On a Beech on South Harris, looking towards Uists
Signed ‘Katharine Holmes’ lower left, black ink on paper
200 x 280 mm (7 7/8 x 11 in.)
Katharine Holmes is an artist who has become known for her paintings which capture the Northern Landscape, predominantly her native Yorkshire Dales. Born into a Malhamdale family of painters in 1962 and following degree study in Fine Art at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne Katharine returned to the Yorkshire Dales in 1990. She often paints outside in all weathers sometimes incorporating elements of the landscape such as grasses and gravels found on site into her paintings. She works in a range of media from oil on canvas to watercolour on paper her paintings attempting to capture the feeling of being in the landscape. Exhibiting her work nationally and internationally her paintings are in many private and corporate collections including that of Leeds University where she held her first major solo exhibition in 1999. In June 2009 she returned to The Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds University to show new paintings and an installation of drawings as part of a large retrospective exhibition “A Malham Family of Painters”. In the last decade Katharine has travelled widely and painted in Japan, Kenya, New England, Italy and Greece. Nearer to home she has since student days painted in Wester Ross drawing inspiration from the rugged and wild landscapes of the Torridon Mountains and Applecross Peninsula.
The paintings Katharine will be exhibiting at Scampston were made over the last couple of years. In responding to intimately known places the paintings attempt to capture the weather and the feeling of being in these places. Fascinated by the effects of light the paintings are as much about atmosphere as they are about the physical features of the landscape. Working in a range of media from ink, watercolour and gouache on paper to oil or acrylic on canvas the intensively worked and layered surfaces of the paintings are an equivalent to the landscape and the forces which have shaped it. In the words of Norman Adams, RA, RWS who taught Katharine at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne:
“It is not so much that Katharine Holmes makes statements about her native landscape as that she is constantly questioning and trying to discover its essence. Then she tries to fuse her materials to her subject-matter, by means of emotional understanding, and they become one.”