Artist of the month - R. Martin Tomlinson

First Snow, Langdale Pikes - R, Martin Tomlinson

First Snow, Langdale Pikes - R, Martin Tomlinson - Credit: Archant

This Lancashire-born artist loooks to Lakeland’s changing seasons for inspiration, writes Barbara Waite

Adventurous artist R. Martin Tomlinson enjoys travelling to Italy, Spain and occasionally Egypt for ideas, but he says his greatest inspiration comes from the fells and lakes of the north west with their constantly changing seasonal effects.

The painting here shows the iconic Langdale Pikes in winter with the first smudge of snow on Pavey Ark and is typical of Martin’s style. At one time he painted in oils solely outdoors and using a palette knife.

‘Recently my work has become rather more detailed and I will spend more time finishing work in the studio,’ he said.

Born in Barnoldswick, he moved to the Lake District in the 1958 when his father started a Merchant Naval Radio College at Wray Castle on the shore of Windermere. After leaving art college in the 60s and having spent two years with a blues band in London, he returned to the Lakes and spent some years teaching at Brathay Hall, then an outward Bound centre at the head of Windermere.

It was at this time that he and his wife, Jo, decided to open a gallery and art shop incorporating a picture framing service. ‘This seemed an ideal way to provide a steady income whilst working on my painting,’ he added.

In 1970 he was elected a member of the Lake Artists’ Society and he served as vice-president for several years. As well as providing work for a London Gallery, his paintings have been exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, The Royal Institute for Painters in Watercolour and also at the Mall Galleries with the Pastel Society.

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He now sells most of his work direct from his home studio at Walton Mount in Ambleside, where visitors are always welcome. Prices range from £400-£2,000. Painting is not his only pastime, he still relives is youth by playing keyboard with the Elderly Brothers, a local rhythm ‘n’ blues band.

He can be contacted via e-mail: or by phone 015394 32383

*The featured painting is one of several of Martin’s exhibits at The Lake Artists’ Society Winter Exhibition being held at the Gallery at Rheged, Penrith, until February 1.