, albeit that the roads are very narrow and I, as passenger can barely crane my neck around enough to see! But sure enough we reach the Foxhunter car park, so called because the remains of the gold-medal winning horse are buried nearby, and the ashes of his rider, Sir Harry Llewellyn, are scattered on the mountain.
The walk is brisk and rather more of a stumble because of rocks which litter the way but the blue sky is filled with an inordinate number of hang gliders and the views across the rolling valley make it easy to understand why Louise loves to paint here!
As a special promotion and in celebration of our visit we have decided to offer £50 off any Louise Collis original painting! Simply visit her page on the website and choose your favourite! You can order on-line or call us on 01759 307652 :) 
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Don't Blink...
Earlier this year we had the pleasure of showing three pieces by artist Joanne Symonds from Barnard Castle. Her stunning oils on canvas were much admired for the short time they were here but then Joanne had to take them away to take part in an exhibition at the Biscuit Factory in Newcastle. Joanne has now been in touch to say that the exhibition has been a huge success and she has sold 9 of the 10 pieces which were shown, which is a fantastic result!

We will be getting some more work from Joanne as soon as she has some painted but she is the first to admit that she is not a 'Speedy-Gonzales' in the studio and originals are never in abundance! If you are interested to know when her work arrives then let us know and we will keep you informed. In the meantime congratulations to those of you who now own a Joanne Symonds original - we are sure they will bring you much pleasure in years to come!
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Small Matters!
My Mum always says that the best things come in small packages and now it's officially true!
As small business we know how much we rely on local spending and we know that we prefer to spend our money with local business too! We buy meat from Burtons the Butcher and fruit and veg from Browns the Greengrocer! We buy paint and DIY things from Falkinghams Hardware Store and we use a local hairdresser, jeweller and the newsagent too! We choose to get the car serviced at The Wolds Garage, and the framing for the gallery goes to a local framer too! That's not to say we don't use Tesco because we do - but they don't get nearly as much from us as they used to!
A new report has suggested that when a local authority spends more money with smaller businesses, a bigger percentage of that money stays local and supports the economy of the immediate area! When spent with a large company the money leaves the area and doesn't help at all! Considering the local authority gets much of its spending power from the taxes of local people then it seems only fair that the authority helps the local people by carefully choosing where to spend it!
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has done a survey on local authority spending and has found that 63p out of every £1.00 spent in a small business stays local, whereas only 40p in the pound does the same from a large business! In other words they receive more money but small businesses give more back! (If you want to know the figures then big companies RECEIVE £500 million more then small companies but small companies GIVE £746 million more then big business!)
If the local authority would spend an extra 3% per year with small business then the local economy would get an extra £788 million! That's a mind-boggling difference! What effect could the population's 3% have?
So, spend local and help your area to thrive!
The spending you do in small shops has the same effect and this study only highlights what we already know...
Soap-Box Away - Rant Over!
Thankyou for reading :)
* * *
Space Hopper Extraordinaire!
'Very much influenced by Hopper' is a phrase which we often hear in The Acorn. Hopper is a name which many people have heard of although maybe more from his reputation than from knowledge of his work.
Edward Hopper was an American painter who struggled to find his calling in the art world. He found himself tied to illustrations and advertising, which he hated, but which he needed for simple economics in order for painting to become a bigger part of his life! Born to a comfortably well-off, middle class family his art was encouraged and even at the age of 5 he showed promise! Self-portraits often showed him as lanky and awkward and his character was quiet and secretive but he had an ardent passion for his art and travelled as much as he could in search of the ideal subject. Many early works revolved around still-life, landscapes and nudes - although life class came as rather a shock to this conservatively raised 17 year old boy who had led such a sheltered life!
Edward sold his first painting in 1913 at the age of 31 and hoped it would be 'the beginning' but it was not until he was almost 40 that he finally decided he could make a living from painting and gave up the magazine world forever! By this time his love of light and architecture and the portrayal of the solitary figure had become his trademark. His works were selling to museums as well as private collectors and he felt at last that he was at ease with his work.
In 1967 Edward Hopper died but left behind him a staggering wealth of influential works which have inspired a nation of artists from around the world! In our own stable we have Kevin Day and Georgia Peskett, both of whom are drawn to Hoppers style and love of light and mood.
Kevin Day often picks out a solitary figure, or perhaps a couple, sitting quietly in a café or bar, a scene which leaves the viewer wondering as to their situation, their conversation and their world...

