The Art Works gallery: meet the artists

We exhibit some beautiful and carefully selected pieces of art from incredibly talented Yorkshire-based artists here at The Art Works gallery. Pop in and take a look, invest in a piece of original art or a print which we can frame for you onsite.  

Get to know our artists:

Ian Burdall

We love Ian’s depiction of coastal scenes, particularly Yorkshire’s coastline, and his fascination with boats and wreckages.

His distinct style works with extenuating geometry, using continuing lines to frame and accentuate angles he finds in both industrial and rural settings.

Paula Dunn

Paula’s stunning landscapes focus on light, shades, colour and texture, often created by experimenting with techniques like impasto using glazes and palette knives.

Her fascinating use of colour is both surprising and beautiful, and creates pieces that are “less than strictly representational” of weather across a range of landscapes.

Oliver Fink

Oliver grew up in Otley during the 80s. His fascination with pop art and New York graffiti inspired his love of free-form art and the two styles can still be seen in his work we have here at The Art Works today.  

His work is a gorgeous blend of brightly coloured, abstract backgrounds and clinical, graphical portraits.

Sarah Garforth

The inspiration behind Sarah’s stunning pieces often comes from walks she takes in the Yorkshire Dales. She is inspired by the rivers, reservoirs and bridle paths found in the beautiful landscape.

Sarah paints by instinct to develop pieces that create the sense that you are inside an outside space.


Relton Marine

Christine Relton and Tom Marine paint collaboratively as Relton Marine.

Their original style and gorgeous use of colour represents real events or places they have visited. Over the last few years they have developed an interest in painting landscapes of the UK, especially the Yorkshire Dales.  We sell a number of their prints in the gallery.

Ian Middleton

Ian’s abstract and critically-acclaimed, unique brand of expressionist art ‘Rubistic’ is a must-see.  His gallery Somerville Gallery shares our lovely space here at The Art Works. Pop in to see his wonderful pieces Yorkshire and Burley in Wharfedale, and maybe even catch Ian himself.

Mike Moor

Mike is an Otley-based painter and printmaker and works with etchings and monoprints. He is known for his mysterious, humanist and sometimes darkly comic work.

His recent ‘Animation Stills’ that we display were originally developed as entertainment for his granddaughter, hovering between ambiguity and obviousness or depth and daftness.

Julia Odell

Julia is predominantly a landscape artist but has become increasingly interested in urban social documentary.

She works with soft mediums such as pastel and oil stick stick to recreate recognisable landmarks and locations around Yorkshire.

Karen Turner

Karen is the newest artist to display work in our gallery. Her work is lovely and vibrant and takes inspiration from the Yorkshire coast and countryside. Her bold and colourful pieces use acrylic, watercolour and big brush strokes for a style that is both playful and semi-abstract. 


Christmas Opening times 2016

Happy Christmas Everyone,

Its that time of year where I write my annual blog where I say that next year’s resolution is to write more blogs… It’s been a very busy year, ending with the exciting news that we will be moving next year into our own premises with amazing character, a great light space for making and hanging art and ample parking. More on our grand design renovation to follow in future blogs 😉 and on our Facebook and Instagram account.

Here’s our opening times for the festive period:

  • Weekdays until Friday 23rd: 8 am – late (after 6 give us a call we will prob be here)
  • Christmas eve: 9 am – 3 pm
  • Christmas Day: CLOSED
  • Monday 26th- Tuesday 3rd: CLOSED
  • Wednesday 4th: 9 am – 4:30 pm
  • Thursday 5th: normal hours resume


New Building

Here we are just after we have received the keys to our new premises in time for Christmas.




Merry Christmas!


Tour De Yorkshire

Hello just a quick one to say we are very excited about the Tour de Yorkshire coming through Otley after such a great success with The Tour De France in 2014. With the added excitement of seeing Otleys very own Olympic medalist Lizzie Armitstead! You can watch the Ladies race starting in Otley town centre at about 8:15 and the mens race starts at about 2.mainphoto-legranddepart

We will be open as usual but be aware some roads will be closed for the race so plan your route accordingly. (Tour De Yorkshire website) We are also excited to be having a pop-up store outside The Fleece where we will be selling our Tour De Yorkshire destination prints and bus blinds so please bob down and say hello. There will be plenty going, on The fleece will be open all day for breakfast, games and a BBQ with Heart Fm doing a live broadcast.

