The Old School Welcomes the Abstract Landscapes of Gill Waugh

Fresh for her successful exhibition at Simonstone Hall in Wensleydale, The Old School Muker is very pleased to welcome the wonderful, abstract landscapes of Gill Waugh.

Ribblehead, Misty Light, Gill Waugh | The Old School Muker
Ribblehead, Misty Light detail Gill Waugh | The Old School Muker

Gill’s work take us from the Yorkshire Dales to the Outer Hebrides, invoking the moods, atmosphere and beauty, they both share, lovingly worked in acrylic and ink …

Uist Beach, Gill Waugh | The Old School Muker
Uist Beach detail, Gill Waugh | The Old School Muker

… and the vibrant, abstract, style adds another stunning dimension to the range of work we showcase at The Old School.

Richard & Polly 

Gill’s Artist Statement 

The dreamlike mists on my home loch and the light and dark of our amazing weather are a constant source of wonder and inspiration; in the Yorkshire Dales, magical low-lying evening light draws me back time and time again, as do empty wet stretches of silvery sand in the Outer Hebrides…
I hope my work conveys the emotion I feel whilst looking at the subject – and that I’ve tried to record that delight when I’m back in my studio.
I create abstract landscapes, taking from the natural textures and colours which move me – whether it’s lichen on an ancient tree or feathery weed swirling in the clear water of our loch. I take endless closeup photos of such treasures and refer to them, initially, for inspiration in my paintings. I work by building up many layers of acrylic paint and letting brilliant inks flow into the textured surfaces – the chemistry between water-based and waterproof media is fascinating; although they repel each other at first, they come together as they dry, forming complex and organic patterns.

Malham Rain, Sue Nichol

In December 2015 Malham Cove waterfall flowed for the first time in Living Memory, briefly creating the longest single drop waterfall in the UK.

Malham Cove Rain, Sue Nichol | The Old School Muker

Sue Nichol’s atmospheric oil painting captures this moment perfectly, with the water spilling over into the cove, framed by the trees at it’s foot, and overlooked by dark clouds full of rain.

Malham Cove Rain detail, Sue Nichol | The Old School Muker
Malham Cove Rain detail, Sue Nichol | The Old School Muker

I can’t imagine it being at in the Old School Gallery, so if you liked to see this wonderful painting visit soon!

The Old School Welcomes Hester Cox

The Old School is extremely pleased to welcome in the work of Horton-in-Ribblesdale artist and print maker Hester Cox.

Silent Night, Hester Cox

Hester’s work is inspired by and reflects the natural rhythms of the natural world that  that surrounds her home in the Yorkshire Dales and that she passes whilst out on the tops, fell running.

Where the Curlew Cries, Hester Cox
Flying Home to Roost, Hester Cox

Hester’s collagraphs are a wonderful addition to our growing portfolio of print makers at the Old School and I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

More about Hester below.

Richard & Polly

Artist Statement

“My printmaking is informed by my surroundings and wherever I am I seek out evidence of the natural world that is particular to that environment. I have lived in rural places most of my working life and I am fascinated by the rhythms and cycles that occur within nature. Whilst an idea may be sparked by the written word, it is invariably my physical experience of a place that inspires new work.

As a fell runner, my excursions often take me to wilder less visited locations in all weathers. The physicality of running combined with the solitude and necessary awareness of my environment creates a connection with the landscape that lasts long after I have returned to the studio. Revisiting the same areas provides me with the opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of the more elusive wildlife that inhabits them. It is these chance encounters that I find most exciting and that will often be translated into print. I carry a camera to record details and sketch and write notes to distil my ideas.”

Piers Browne, Illustrated – Exhibition Catalogue

The catalogue for the upcoming Pier’s Browne Illustrated exhibition is now available.

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The catalogue measures 21cm x 21cm and contains 31 selected reproductions of Pier’s etchings, printed on 170g uncoated paper. The catalogues also contains a full price list (including dimensions) for the work on show.

The catalogue costs £5 plus £2 p&p. To request a copy please email

About the Exhibition 

Piers Browne Illustrated for the first (and perhaps last) time brings together a specially curated set of over 70 etchings taken from the seven books of celebrated painter, printmaker, poet and author, Piers Browne, published between 1988 and 2018.

The exhibition runs from 1st – 30th September in the Hartlake Gallery and Piers will be at The Old School on the afternoon of Sunday 2nd September to discuss his work and inspiration.

For more about the show and about The Old School Gallery & Craftshop please contact Richard Walls on 01748 886155 or at, or contact Piers at

About Piers Browne

Piers Browne trained at London’s Royal Academy Schools in the early 1970’s before settling in Wensleydale in 1975 to become a professional artists and printmaker.  He has exhibited at the annual Royal Academy Summer Show multiple times and held one man shows from “Malibu to Munster, via Manchester and Reykjavik”. Piers has published eight books illustrated by his etchings and oils, including Glorious Trees of Great Britain, with a foreword by HRH, Prince Charles, the culmination of over 15 years work containing 167 full-colour etchings.

Piers continues to be inspired by, and concerned for, the natural world. In his own words:  “Overwhelmingly the desire to capture the beauty of Nature continues to drive me on. I am still a depicter of the rural scene, a sort of conservator of the beauty of light and form. I have compensated for my indulgence by donating money and books to conservation groups, but need to do more as this world crumbles away in heat and flood from ‘our’ indulgence in polluting it“.






James Wheeler –

James Wheeler’s paintings have been part of the Old School since the days before we took over the gallery back in April 2017 and we’re pleased that the association continues and grows stronger over the months and years.

Moor Entrance, James Wheeler | The Old School Muker

Of all our artists it is Jame’s work that I’m reminded as I make my way off Shunner Fell at dusk or walk along Occupation Lane on one of those atmospheric days Upper-Swaledale throws at you from time to time; the patterns and textures of the landscape, the lonely field barns and farm houses, all lying under a brooding, heavy sky.

Moor Textures, James Wheeler | The Old School Muker

Using oil on cork, James perfectly captures the drama and atmosphere of our surroundings and next year we hope to be able to showcase Jame’s original work in the Hartlake gallery. Watch this space!

Muker Doors Series, John Harrison

For the Up Hill & Down Dale exhibition John Harrison has drawn and watercoloured five studies of characterful Muker doors, all familiar sights to those who stroll around our wonderful Dales village, including the feature image above, Double Red Doors.

Green Doors, Muker, John Harrison | The Old School Muker
Blue Door & Drainpipe, Muker, John Harrison | The Old School Muker
Two Red Doors, Muker, John Harrison | The Old School Muker
Green Door, Muker, John Harrison | The Old School Muker

Up Hill & Down Dale, John Harrison

PLEASE NOTE: In a change of plan John will now be at the Old School on Sunday 15th July rather than Saturday 9th.

Running between Saturday 30th June & Sunday 29th July the Old School is proud to showcase the wonderful line and watercolour drawings of Yorkshire artist John Harrison  in our Hartlake Gallery.


John’s work is featured each month in the Dalesman Magazine and last year John took part in Sky TV’s Landscape Artist of the Year.


The exhibition features over 20 original paintings, many of which depict our very own Muker and the surrounding villages and countryside, will take us Up Hill & Down Dale, with a short detour to Yorkshire’s stunning coastal villages.

John will be at the Old School on on Sunday 15th July to talk about his work and inspiration, don’t miss it!