Preston and Fylde artist visits Lake District to give outdoor painting lesson at school

A top Lancashire artist has popped into school to offer lessons on painting outdoors in the style of the French Impressionists.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 3:30 pm

Noted contemporary painter Norman Long ran a special class on painting the legendary Lake District landscape with children at Windermere School as part of their art week.

Norman, who lives in Fairhaven and who has his studio at Oyston Mill near Preston dock, taught the skills of "en plein-air" painting to the children, a style of vibrant outdoor working that the likes of Monet and Renoir practised.

Norman, who was born in Preston, is a leading member of the Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, which dates back to 1859 and ranks L.S. Lowry among its illustrious former members.

Artists Norman Long and Haidee-Jo Summers in the Lake District

The lesson was was arranged by Matthew Titherington, the former general manager of SEA LIFE Blackpool and Madame Tussauds Blackpool, who is now the new owner of Windermere Fine Art Gallery.

Norman was joined in Windermere by four other members of MAFA and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters; Steven Smith, Ian Layton, Michael Ashcroft and Christopher Slater, who were painting around the locality. All five are part of the distinguished ‘Northern Boys’ outdoor painting group, whose work frequently exhibits at top London galleries.

Matthew Titherington said: "During the mid-19th Century, the introduction of the box easel and paints in tubes allowed artists for the first time to take their materials with them wherever they went. With this freeing ability to roam came the compulsion for artists to capture not just a point in space, but also a point in time."

Norman said: "It was great, after all the restrictions of recent months, to be able to run a class in person and have all the students outdoors in the school grounds, painting ‘en plein air’. I really enjoyed the session, the students are so talented.

Children at Windermere School had an outdoor art lesson from Lancashire artist Norman Long and some of his friends

"It was great to be painting out in the inspiring landscape of the Lake District, which is so synonymous with fine art. I’m looking forward to seeing the final works and we’re hoping to put some on display in the gallery.”

Matthew said some of the work would be displayed at Windermere Fine Art Gallery, which he took over recently with wife Dawn. The couple have refurbished the established art gallery and opened a new, second exhibition gallery on Main Road in the town.

It is currently showcasing the best of British contemporary artists, including those normally represented by London galleries, such as Haidee-Jo Summers, Rob Poynton, Andrew Farmer, Michael Ashcroft, Steven Smith, Adam Ralston and Norman.

Claire Lester, Head of Art at Windermere School, said: “We were delighted to have Norman visiting the school. The students thoroughly enjoyed the session, particularly working closely with the artist, and learned a great deal about oil painting.”

A box easel and work done outdoors "en plein air"

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