Enjoy the race and we hope to see you #AllezLizzie

Christmas Opening Times

Well I cant believe it is this time again the year has flown by, Christmas has kicked off at The Art Works which means lots of interesting jobs and late nights getting them done. We have even got a small tree this year complete with complementary chocolates. We will be open until midday on Christmas eve then we close for the festive period and a much needed break.  We will reopen on January 4th.

We are taking orders right up until we close so still time for those last minute Christmas presents. Our opening times are the same as usual but we do tend to be here late most nights so if these hours don’t suit you just give us a call and see if we are here. IMG_1106

I hope everybody has a good festive period and doesn’t do anything too embarrassing at the office party.




Happy Halloween

The Art Works would like to wish you a happy Halloween. Here is last nights effort at Pumpkin carvingpumpkin 2 I would like to take creative credit for using the pineapple but it was inspiration born from necessity as when i went to Morrisons last night there were only a few dregs of pumpkins left as it was late and i figured the pineapple would be easier to carve than the alternative swede i had my eye on. With the added bonus of actually being able to eat and enjoy its innards.



Today seems quite apt as well to be framing this Blue Dracula for Steve @ for his personal collection by the very talented artist and tattooer Suspiria @  Thanks Steve for introducing us to her work!dracula

An evening with the Bradford Bulls

Well its been a while since our last blog and a lot has happened since then. We have been really busy making custom frames – whether it has been intricate box frames for sports memorabilia or larger bulk contract work, it has kept us out of trouble. To help us with the work load we have added a new member to our team, which has been a great help and it’s been nice to get a fresh perspective on the business. Maybe some time in the future I will do a blog to introduce you to our whole team.IMG_0134

It would be impossible to list all the things we have done since February’s blog (slap on the wrist for leaving it so long!), so I will start with our latest Artworks’ outing. Last week, we took time out to visit the Bradford Bulls at Odsal to see their game against Featherstone Rovers. BJ and I are massive Rugby League enthusiasts, and it’s no secret that I’m a lifelong Bradford fan, while he supports the Leeds Rhinos. This can lead to some “friendly” banter in the workshop! The last time I was at Odsal I was delivering some framed nostalgic pictures of the Bulls’ history, which was a nice job on a personal level as they included pictures of my Granddad Idwal Fisher and uncle Tony Fisher, who both played for Bradford Northern back in the day. It was a nice surprise to spot them while framing.

5CC7D441-482E-4CAA-9272-AD12BC2216DFIt was a glorious, baking hot evening, and the hospitality was great. The result wasn’t the best – unless you’re a Featherstone fan – but you can’t win them all. At halftime, we were addressed by referee Richard Silverwood, which gave a great insight into the dark world of refereeing. Perhaps surprisingly, he was actually a nice bloke and very entertaining; maybe I will think twice next time I shout at the TV 😉  I would recommend the experience to anybody whether you like Rugby League or not (if that could be possible) and wish the Bulls all the best for the culmination of the season going into the Super 8’s (which I confess to not really understanding just yet). And here’s a shameless selfie of me with the Bradford and Kiwi international rugby legend that is Robbie Hunter-Paul. On the right is a picture of referee Richard Silverwood being grilled by ex-Bradford player and compere for the evening, Rob Parker


Handmade arts and crafts at the Art Works

I am completely hooked on Pinterest and Instagram.  They are such a great, accessible resource for inspiration for creating new things and getting new ideas – and not just for at work, but at home as well.

Love Birds

A nice idea that kept popping up was these cute bird pictures made using recycled materials. I love the simplicity of the idea and thought I’d have a go myself. Everything I used was from my garden, which I think makes the art work a little more personal. As I’m a picture framer, I had plenty of excess mountboard to hand, and a good idea of how I would like to frame them.

It was quite easy to make the pictures. I simply positioned the different materials onto the acid-free conservation-level mountboard, and glued them on using a clear quick adhesive super glue, taking care not to put too much on so it was not visible. The twigs I used were dead ones found on the floor as I thought that if I took live twigs it might decay in the frame, creating moisture and mould.Bird art

For the frame I had a clear idea of where the pictures would be ending up, so this influenced the type and colour of the frame. I needed to create some depth in the frame to contain the raised parts – you wouldn’t want to squash them as it would ruin the appearance and you would lose the shadows. I did this by using a curved slip frame, then glass goes on top of this and then another frame over the top of this to contain the glass and keep the space. I decided to use Clarity Glass,which is a speciality glass that is so clear it appears to be invisible. It also has anti-glare and anti-UV properties. It’s more expensive than standard float glass, but I think it is worth it for that special finish.Craft art Work

So that’s the fun day doing crafts: now I just have to paint the room so I can hang the pictures! As it is Valentines day (otherwise known as BJ’s birthday) coming up, I did a little one to mark the day. If you like the idea and would like to make your own just bob in and we will be happy to donate some small bits of mountboard. Its a great way to get creative or even a fun idea to do with the kids, just be careful with the glue!

