Free art demonstrations this summer in Grasmere

Budding artists are invited to take inspiration from a show in Grasmere this summer at free drop-in sessions.

Valerie Wood, an accomplished Lake District artist, is to run a series of demonstrations at the Heaton Cooper Studio. They will be based on the current exhibition A Vital Spirit which pays tribute to the life and work of Ophelia Gordon Bell.

Participants will learn how to use a wide range of coloured and graphite pencils, create beautiful drawings from the exhibition at the studio, find out about interesting products and exciting techniques, and pick up useful hints and tips.

Valerie runs workshops through the Lake District and exhibits at Prom Art at Grange over Sands and many other locations.

Ophelia Gordon Bell  (1915 – 1975) is known as the wife of landscape painter William Heaton Cooper. But she was also an extraordinarily talent sculptor who had a fascinating life.

Born in London and brought up among the artists of St John’s Wood in London, she was equally at home in the Lake District where her maternal grandfather was vicar of Urswick near Ulverston.

Trained in London, she exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, and the Royal Scottish Academy. Her work can be found throughout Britain, from a carving of St Bede at a Carlisle church to the giant stone figures, Thought and Action, outside the Risley HQ of the former Atomic Energy Authority in Lancashire.

Perhaps her most celebrated work is the bronze head of mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary. She also created many pieces portraying the characters of the Lakeland fells – shepherds and farmers and houndtrailers.

The free summer programme of demonstrations is as follows:

Monday July 6: graphite and charcoal

Monday August 10 and Monday August 24: drawing and sketching

Each session runs from 10am till 2pm at the Heaton Cooper studio. Drop in at any time.

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