About Us - Artists

Below you will find details on all of the artists in our card range - and where applicable, a link through to the Mulberry Tree Gallery webshop where you can view and purchase their work online.

Paul Allen

Paul Allen - Venice

'I enjoy painting a broad range of subjects, with a special interest in urban landscapes, interiors and beach scenes.

I work mainly in oils and occasionally in watercolour and acrylics. I only began exhibiting my work in recent years, but my paintings now feature in collections across the United Kingdom, Europe, America, Canada and the United Arab Emirates.

My work is about communication and seeing the world through my interpretation of life.

I try to simplify subjects in order to encourage the viewer to play a part in the creation of the image in front of them; avoiding the temptation of being too descriptive thereby leaving something to the imagination.

I am particularly interested in light and what light does to the world around us. Particular places and people are often the starting point for my work.'


Hannah Cole

Hannah Cole - Sunbathing

Hannah's paintings evolve from sketches, photographs or memories. Colours, shapes and ideas are carried back from walks on the downs and coast. These are then translated on to canvas back in the studio.

Her love of Cornwall, Devon and the English countryside are wonderfully conveyed in the painterly studies of harbours and landscapes. Often starting with large areas of colour, she builds up the layers with a focus on markmaking and colour.

She was born and grew up in North Devon, and regularly revisits the west country where many of the harbour scenes are based, and has more recently been producing local landscapes of the South Downs.


Jane Colquhoun

Jane Colquhoun - Punch & Judy

Having grown up in Swanage, I have always had an affinity with the landscape and coastline of Purbeck, a connection which is particularly reflected in my recent personal work I grew up in Swanage (in an arty family- my dad was a comic strip artist, who worked locally (Roy of the Rovers, Charlie's war).

I attended Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design, completed my degree in Community art and English, followed by an Art teaching certificate (PGCE). As well as teaching art in London schools for a number of years, I have worked on large scale commissions for public places ( ceramics and mosaic) and on community arts projects locally and in London. (ceramic, mosaic and textile).

My current work incorporates stitched layers of weathered, torn, handmade and recycled textile materials. I am inspired by all the sights I grew up with - the changing nature of natural surfaces as a result of weathering and erosion- the geological patterns found in the local landscape and coastline- colourful beach shelters and 'seaside-y' themes.


Sasha Harding

Sasha Harding - The Race

One of a family of five sisters and a brother, Sasha Harding was brought up in and around Swanage. Her interest in art was stimulated early, both by her surroundings and a tradition of art and music in the family. Two of Sasha's grandparents and a great aunt were artists.

She took her Art A-Level at 14 and went on to become an Art Scholar at Marlborough College. From there, Sasha studied at Shelley Park and then took her Art Degree at Falmouth.

Painting with a limited palette of colours allows Sasha to concentrate on her interest in form, which, clearly seen in her still life painting, is carried through in her depiction of coastal scenes. In these she explores the gentle tones of a beach seen under a cloudy sky. or in the reflective langour of a summer day. Her observations become more sharply drawn in bright sunlight, with clear colours and crisp accents. Sasha Harding has a delightful sense of the absurd, and this sparkles irrepressibly through her work but the lasting impression is one of great affection for her subject.


Sophie Harding

Sophie Harding - Love

Sophie Harding was brought up in Swanage, in Southern England; the elder sibling in a brood of seven, she was encouraged to take up her career by both sides of her very artistic family.

She made London her home for eleven years before moving to the coast. There, Sophie indulges her passion for swimming in the sea (summer months only though) and sells her paintings, which have found a market since her 16th birthday. She gained a diploma in General Art & Design and, subsequently, a BA Hons degree in Fashion and Textiles at Central St. Martins.

Her training has encouraged her to use many different types of artistic media in her work and also found her employment in New York for three months, working as a textile designer. She is a particular follower of naive art and is now a successful illustrator of children's books and magazines, greetings cards, giftwrap, calendars, diaries, tableware and textile designs.


Richard Hooke

Richard Hooke

Richard Hooke graduated from painting posters and children's greeting cards when he joined the Watercolour Workshop in Richmond upon Thames in the 1980s. Led by Sunday Times/Singer & Friedlander award winner Antonia Black, the school's focus was on speed and light. Working in Antonia's studio and outside when the weather permitted, the River Thames and Richmond Park provided much of the subject matter and inspiration.They held a number of exhibitions and he sold his first paintings. Richard has continued to paint over the years, mainly watercolours for family and friends.