Art by Kevin Day

Art by Edward Hopper
Georgia Peskett loves the observation of life and the portrayal of the every day. She captures scenes which are seen by many and noted by few but which, when pondered call for more than a passing moment in her company...

Art by Georgia Peskett

Art by Edward Hopper

For those who knew Hopper and those who wish they had the foresight to buy when the opportunity arose, they may be well advised to take a look at Kevin Day and at Georgia Peskett and we challenge you to say that these two are not also worthy of note and that an 'easy on the eye' thought provoking piece would be a wisely considered choice!
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No Trains, No Planes, Just Automobiles
... and Tractors!

'The Italian Job' by Jack Fleetwood
The iconic British Mini first produced in 1959 is seen as the forerunner to many of todays more modern vehicles. Its space-saving wheel-at-each-corner design made its small size very user-friendly and it quickly found itself in the hearts of many! In fact, in 1999 the mini was voted the second most influential car of the 20th Century - only beaten by the Ford Model T! This stunning trio of mini's by Jack Fleetwood shows this iconic little car in the colours of its heritage... the great red, white and blue!
'Landrover' by Jack Fleetwood
Another British favourite is the Landrover! First produced in 1948 this is the second oldest 4-wheel drive vehicle in the world, following only in the footsteps of the Jeep. Now the brand is home to many styles including the Range-Rover and the latest Evoque but in the beginning the word Landrover meant just one thing... a British built, hard-working, highly dependable 4 wheel drive vehicle with the ability to rove the land like nothing before! This impressive piece by Jack Fleetwood shows an inconic Defender in what many would see as typical terrain!
'VW Camper Van' by Jack Fleetwood
In 1950 Volkswagen began production of its Type 2 - so called because it followed the Type 1 (the much loved Beetle!). The Type 2 panel van is now an international symbol of holidays and happy days. The much loved and highly coveted camper van is much sought-after by those wishing to restore long-forgotten rusting hulks and bring back the glory days! Whether its your pride and joy or your favourite dream the Camper Van is sure to find a place in your heart!
'Tractor' by Jack Fleetwood
The word tractor has been around for over a century, the first recorded use of the word was 1901, as a replacement for the traction engine. Harry Ferguson is the man who gave his name to this mighty beast although his early business partner, David Brown, was later to do the same when he bought the Aston-Martin company for £20,500 in 1947. The Aston-Martin DB5, famously driven by James Bond, is featured in this fab limited edition by Nicholas Smith! It comes with a die-cast limited edition Corgi model of the car itself AND you can even choose your own number plate!
'The Name's Bond, James Bond' by Nicholas Smith
With this range of iconic vehicles in our heritage it's no wonder we call ourselves GREAT BRITAIN!
* * *
An interview with Mackenzie Thorpe...
.. about his new release 'The Search'

'The Search' by Mackenzie Thorpe

Q, JV: What was your inspiration for the title 'The Search'?

A, MT: The title was from the 1956 John Ford Movie 'The Search' What makes a man to wander, what makes a man to roam, what makes a man turn his back on bed and board, what makes a man turn his back on home.

Q, JV: Is the duffle coat characters search over?

A, MT: No the search lasts forever.

Q, JV: What music were you listening to when you painted this piece?

A, MT: Vera Lynn's 'Harbour Lights'

Q, JV: Is the painting set in a particular place?

A, MT: No

Q, JV: Is the path red for a reason?

