Artist returns to give lessons on how to paint his ‘mistress’

THE dramatic landscape believed to have been the setting for Emily Brontë’s classic novel Wuthering Heights is continuing to inspire another Yorkshire artist.

Ashley Jackson set up his easel at Top Withens, above Haworth, to give a lesson in sketching to BBC Countryfile presenter Ellie Harrison. The results will be screened on Sunday.

Mr Jackson’s fascination with the site began with a first visit in 1966 when he was accompanied by fellow artist and friend Stanley Chapman. He brought schoolchildren to see it in 1972 and continues to campaign for the preservation of the Yorkshire heritage site.

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He said: “When I was 16, I wrote in my sketchbook that I wished to do with the brush what the Brontës had done with the pen. Today at 72 my passion remains the same for Yorkshire and the Brontës; I hope that Countryfile will allow others to view the moors as I see her – my mistress, with all her womanly contours.”

Since opening his first gallery in 1963 Mr Jackson has become one of the country’s leading landscape watercolourists, and his work is owned and shown around the world.

His evocative and distinctive paintings of brooding moorlands have become synonymous with Yorkshire, particularly with the moors above and around his gallery at Holmfirth.

Artists’ inspirations: Page 11