Thumbnail image


Temperate Times

22 Juny - 20 June 2024

For this exhibition I'm focussing on rainforests. You might immediately think of the Amazon but the trees I am painting are not in South America but are the incredible temperate rainforests that we have in the UK. There is even some evidence that we have small remnants of rainforest right here in Dorset. 

I have also made sketching trips to the several precious pockets of rainforests that we have in Devon, Cornwall, Wales and the Lake District. These environmentally vital woodlands used to cover up to 20% of our country but now, sadly, they make up less than 1%. They are particularly enchanting because they thrive in damp conditions so their trees tend to be mistily romantic with branches draped in mosses and ferns. They really do look as though they've come straight from a fairytale book. 

Thumbnail image


Hedge Story

4 May - 1 June 2024

Ursula Leach is a colourist whose subject is the landscape surrounding her.  For many years Ursula lived in Cranborne, Dorset, in the middle of big open fields, and her work reflected that, but after a move to Iwerne Minster, only a couple of miles from The Art Stable, she is now surrounded by a smaller patchwork of fields and woods, many of which are contained by ancient hedges.   
So when Ursula saw an article in a national newspaper last year, asking for volunteers to survey hedges for The Great Big Dorset Hedge initiative, she took part.  With that deepened knowledge added to her enthusiasm of this new visual landscape, Ursula has made hedges the subject of this, her fifth solo exhibition at The Art Stable, working up oil paintings and carborundum prints in the studio from drawings, colour notes and photographs, made from observing distinctive aspects of hedges in their settings.

Thumbnail image


Slow Time

4 May - 1 June 2024

I draw in charcoal and pencil - mostly landscapes featuring woodlands, hillsides, waterways and scrub - some forgotten places, some beauty spots, some reinvented.   My pencil drawings are small, intimate works; my charcoal drawings tend to be larger scale.  My work is all quite ‘involved’ and takes a long time to resolve; and although I make the finished pieces in my studio, I probably spend half my working time exploring, sketching, photographing and editing. I frequently revisit places again and again to get a proper sense of them - looking for compositions that have ‘something about them’. I’ll focus on atmosphere, mood, changing weather patterns and the transforming effect of transient light. I describe my way of drawing as ‘push/pull’ -  surfaces can be highly worked, with marks and tone built up to create depth and a sense of ‘being there’.  I then will often erase back in places to make complex and abstract surfaces. Drawing has become an ideal medium for me, there’s no colour to obscure the marks and the tones, and I can hopefully get to a sense of what I want with some clarity.

Thumbnail image



23 March - 20 April 2024

We always look forward to a new group of linocuts and watercolours by Liz Somerville, and this exhibition is about ‘Place’, following a move by Liz and an exploration of her new environment.  There are people in the new work, for the first time, in ‘places’ of reflection, discussion, contemplation, or argument, under trees, having a picnic, in a glade or up a mountain. 

Thumbnail image


Dorset Landscapes

23 March - 20 April

I am lucky to spend part of the year in the Bride Valley and it is here, in the lanes and down the tracks that crisscross the fields around my studio, that I take time to walk, look and listen to the landscape. At certain times of year, I repeat these daily routes again and again, which makes me acutely alert to the constant shifts of colour and pattern and I become very sensitive to the smallest changes of light - things in which I delight. This solitary time spent in the landscape feeds my practice and equips me when I return to the studio to paint.

Thumbnail image


In the Beginning

10 February - 9 March 2024

At 87 Brian Rice is recognised as one of the most important British abstract painters with work in close to 70 museum and corporate collections, mainly in the U.K. and U.S.A.  Anyone who is familiar with his distinctive abstract paintings and prints is, however, in for an unexpected experience at The Art Stable in Child Okeford this February. 'In the Beginning' presents a fascinating archive of works made by Brian in the 1950s whilst at Yeovil School of Art and Goldsmiths College, London.

Thumbnail image


And Suddenly I Saw

10 February - 9 March 2024

There are times, there are places, when we seem to get a glimpse of something other - a sudden sense of something beyond our material world.  In Celtic Christianity there were places referred to as ‘thin places’, where heaven seemed close by.  In a sense many of my paintings are attempts to capture moments like these, places like these - fleeting snatches of something beyond.  I have found guides - artists like William Blake, Samuel Palmer or Cecil Collins - they push me in a certain direction but the journey is mine.  But all journeys need those moments of rest, and still-life painting produces this - and I love its focussed meditation on here and now, where the margins of the world are reduced to the space between myself and the objects painted.  

Thumbnail image


Paintings, Prints, Ceramics and Sulpture

by Gallery and C20th Artists

25 November - 16 December 2023

Thumbnail image


Magic Mountains

28 October - 18 November 2023

We are delighted to be presenting the sixth solo exhibition of paintings by Tobit Roche at The Art Stable.  It is always wonderful to have Tobit’s romantic paintings covering the gallery walls, conveying so well his passion for nature and beauty.  In this exhibition, the colours are heightened, and the focus will be on the mountains of India, as well as our own smaller, but much loved, Hambledon Hill.

As a teenager growing up in India, I was often exposed to magical mountainscapes, particularly when journeying to the Himalaya, and its foothills or travelling by train through the Aravalli Range in Rajasthan. These memories have stayed with me, inspiring many subsequent visits, and not least turning India for me into a kind of spiritual home.

In these recent paintings, I’ve tried to reconnect with this landscape of memories, and it is within the hills and mountains of India, that I find a compelling vehicle for self expression. 

Thumbnail image

JOHN RIDGEWELL (1937-2004)

The Still Point

28 October - 18 November

John Ridgewell was an Essex native, who studied alongside David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj at the Royal College of Art, before leaving to become a professional artist and occasional tutor. From an early, successful show at the New Arts Centre in 1962 (from which the Government Collection bought Deserted Harbour) Ridgewell exhibited widely during his lifetime. He and his family moved around England, from Yorkshire to Suffolk, via Dorset, his surroundings creeping into and influencing his paintings. From the gestural, heavier treatment of paint in his student days, inspired by the solid clay cliffs of the Yorkshire coast, his works became lighter in terms of colour, but more intensely intricate in their subject matter. Their delicacy was built up with brushes and a palette knife, and one can see the marks of his working in the paint itself.