Norman Ackroyd RA is used to wild, romantic landscapes as well as being out in all weathers armed with sketchbooks, watercolours, etching plates and acid... which is just as well as his visit to Harewood took place on an unseasonally cold day in June earlier this year!
House & Garden were keen to photograph Norman here at Harewood as part of their piece on prominent house painters (check out the October edition of House & Garden to read the article). Norman was first invited to Harewood in 1997 to mark the bicentenary of Turner's watercolours of Harewood House commissioned by the 1st Viscount Lascelles 200 years earlier, in 1797. As a master of his artform, Norman was the ideal choice, especially as he is, as Turner was before him, obsessed with geogrpahy and travelling.
Retracing his steps to the hillside where he came to sketch Harewood House overlooking its 'Capability' Brown landscape, wreathed in autumn mist Norman was enthusiastically greeted by our cows who have been enjoying the view in their summer pasture!
Norman Ackroyd selected several watercolours from the Harewood collection as part of our exhibition 'Twenty-One' this year.
What Norman had to say about his involvement in the Terrace Gallery and this year's exhibition at Harewood:
The foundation of the Royal Academy of Arts in London by George III in 1768 opened up an awareness and patronage of British artists that had not previously existed. We are all aware of the great surge of portraiture led by Reynolds, Gainsborough et al - but it also resulted in a golden age of watercolour landscape with Turner, Girtin, Cotman, Varley, Cox and many others.
It was a great privilege to be asked to visit Harewood on the 200th anniversary of Turner's visit, in 1997 as a 22 year old, to produce my impressions of the house and grounds. I have therefore chosen three watercolours, from that golden age, as my contribution to this anniversary.
Image left: Harewood in Autumn, Norman Ackroyd
Find out more about Harewood collections, exhibitions and more on our website... www.harewood.org