Katharine Holmes – Works on Paper 2023

Katharine Holmes - Works on Paper, Spring 2023.

Rain soaked days in the Yorkshire Dales. Ink and compressed charcoal on paper. 2022
Katharine Holmes. Rain soaked days in the Yorkshire Dales. Ink and compressed charcoal on paper. 2022

Wild Weather & Field Patterns

Katharine Holmes (b.1962) is best known for her paintings and drawings of her native Yorkshire landscape.  She has exhibited in solo and themed exhibitions at Gavagan Art in recent years. A graduate of the University of Newcastle upon Tyne she returned in 1990 to live and work in the Yorkshire Dales. She paints outside in all weathers and currently works from her studio at the Malham cottage where her mother and grandmother lived and painted before her.

Fascinated by the effects of light the paintings are as much about atmosphere as they are about the physical features of the landscape. Working in a range of media from ink, watercolour and gouache on paper to oil or acrylic on canvas.

The limestone landscape close to Katharine’s home is often the subject of her drawings and paintings, especially the network of dry stone walls criss crossing the fields close to Malham Cove and Gordale Scar. These works are often painted using inks and watercolour on paper.

Grassington - Main Street. Watercolour.
Constance Pearson. Grassington - Main Street. Watercolour. Copyright the Artist's Estate.

Constance Pearson - Main Street Grassington

A retrospective exhibition featuring Katharine’s work along with paintings by her mother Philippa Holmes and Katharine’s grandmother Constance Pearson was held at the Stanley and Audrey Burton Gallery, Leeds University, in 2009: A Malham Family of Painters.

The exhibition was accompanied by the book: Letters From Malham – Wartime Life at High Barn Cottage, edited by Hilary Diaper. Katharine is the third generation of female artists to live at High Barn Cottage.

The book provides a first hand account of life in Malham in the1940s and is generously illustrated by Constance Pearson’s paintings. Her paintings provide a view of a lost world as seen in this watercolour of the Main Street Grassington, North Yorkshire.




Settle Tuesday Market
Constance Pearson. Settle Tuesday Market - Watercolour. Copyright the Artist's Estate.

Constance Pearson - Settle, Tuesday Market Day

Constance Pearson (1886 – 1970) studied at Leeds School of Art, and is known for her sensitive paintings of both the countryside of the Dales and its people.

In this watercolour painting of Settle, North Yorkshire, the stalls of the weekly Tuesday market in Market Square can be seen. The row of shops, known as The Shambles, with their single-storey cottages above the round arches, are at the back of the market. The painting looks to have been painted from the side of the famous Settle Cafe: Ye Olde Naked Man

Katharine Holmes. Malham Landscape - Walks from Home 2 Ink on Khadi paper.

Malham - Walks From Home - Field Walls

The ancient dry-stone walls and field patterns, a distinctive feature of the Malham landscape are frequently the subject of Katharine’s work. There are a number of small landscape works on paper available and can be viewed at the end of this On Line Exhibition. These works are drawn and painted in ink on hand-made paper.

Katharine Holmes - Ink drawing.
Katharine Holmes. Ink drawing.


As well as the Yorkshire landscape Katharine has painted at diverse locations in Britain and abroad. The Penwith Peninsula in South West Cornwall, with its wild landscape, is captured in many of her paintings as in this work of a view on the South West Coastal Path, between Cape Cornwall and Pendeen.

Cornwall features in a number of paintings, following an Artist Residency at Brisons Veor, Cape Cornwall in 2017. In the same year an exhibition was held of her work at the Mercer Gallery Harrogate: In Grandmother’s Footsteps, which included a number of Katharine’s Cornish paintings. (Constance Pearson, Katharine’s grandmother, had painted in Cornwall when teaching in Cambourne before the First World War.)

Katharine Holmes. August at Rosemullion on the South West Coastal Path, Cornwall.
Katharine Holmes. August at Rosemullion on the South West Coastal Path, Cornwall. Watercolour, ink, pastel and graphite.

August at Rosemullion Cornwall

The gentler landscape of the Rosemullion area, on the south coast of Cornwall between the Helford River and Falmouth is the subject of a number of watercolours. The sheltered valleys and favorable climate have led to this region being known for its subtropical gardens.

St. Agnes' Head Cornwall
Katharine Holmes. St. Agnes' Head Cornwall. Mixed media on paper.

St. Agnes' Head Cornwall

This mixed media work of oil pastel and watercolour on paper shows the open heathland of St. Agnes’ Head, set on the cliff tops high above the Atlantic.

St. Agnes’ Head is on the South West Coast Path, North Cornwall.

Harris in the Outer Hebrides
Katharine Holmes. Summer on Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Ink, watercolour and pastel on handmade cotton rag paper.

Summer on Harris, Outer Hebrides.

Northern Scotland has featured in many of Katharine’s paintings, from Applecross in the west to Sutherland in the east. This atmospheric work, watercolour and ink on paper, is of the island of Harris in the Outer Hebrides.


Constance Pearson outside High Barn Cottage, Malham.

Constance Pearson in Malham in the 1940's


The artist Constance D. Pearson was born in Leeds. She studied at Leeds School of Art where she met her future husband, Sidney Pearson. From the early1940s, they lived at High Barn Cottage Malham, North Yorkshire. Constance is known for her sensitive paintings of both the countryside of the Dales and its people. Her paintings provide a view of a lost world.

Following the example of Constance, whose paintings I was surrounded by growing up, I have continued to head out into the surrounding landscape to paint and draw.

I have a distant memory of being outside with her in Malham while she painted and being fascinated by the process of: sketching outside, as she would call it, and the colours of the watercolours she was mixing and wanting to have ago.

Katharine Holmes 2023

The paintings below are for sale. Clicking on the image will show a new page with details about each individual work, including size and price.