A, MT: Yes, it is the passion of the journey.

Q, JV: The colour spectrum in the sky is amazing, how did you know it would turn out so powerful?

A, MT: I knew because I painted the rainbow colours of the sky as homage to Tom Wall, my tutor and my friend.

Q, JV: Do you think you will use new techniques after using lacquer and varnish on this piece?

A, MT: Yes! I have just found new metallic inks with patterns such as fish scales, which I am really excited about using!

Q, JV: Can I buy this piece?

A, MT: You can buy the original! It's big, like you!

This interview took place by phone whilst Mackenzie was drawing new works for his November show in New York and Mackenzie likes quick conversations on the phone so JV did really well to keep it going for 10 minutes!

* * *
An Interesting Babblement...
Stephen Hanson has had a prestigious career as an artist working in film and television. He was responsible for the drawings which led to the creation of 'Arthurs Christmas' an animated movie, released in 2011. You will also have seen his drawings in the animated story of Roald Dahl's 'BFG' and even in 'DangerMouse'! (You remember Penfold right?) He has worked on 'Despicable Me' which has it's sequel 'Despicable Me 2' out this month in cinemas across the country! Stephen has also had his own TV series 'The Ink Thief' starring Richard O'Brien and he has written and illustrated a childrens book.

Stephen has approached the Acorn Gallery with a view to us showing his work and we are delighted to say yes!
Many of Stephens prints feature a family pet named Toby, who was bought as a Labrador but as you can see is of mixed heritage. Toby always loved to have his red ball close by and often got into mischief! Haven't we all had that moment when we know we should be cross but we always find it in our hearts to forgive them!

Stephen thinks of himself as a digital artist, working on a computer tablet to create his final work. Elements of each print are hand drawn in pen and ink or painted using paper and paint as you would expect. These individual elements are then scanned into the computer and Stephen brings them together to create his final piece.

It is a very clever technique and one which has been famously used by local artist David Hockney.

The resulting image is stunning in detail and in quality and is a brilliant manifestation of natural talent and a mans quest for perfection. The work is fascinating and endearing and we can't help but lose our hearts to Toby, as we share in his scrapes and adventures!
* * *
The Search...
Just released from Macenzie Thorpe is this stunning new limited edition entitled 'The Search'... Mackenzie's duffle-coat characters are always popular and with just 125 in the edition this is sure to be popular! Where is he headed, what is he thinking about? Only you can guess... If you have been searching for a stunning new piece to wake up your walls then maybe this will be the one! Arriving in the gallery soon!
* * *
When 8 year old Zak walked into the gallery with his Mum he had no idea that she had planned to show him a painting of Spiderman by explosive portrait artist Paul Oz! Zak is a massive Spiderman fan and whooped with delight when he saw the print!
He couldn't believe his eyes when his Mum agreed that he could use some of his own money to buy the piece for his bedroom wall!
When 'Batman' came out of the browser too he was almost beside himself but managed to calm down when Mum said he could save up for it if he wanted it so badly!
Here is one very happy little boy!
* * *
After shouting about Nicholas Smith and telling you how good he is we are delighted to report that today we have had a telepone call from Nicholas to advise that he has been shortlisted to take part in a new TV programme for SKY called 'SKY TV Portrait Artist of the Year' Nicholas has been shortlisted from over 4,000 entrants and is now one of only 84 remaining contestants!
He will be taking part in a televised day long celebrity portait sitting in Cardiff in July where he will be judged on his painting of the celebrity and on his own self portrait piece. If he is succesful then he will be through to one of the FOUR PLACES in the final!
The final four will then have the chance to paint another celebrity over a longer period. The finalists pieces will be hung in the National Portrait Gallery and the overall winner will receive a £10,000 commission to paint a portrait of English Booker-Prize-Winning writer Hilary Mantel, which will hang in the National Library. We think that Nicholas is one to watch - he is going places!
* * *
He's a Man from Outer Space...
In 1982 the movie to see was 'E.T.' the story of an extra terrestrial left behind on earth and befriended by a lonely boy called Elliott. Steven Spielberg made his name making that movie and it has become a much loved classic, loved by new viewers today and still loved by those of who saw it at the cinema first time around! (Yes, that was me, front row with a box of tissues!).
Today this little character has been immortalised once more in the work of Paul Oz, self-titled 'explosive portrait artist' whose works have been bought by the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Theo Paphitis and Sir Bradley Wiggins.

