Artist of the Month - Elizabeth White

Pendle Hill - Elizabeth White

Pendle Hill - Elizabeth White - Credit: Archant

Lancashire artist Elizabeth White not only paints the landscape - she includes some of it in her work. Barbara Waite reports

Pendle Hill is the iconic feature of the Lancashire landscape. It dominates the surrounding countryside and its connection with the legend of the Lancashire witches and the birth of the Quaker movement give it a mystery enjoyed by few natural landmarks.

Artist Elizabeth White lives on the edge of the Pennines and finds it a constant source of inspiration with its changing vista. Her work is contemporary, but with a timeless feel which reflects the moody moors on her doorstep.

‘Painting such a well-known landmark is always a challenge. I wanted to show the colours reflected from the sky and give the sense of foreboding which is often there when the shadows play across it,’ she said.

She spent her early years in Lancashire and as a child visited the Ribble Valley almost every summer weekend. It was her father’s favourite part of the country and he believed that paddling in the river on a hot sunny day was simply the best. She now calls it home.

‘I begin painting with a photograph or sketch of somewhere that I have visited, a sense of the place I am painting is very important. I usually paint the sky first and then a feature that I find interesting like a path or a pool of water,’ said Elizabeth who was previously the owner of the Littleborough Gallery.

She really does like to get the feel of a place right down to including part of the earth in the acrylic paint. Some gravel or a piece of moss might be pressed into it to add texture and make the painting part of the landscape.

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As well as the wild moors, Elizabeth also paint seascapes and enjoys working in abstraction often inspired by music and the artists Matisse, Monet and David Hockney whose use of colour and brushstrokes she admires. She regularly seeks a creative boost by visiting the Lake District especially Keswick. For more information about this work, Pendle Hill, and others by Elizabeth visit