Pupils brush up on art with Ashley

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SCHOOL pupils enjoyed an art class with a difference - after a brush with acclaimed Yorkshire artist Ashley Jackson.

For the renowned painter, famed for his evocative watercolours and sketches of his home county, passed on a few artistic tips to pupils from two Doncaster schools with a special workshop at historic Cusworth Hall.

Ashley was on hand to pass on his expertise to students from North Ridge Community School and Toll Bar Primary - and pupils were in raptures at picking up hints from the Holmfirth-based artist.

Jean Oxley, art, design and technology co-ordinator at North Ridge said: “The pupils got a lot out of it and hung on his every word.

“They were glued to what he had to say. Ashley gets on the same level as the pupils so they can understand what he’s trying to get across and so they can take something away and learn and apply it to their own work.”

Deputy Mayor Coun Cynthia Ransome said: “What better way to learn valuable artistic skills than from an artist of Ashley’s calibre. The beautiful setting of Cusworth helped to provide plenty of inspirational subject matter.”

The artist has had an extremely distinctive and illustrious life in the world of art and has become an internationally recognised painter with his unique and passionate paint- ings of Yorkshire’s brooding moorlands.

He has joined forces with celebrated sculptor Graham Ibbeson in an exhibtion called Opposites Attract which is currently on display at the hall.

And Ashley was back in Doncaster too a few days later when he rolled into town aboard “his own” train for a book signing.

He pulled up in style at Doncaster station on board Grand Central Ashley Jackson - The Yorkshire Artist, to autograph copies of his latest book, My Yorkshire Sketch Book, at Waterstones in the Frenchgate Centre.

The hardback book features the original working sketches which were the basis for some of the watercolour paintings displayed within the carriages of the train and it is the first time that Ashley has unveiled raw sketches and emotions with only a few images of paintings to show how the minimal pencil lines capture the essence of the landscape to then become a watercolour painting.

Sean English, general manager at Grand Central, said: “The Ashley Jackson train really brings his works to life and is hugely popular with passengers so this is a great way to celebrate his work and new book.”

Ashley said: “The day was fabulous with students from North Ridge Community School coming down to meet me at the station. To launch my new book from such a platform made me extremely humble and for Grand Central to arrange for The Yorkshire Artist was just the icing on the cake.”