7 August 2010

inspirational weekend-out 3/3: not dainty but chunky

beautiful painting "A family" by Shirley Hudson

The final post of this week that I would like to share is Shirley Hudson. She is a painter and sculptor from York. I visited her exhibition called “not dainty but chunky” (love the title!) that showcased her six portrait paintings and other six by her partner.
As soon as I went into the room, the colours flooded into my eyes. I loved the dynamics of her colour combinations. To me this is something I found difficult to imagine, such as on people’s faces. Some are much rougher brush strokes I could see than others. Whichever the way she paints, they were filled with warmth and a sense of honesty.

Her partner, Tom Handley, actually is a forester. He says, “I’m not trained to paint. I’m only filling the space” in a reserved manner. He captured the ordinary people who he saw in his recent visit to Ireland and in the local sawmills and woods he visits as part of his working day, yet by him painting they became genuine arts. I love the way he composed them.

"Men sawing wood" by Tom Handley

People who can paint - I simply admire. Because I simply cannot paint. I do drawings now and again but should rather call them “doodling”. Ok, I cannot draw or paint. When I come across their skills and imagination, I just take my hat off. A total respect. Therefore I was pleased to see her paintings for the first time, despite the fact I have known her for some years now. Shirley told me that she hasn’t done this for years and wanted to start again. For her this exhibition might have become a sort of awakening point.

The exhibition room was a cemetery chapel, which I first thought was quite unusual space to present, but how the work were put was rather interesting. They used the wooden boards to display the paintings instead of hanging on the wall. (and much lower, which I much appreciate because of my height!) With the airy space toward the ceiling of the chapel, this painting exhibition was very soothing to my soul. (We had a warm welcome and homemade cake too which was lovely!)

Shirley is currently working on a series of commissioned portraits. If you would like to discuss a portrait commission contact her via email: shirley-hudson@zen.co.uk or call 07787 176 242. Also to contact Tom via email: tom-handley@zen.co.uk

this was my favourite!
"A bearded ne'er-do-well" by Shirley Hudson


  1. These paintings look great, I can imagine how lovely they looked in real life.
    PS - had a horrid week at work so didn't manage to get to the post office to send you your drawing yet, but it's all packaged, addressed and ready to go so hopefully will make it to the post office tomorrow and it will be on its way to you soon :)

  2. i love that one by tom who says he doesn't paint...the one that's your fave is sooo good too!

  3. WOW really gorgeous work and i too admire people who could paint! This is really inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing. Have a lovely merry happy week and love to you!