We are delighted to welcome E.T. into the gallery and in honour of his presence we will be running excerpts from the movie for you to enjoy whilst visiting the gallery... until the tissues run out at which point the excerpts will stop!
* * *
It’s Raining Cats and Dogs!
I thought it was supposed to be April when it rained? Well it’s May now and I don’t see it stopping!
In celebration of the weather (or maybe not, make up your own mind) Mackenzie Thorpe has released two gorgeous new prints entitled ‘All is Love’ and ‘Love is All’. (You thought of the THREE MUSKETEERS didn’t you? Me too!). Anyway, originally designed for the Japanese market these two are going down a storm in the UK too! (Did you see what I did there?). With soft pastel colours and a perfect size these two will look superb in any room in the house – guaranteed to get you out of the dog house too!
Available immediately you can order either by clicking the image you want to buy (you’ll have the option to choose mounted or framed). Any questions then give me a call on 01759 307652… I’m the one with the brolly!
* * *
There's Another Wrinkle in Your Bottom!
Now there's a title to raise a titter and there are plenty more where that came from! Artist Yvonne Oates has a broad sense of humour and it shows in the titles of her work. These pieces from the 'Hill Sheep' series are just cracking - we like them alot! The colours are great and Yvonne's use of black lava and pastes add great texture where needed! The situations that these hill sheep find themselves in are pure comedy and appeal to collectors across the board! Originals are very realistically priced from £295 and a selection of prints are also available for just £50.00 (mounted and ready for framing).
See Yvonne's work HERE

There's Another Wrinkle in Your Bottom!

Watch and Learn Ada!

* * *
May we...?
Take a moment to introduce you to BRONZE...

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and as a commodity its value has risen sharply in recent years! As an artists material it has always had a certain appeal and despite its increase in price it has maintained its collectability. A bronze statue still holds the attention like nothing else, the weight and the connection we make as we touch its smooth cold surface connects us to the work like nothing else...
One artist who has persevered with his love of bronze is Edward J Waites.

Edward is a young, self-taught sculptor based in Suffolk who takes his influence from animals and wildlife. He loves the power of natures creatures and tries to recreate their character and appeal using his own unique style, emphasising muscle, sinew and movement. Still in his early twenties Edward has made such an impression on the artworld that his bronzes are part of some of the greatest collections in the world, including the British Royal Family and the Ruling Family of Dubai. Working on any scale has allowed Edward to produce some incredible commissions including a full scale horse! Here at The Acorn we have a selection of pieces from the EJW Miniatures Collection and with prices starting from just £88 they are a great way to start your collection!

* * *

Another name associated with some stunning bronze work is MACKENZIE THORPE. The emotional connection we feel when viewing 'Grandads Little Finger' is quite something, it tugs at the heart-strings and pulls you in... we can all identify with the emotion of the piece...

* * *

LAST CHANCE TO BUY: These beautiful oils by Joanne Symonds will shortly be leaving us to be shown off in another area so act now before you miss out!

* * *


Can't Beat Theatre...

John & I paid our first (and therefore 'virgin') visit to the Rocky Horror Show when it came to York last month! We enjoyed the show tremendously and had great fun! Maybe next time we'll dress up too...

Real Horror Show...

In more 'Out of the Gallery' news we are proud to report that Diane undertook her Compulsory Basic Training and is therefore now allowed out on the road with two MOTORISED wheels beneath her... Run for your lives!

Ssh! Don't look at the helmet hair!


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