How artists Sue and John are inspired by our Yorkshire coast and countryside

Artist Sue Morton
Artist Sue Morton

Two North Yorkshire artists whose work reflects the light-filled landscapes of the area in very different ways have go on show at Danby’s Inspired by… gallery.

Pure Light, Bright Water features paintings by Whitby’s Sue Morton, while Rivers of Light is a major solo exhibition of charcoals drawings, mixed-media works and paintings by John Creighton, who is based in the National Park.

Inspired by the mood, purity and ephemeral nature of the county’s light, Sue Morton’s paintings show its effects on our landscapes, both new and familiar.

Sue’s training in the arts formed the basis of her professional work in other fields. While working as a teacher, then in museums and arts, and for many years as an architectural historian, she painted and exhibited whenever she could. Finally, she gave up the ‘day job’ so that she could return to the Whitby area and paint full time.

Sue’s principal inspiration is the unique quality of North Yorkshire’s characterful coastal and urban areas and the untamed countryside, enhanced by amazing light effects and rising mists. Her work attempts to distil such ephemeral scenes in paint hoping that others will enjoy what she saw.

Sue said: “In preparing for this exhibition, I have painted some much-loved scenes, but this year good friends have introduced me to rarely visited parts of the local countryside. It’s these areas which have inspired me to try and capture in paint some of the serenity and beauty of these hidden places, full of pure light and bright water.”

John Creighton grew up in Appleton le Moors where he still lives today. His father was an artist and painter of landscape oils and the Creighton family has been in the area since the 16th century; Creighton describes his connection to the local landscape as ‘genetic’. Rivers of Light explores the drama and mystery of the secluded valleys, woodlands and streams of his native North York Moors.

John said: “‘Religious questions are always there in my work: the deeper questions and the search for meaning. Contemporary concerns are as much a part of my artistic production as the natural world that surrounds us and the abiding landscape of my own landscape world.”

Both Pure Light, Bright Water and Rivers of Light can be seen at the Inspired by… gallery from now until Monday May 6.

The Inspired by… gallery at the The Moors National Park Centre, Danby, is open from 10am to 5pm daily in April and May.