More art to find around county

Pam Vardy pictures for Art Tour ents piece. Plus pic of her home, Pele House in Shilbottle, which will be open to the public.
Pam Vardy pictures for Art Tour ents piece. Plus pic of her home, Pele House in Shilbottle, which will be open to the public.

A popular Northumberland artist will be throwing open the doors to her historic home as part of this summer’s Art Tour across the county.

Pam Vardy’s unique house in Shilbottle will form the backdrop to her amazing watercolours, which depict atmospheric landscapes and interesting archicture both locally and internationally, including Venice.

Dating back to the turbulent 14th century, Pele House was formerly the Old Vicarage and is possibly one of the oldest of its kind in Northumberland.

The centrepiece of the grade 2-listed building is the magnificent barrel-vaulted room at its base, which is now used as a dining room and Pam finds that the medieval ambience often draws as much attention and admiration as her art.

“I show visitors into the barrel-vaulted base of the pele, which was built as a defensive tower, and give them a history of the house to read,” she said.

“They learn that Shilbottle had over 25 or so different spellings over the centuries, including Schipplingbothil.

“At one point the tower was owned by King Henry IV, who confiscated it from the Percies in the 15th century.”

She added: “I have to gently remind visitors that there are lots of paintings to see.”

The influence of living and working in such an old property is probably why Pam enjoys painting Northumbrian castles and another favourite, the buildings in Venice.

“I also love the Northumbrian landscape and coast with all the changes that the weather, seasons and time of day bring about,” says Pam, who has original watercolours, oils and acrylics, limited edition prints and cards of various subjects both near and far.

Pele House, which is Art Tour Venue 29, will be open on Fridays, Sundays and Mondays until July 23, from 11am to 5pm.

Pam also has three solo exhibitions this year – one at Alnwick Playhouse, which has just finished, another currently showing at Durham Cathedral, and one forthcoming at the Bailiffgate Museum in Alnwick this November.

Contact Pam on 01665 575017 or email vardytower pam@tiscali.co.uk