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Simple Pleasures: Joy in the Everyday

Simple Pleasures: Joy in the Everyday

/ Wednesday 15th of April, 2020

As we find ourselves in these strangest of times, it can so often be the little things we miss, the minor rituals and pleasant fixtures of our daily lives, that we otherwise take for granted. Great art does not merely imitate life, it reminds us to savour the very best of it, and, as is often said, simple pleasures are the best. 

'Beside the Sea' by Dianne Flynn
Warm and nostalgic, Dianne's work is a perfect remedy to time spent indoors. 

Golden chips eaten from a paper cone. Soft serve ice cream that melts and drips over your fingers and down your arm. Sandwiches, though carefully pre-packed, that miraculously have a little beach in them as you crunch down on that first bite. These are just some of the many small delights that Dianne Flynn’s ‘Beside the Sea’ conjures up. Whether it is the memory of childhood trips to the seaside, or the enchanting experience of walking your child or grandchild into the sea for the first time, Dianne’s warm, nostalgic painting is a perfect remedy to time spent indoors. 


'Afternoon Delight' by Raymond Campbell ‘A Pint at the Lister Arms, Malham, Yorkshire’ by Michael John Ashcroft, AROI
A delectable indulgence of a painting. A piece that draws us into the gentle ebb and flow of village life.

It is your favourite cafe. It is your slice of time with the people you value most in your life. It is the simple indulgence of sitting across from someone you love, with a pending cake order and a steaming cup of hot coffee before you. The cafe’s sweet treats glisten like jewels behind the glass counter and perhaps it is here that we first spy Raymond Campbell’s delectable ‘Afternoon Delight’. Tantalizingly unwrapped, Raymond’s moreish, glimmering iced doughnut dares you to reach out and grab it. A playful, indulgent delight of a painting and a timely reminder that life is sweet.

Is there anything quite so enjoyable as the first cool sip of a frothy pint, after a day’s ramble in the verdant hills? In Michael John Ashcroft’s ‘A Pint at the Lister Arms, Malham, Yorkshire’ we are welcomed into the sun-soaked locale of Malham, to sit and sup in a bunting-clad beer garden, giving way to the gentle ebb and flow of village life. 


‘Glass of Wine by the River’ by Mike Hall 'The Yellow Tulips' by Terence Clarke
A sun-dappled celebration of life, in all its small glories. Terence Clarke's technicolour vision urges us to see through new eyes.

A dining table is common ground, a place of necessary communion and occasional celebration. An alfresco dining table is an invitation for something more. It says, I want to sit with you. I want your company, in conversation and in silence. I want to listen to the birdsong with you, to the swoosh and gurgle of the river and the rustling of leaves, as they dance in the warm summer’s breeze. I want to experience life with you, in all its small glories. 

Sometimes, you do not have to go outside to feel the sunshine. Terence Clarke’s ‘The Yellow Tulips’ reminds us that regardless of our presently restricted lifestyles, the world remains a vivid, fantastical place. Through his technicolour vision we see with new eyes and find beauty and wonder in the simplest things, such as a humble vase of flowers.


Though our gallery doors are temporarily closed, we are up and running online and available over the phone for any and all enquiries. If you are tempted by any of the paintings featured in this article, or would like to find out more about our artists, please do give us a call on 01904 634221, or browse our website at your leisure.