Artist Lynda Taylor drawn in by Coquetdale’s landscape
An occasional series of portraits of Creative Coquetdale Folk by Katie Scott.
As a child, Lynda loved to watch sand martins flying out of the cliff of her father’s quarry. She would search for fossils, and study the different types of rock.
With such a foundation it is unsurprising that Lynda has specialised in painting landscapes that show a keen eye for the changing shapes, colours and textures of the beautiful Coquetdale landscape.
“I am always looking and analysing. Why is that outcrop there? Why are these stones a different colour? I’m always looking, I am drawn to the landscape,” she said.
Her mother was also a major influence on Lynda’s creativity.
She added: “Her hands were never still, she was always making something, lacework, embroidery, quilting”.
Her mother’s tales of life ‘in-service’ to the painter of royalty and aristocracy, Philip de Laszlo, also affected Lynda’s choice of career. At 16 she went to study art at Newcastle College, then 3D design at Manchester Polytechnic.
After graduating, Lynda and her husband Graham were chosen to work with the famous potter Joe Finch, and his equally famous painter wife, Trudi.
After three years of learning about the pottery business, Lynda and Graham moved to Lesotho, in Southern Africa. Here they managed a large domestic stoneware pottery established by Joe and Trudi.
The Kolonyama Pottery was created to give employment to local Basotho people. After it closed, Lynda and Graham set up the art department of Machabeng International School, which their children attended.
Lynda is justifiably proud of the legacy they left: “We had a big impact, there had been no art on the syllabus. But by the end of our time there, we had trained a lot of people in fine art, ceramics, and allied subjects. The students we taught have gone on to have successful careers in a range of art-based occupations.”
The family came back to Coquetdale, Graham’s birthplace, after 20 years away. Lynda shows me a beautiful ceramic plate she made when in Lesotho. Delicate brushstrokes reveal a sensitive scene painted onto it.
“This looks like the beginning of your landscape work?” I ask. Lynda agrees. She began painting canvases in The Crown Studio when they bought the property in 2001. “I stopped making ceramics, and began painting landscapes.”
Lynda sells her own original paintings and prints, and other beautiful pictures and objects, made by UK artists and designers at Crown Studio Gallery, Bridge Street, Rothbury NE65 7SE
For more information go to www.crownstudio.co.uk/