Art to Make you Smile

We have put together a collection of some of our favourite bright and colourful artists which we like. Their wonderful art really makes us smile and we hope it brings you cheer too.

Love the Bella Team x

#SaveLivesStayHome #ownart

Emily Sutton

Emily is a well-known artist and illustrator having illustrated for many prestigious publishers such as V&A, Bloomsbury, Walker Books, Random House and most recently collaborated with author Michael Bond (Paddington). She has also designed for iconic brands such as Fortnum & Mason and Betty’s tearooms. Emily shares with us her lockdown experience:

“I’m an artist and illustrator based in York.  I exhibit my drawings, paintings and screen prints across the UK and have illustrated more than 15 picture books as well as other design projects.

My work is rooted in a love of observational drawing and detail.  I’m inspired by classic picture book illustration and mid-century artists including Bawden and Ravilious. 

“I collect lots of old toys and ephemera which often feature in my still lives – I particularly like finding beautiful and colourful tins and old packaging at flea markets both locally and on my travels.

As a natural introvert and someone who has always worked from home, I’m finding that my day to day life hasn’t changed too dramatically-although the worry about the wider world is ever present and at times makes focusing more of a challenge.  I’ve been seeking solace in my painting as well as appreciating the optimistic signs of spring as I take my daily walks with my Schnoodle puppy, Mouse.”

Emily Sutton talking of her lockdown experience – April 2020.

Anne Thornhill & Paul Blackwell

Anne and Paul are well-established Yorkshire artists who used to own ‘The Grosmont Gallery’ and have been exhibiting their work along the Yorkshire Coast for many years.

“Self-isolating means we are not able to be out to be out and about sketching in Whitby but we are very lucky to live deep within the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside, and there is always so much to inspire us on our doorstep. Most of our paintings are landscapes and many are done close to home in the Esk Valley. Painting is a solitary occupation anyway, so no change for us really!

The Spring colours are so uplifting and nature carries on as normal. This is where we find our inspiration.”

Anne Thornhill on working during the COVID-19 outbreak – April 2020

Louise Warwickshire

Following a very successful career as a costume designer, Louise developed her career as an artist with a particular love of plants and animals. Her work is now in prestigious private collections both in the UK and internationally. Louise has shown at a number of galleries both in and out of London while her works have been chosen for numerous editions of the prestigious Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colour Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries, London. She also has been short listed for the RA Summer Exhibition on several occasions.

“I am getting through the lock down with painting, walking my dog and only doing stuff day by day and trying not to project into the future and avoid looking at the news, not hooking into the hysteria. It will be what it will be and at least now we are in lock down we know where we are and now I can only do my best and see where it goes.

I have literally just become a grand mother, first grandchild, very very exciting and I long to hold her! Thank God for Zoom, Face time, Whats App etc. I feel very blessed, and of course my friends, we are all in-touch almost daily.

This Isolation is cruel, necessary but cruel.”

Louise on her experience of lockdown, April 2020

Ailsa Nicholson

Ailsa Nicholson is well-established glass and ceramic artists living just outside Whitby in North Yorkshire with her own gallery.

“We are all facing extremely challenging times during the Covid 19 outbreak and as an artist relying on selling through galleries, shows and my own on-site gallery it has proved to be a very daunting time.  With all the galleries closed and all shows cancelled for the rest of the year I have found the best way forward is too keep busy.  I try to have a routine everyday, starting with walking the dog and discovering new and extensive walks close to home that I never knew existed, and most importantly having an agenda for the day.   Last week I spent most of my time creating a virtual tour through a number of videos for the North Yorkshire Open Studios who have kindly moved this years event online with tours of artists work and exhibition spaces.”

Ailsa Nicholson on how she is coping with isolation – April 2020.

This week has seen a revamp of my workshop spaces and many coats of paint to try and bring it back to life, I just need to give it all a good tidy now!  As my work rate has slowed down with no impending deadlines I have found myself creating new and exciting pieces and my mind has had the space to come up with new ways of working.  There are still many jobs to do which I normally don’t seem to find the time for, perhaps I might even get my tax return done before the January deadline, now that would be something special!  Stay safe everyone and see you on the other side….. x

Ailsa on her experience of lockdown, April 2020

“Big thank you to all our featured artists for bringing us some wonderful escapism in these strange times. We hope you have enjoyed our selection. Feel free to visit the artists websites and view more of their work.”

susan johnson
bella di notte founder

4 thoughts on “Art to Make you Smile

  1. What a great idea! Just like your choices in fashion, your choice of artists is uplifting.
    Haiku poem:-

    God is out on the hills and dales of Yorkshire…..He is working from home.

    Best Wishes to you all.


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