Artist of the month - Stephen Darbishire
PUBLISHED: 20:26 08 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:02 20 February 2013
This month's outstanding artist is a man who is rooted in his rural upbringing, writes Barbara Waiteknow
Brought up on a farm on the shoulders of Coniston Old Man, Stephen Darbishire could not be more rooted in the local landscape.
The area, with its history of copper mining and farming, fascinated him as a boy in the 1950s and he spent every weekend and holiday exploring the wild hillsides, rivers and woods.
He drew and painted all he saw from an early age before being formally trained by the artist Judith Da Fano, who lived close to his home.
He later gained a scholarship to Byam Shaw School of Art in London.
As well as country scenes, Stephens oil paintings record the details of family life tables laid for tea, kitchens buzzing with activity and family pets. They all display a deep affection for his surroundings.
Detail in each painting is his strength and examples of his work are to be found in collections worldwide.
I have chosen a painting of the Langdale valley and Pikes because it is in the heart of the Lake District and personifies the beauty of the landscape I know so well, said Stephen, pictured above. He has exhibited in The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The Royal Society of Portrait Painters, The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, The Royal Institute for Painter in Watercolours, The New English Art Club, The Royal Society of British Artists, of which he is a member, and the Lake Artists.
Stephens paintings start at 750, with prints from 65. You can see more of his work at the Winter Lakes Exhibition at Rheged and at Beckstones Gallery near Penrith.
Lancashire and the Lakes are blessed with rugged hills and fells, picturesque villages and valleys and fabulous coastal views.
But sometimes it takes the eye of an artist to capture those subtle moments of a fleeting change in light, or the atmosphere of a particular location.
If you have a favourite local artist drop a line to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can see more of Stephens work at www.stephen-darbishire.com