Christmas party at the Leeds Rhinos

Happy belated New Year everybody. I know it is already February and some people will already be making plans for Christmas 2015, but lets get summer out of the way first. It’s been a busy January with no rest for the wicked since getting back from our short break. We’ve had a lot of interesting custom framing in and an influx of sports shirts to frame, from Froome’s Yellow Jersey, to a signed Pele Brazil shirt and an unveiling of the New Leeds Rhinos shirt – which will bring me onto my next paragraph.Shirt framing

Apart from all the bespoke picture framing we have been doing, we managed to find time for The Art Works annual Christmas party ( a wild affair I know). We treated ourselves to a corporate day at Headingley Stadium to watch the Leeds Rhinos Vs Bradford Bulls in a pre season friendly featuring the Legend that is Jamie Peacock for his Leeds Rhinos Testimonial. The game had a little bit more of an edge to it as I am a long time Bradford Bulls fan and Bj supports the Leeds Rhinos. This is a fixture that will be much missed this year due to the Bulls being relegated, but lets not go into that right now.

Headingly Selfie

We would like to say a big thanks to the team at the Rhinos for an excellent Sunday afternoon where we were wined, dined and treated to an excellent game of rugby (I wont mention the score)JP and brilliant service. A nice touch was being addressed by some ex players and big personalities (Barrie McDermott) and then to cap it off a few inspiring words from the big man himself JP. We would thoroughly recommend the experience to anyone even if you don’t like Rugby League, a concept I struggle to grasp.

After the game we went for a few frames of pool which unfortunately age overcame youth and Bj and Keith won, mainly due to the fact that Keith turned out to be a bit of a shark and carried Bj in my opinion. So that’s it for 2014 looking forward to framing lots of new and creative things which we will blog about when they come.

Martin and Bj

Merry Christmas!

Well its Christmas Eve, and with four minutes to go until we shut for the Christmas period it’s a good time to thank everybody that has supported us throughout the year and helped us make it a successful one. We hope you all have a great festive period and hope to see you in the New Year. I’m really looking forward to chilling out and seeing family after a really crazy couple of months. We are also looking forward to the New Year and have some exciting plans for the Art Works, which we will keep you up to date with on here.

Thanks again all the best Martin and BJ



Guitar Framing and Memorabilia

Today I’m posting a blog that is actually about framing, and unfortunately doesn’t contain any pictures of us smiling or wearing Christmas jumpers, but hopefully you will still find it interesting.I had to frame an acoustic guitar and drumsticks signed and used by none other than Status Quo. And I also needed to incorporate some pictures of the event into the guitar frame and get it all behind glass. No mean feat, but a great challenge.

3d box framing guitar

Every now and again I get given free reign with how to frame something and this was one of those jobs. It was a simple brief even though guitar framing isn’t: it had to work in an old converted barn/private bar with lots of bare timber. So I decided to keep it simple and use a grained ply to make the box to house all the memorabilia, and rather than paint it and hide the rough edges I kept it raw.

creating a layout for framing







After some juggling about I decided on the layout and balance. The next challenge was one that we always have to consider but, when done well, will often go unnoticed: how to fix the items to this case without damaging them. I wanted to make it possible to remove the guitar, just in case in a few years’ time someone wants to take it out and strum along to Rockin’ All Over The World. This meant keeping it in the same condition as when it was handed to me, before it went into the frame. I was able to discreetly tie the guitar on using the end pin of the guitar, a part designed to take the weight using a strap (it is not usually this simple – this was a lucky job!).

Bespoke Box framing a Guitar

When I came to place the pictures at the back of the frame in the standard way I thought they looked a little lost so I decided to put them in frames inside the frame to bring them forward. The overall effect is that they appear to be just floating.

I really enjoyed making this piece of work, and the customer was very pleased, which always makes for a rewarding job – although I was a little bit gutted about having to give it back.

Box framing memorabilia