Artists to showcase their talent

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FROM painting and photography to mask making and weaving – there are plenty of artistic activities on offer for Northumberland residents over the next few weeks.

The Art Tour has established itself as a popular annual event and once again a range of workshops will be running to show people some specialist techniques.

Among this year’s newcomers is Irene Hilsdon, who will be sharing a studio in Ponteland with painter David Baxter.

She specialises in finely detailed paintings of animals and birds using pastels and pastel pencils. Her other work includes people and flowers.

“I went along to various venues during last year’s Art Tour and wished I could be part of it, but my house in Shilbottle is too small,” she said.

“I was talking to David about this after I had done a demonstration for his art group in Walbottle and he offered me the opportunity to use a section of his home in Ponteland, for which I’m very grateful.

“I’m excited about being part of the tour as being able to display everything you do is a one-off opportunity and it raises the profile of Northumberland artists.

“Hopefully, having two different art styles in the same location will attract a decent number of people to the studio.”

Mr Baxter, who paints many subjects using various medium, and Mrs Hilsdon will be displaying and demonstrating their work this Saturday and Sunday, as well as June 30 and July 1, 7, 8 14, 15, 21 and 22.

His late wife’s high-quality quilts will also be available to view.

Mrs Hilsdon is also running a series of workshops over the next six Mondays about her speciality from 1pm to 4.30pm.

As well as teaching the techniques involved, she will give information about the best materials to use to get good results.

It costs £15 to participate in a session.

For more information, telephone 01665 575997 or 07792 013167.

Professional mask and puppet maker Rose Furlonger is doing workshops for children aged six to 12 and accompanying adults to make simple sculptured card masks of mythical heroes and monsters at Heddon Methodist Church this Sunday and July 1, 8 and 15, between 2pm and 4pm.

Participants will need to pay £2 per mask and those interested are asked to book in advance on 01661 853156.

For the Art Tour display and demonstrations, she will be joined at the building every weekend for the next five weeks (except June 23 and 24) by Jenny Holm, whose paintings, prints and cards inhabit the magical world of illusions, fairytales and myths.

Stained and fused glass artist Helen Grierson will teach people how to make a fused glass hanging for a window in a session at the A1 Glass Studio in Eshott Heugh on each morning of the event from 10am to noon.

The price of the workshop is £20 per person.

For more details, telephone 07905 478767 or email

Other studios across the county are also holding demonstrations and workshops.

On each day of the Art Tour, put together by Network Artists in Northumberland, studios and facilities are open from 11am to 5pm, except Heddon Methodist Church which will open from noon on the Sundays.

Entry to general displays is free.

Information leaflets about the events taking place are available from Morpeth Tourist Information Centre in the Chantry or online at