Harrogate artist Tony Brummell Smith on his inspirational travels


We thought we would brighten the dreary winter months with a splash of colour in the form of work by Harrogate artist Tony Brummell Smith who tells us about his inspirational travels.

My work has turned many corners in the last 30 years or so. If I held a retrospective it could quite possibly appear to be the work of three different artists as my work has grown and changed over the decades. However my work and style have now become instantly recognisable as a ‘Brummell Smith’ and over the last 20 years and I have built up a large following of collectors, especially in the North of England as well as in other parts of the country.

I have a need to paint and travel feeds that need. It provides my inspiration. I have explored Europe especially Italy and especially Venice. I feel I have a special affinity with Italy, the architecture in Venice and Rome is second to none. I was at first reluctant to paint Venice as so many artists for centuries had done, but arriving in the early morning mist and approaching the Grand Canal immediately changed my mind. The grand monuments, the countless narrow byways and canals, transformed by the light creating luminous colours, are instantly inspiring.

Other ventures have taken me to Cuba, Africa, Thailand, Egypt and Israel – I retraced my grandmother Dorothy Groome’s footsteps to the Holy Land. She was a photographer travelling from England to Ephesus and eventually through Israel on horseback arriving at the Giza pyramids in about 1904. My grandparents on both sides of the family were artistic and I seem to be the one to carry on the tradition. My journeys, armed with sketch pads and cameras, have helped me to capture the atmosphere and diverse nature of all these places in oils, pastels or watercolours.

This year I would like to fit Africa into my itinerary. I and my wife Elaine are involved with the Open Arms Orphanages in Malawi so maybe a visit there and to Tanzania could be the cards. I have already painted in Zanzibar and would love to return along with another trip to Cuba, especially Havana to see the changes that have taken place.

I have exhibited in major galleries in the UK as far apart as London’s West End to Edinburgh and now show from my home in Harrogate. When I and Elaine bought the house about 15 years ago it had been offices and many walls had been removed which enabled me to have the whole of the second floor, that is to say three large rooms knocked into one, which has become a perfect light-filled studio. During the last 10 years we have turned the offices back into a home and an occasional exhibition space. When the time for an exhibition approaches it’s a major event not only in hanging some 60 paintings but in clearing the decks to allow visitors to move around comfortably in a relaxed atmosphere.

To find out more about Tony’s work and his next exhibition at home contact him on 01423 884272 or email brummellsmith@ntlworld.com and view his work online at tonybrummellsmith.co.uk