In recent years, the Isle of Purbeck has inspired him to increase his output and he's turned to oils to capture some of the beauty of this part of the world. The sea and the livestock here provide the impetus for all his paintings. Both shape this environment, the light, the coastline, the countryside and much of the architecture. Thanks to the local community and the National Trust, the livestock here works in harmony with nature and he tries to capture a sense of what this means.


Therese James

Therese James

Therese James is a full time artist who has been painting and exhibiting since 1993. As a member of the Naive School she works from a compulsion to recreate what she feels and sees. Being a self taught naive she relies purely on an instinctive approach to her art and has developed her own style with representative characters who inhabit the world of her paintings.

Therese gets much of her inspiration from the places and literature of her native Wales and the West Country.

"I paint the way I paint because I do not know 'the rules' , my paintings are a journey of discovery. Each painting is unique, I never know how I am going to get there - I only know I have to and that when the journey is complete I will know. Each one is a roller coaster of emotions, there are many moments of despair but they are all worth it when I reach the finished painting and I am so happy."


Claire Leggett

Claire Leggett - Teatime

Claire is a painter and blogger based in Birmingham, England.

Claire was born in London and in 1991 graduated in Fashion and Textile Design - specialising in Printed Textiles.

In a parallel life Claire is a SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), a mother of two teenagers and a wife of one husband! These vocations she pursues with passion and vigour but it's from art that she draws her energy. Her own painting and her love of art have always been her life and soul. She has long since aspired to pursue a career as a full time professional artist and is excited to see her aspirations fast becoming reality.

As a teenager working part-time in a local art shop she experimented with new materials and then began her formal art training in 1997 with a Foundation Course at Middlesex Polytechnic. It was there that Claire discovered printing and pattern design and by the end of that year had secured a place at Birmingham Polytechnic to study Fashion and Textile Design.

Claire cites her key artistic influences as Kaffe Fassett, Jean Martin, Winifred Nicholson, Jenny Wheately, Frida Khalo, Mary Fedden, Anita Klein, PipStudio, Francis Boag, Caroline Bailey, Brie Harrison, Anthropologie and Designer Guild.


Paul Liggins

Paul Liggins - Just the Job

Paul Liggins trained a stones throw from Swanage - across Bournemouth Bay at the Bournemouth and Poole College of Art and Design.

Paul has worked in a wide variety of roles, notably for English Nature and the Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE). Paul Liggins has also worked as an art director, producing scenery, murals and sculpture.

Most of Paul's work is based around the Dorset coastline, and he draws his inspiration from places such as West Bay, Lulworth Cove and popular Jurassic Coast location, Durdle Door.


Emily Morgan

Emily Morgan - Pier Light

Painting and drawing forms the backbone of my practice. I take inspiration from my surroundings, predominantly the landscape and motifs found in nature, from fields, forests, rivers, ponds, beaches, hills and everything in between... whether I am on a train, a walk, gazing through a window or remembering a place once visited...

Within my paintings I aim to capture not only the physical properties of my subject through considered form and colour, but to also convey something of the atmosphere of a place, be it the sheer joy of a plant, the haunting light or the workings of a field - looking at both the minutiae and grandness of the world around me.I am constantly fascinated by the subtle patterns created within the natural and man-made world, reflecting ideas of time, growth, change and contemplation, combined with interesting surface qualities and mark-making.

Although my work is usually devoid of actual human presence, small motifs of habitation and activity are reminders of other people's lives, often punctuating the larger elements of landscape. Hidden narratives and hints towards story-telling often features within my work.

Since graduating in 2006 with a First Class Honours Degree in Printed Textiles, I have undertaken numerous commissions and sold works to publishing companies as well as private clients. As a progression of my practice, I undertook a Master's Degree in Textiles between 2007 and 2009, with a focus on drawing, painting and embroidery. I also completed a Post Compulsory PGCE in 2010, teaching art, fashion and textiles to college and university learners.


James Newton Adams

James Newton Adams - Isle of Ornsay

James Adams was born in 1971. After completing a degree in Fine Art, James started up his own business in London designing and making metal furniture and products for the retail market as well as undertaking various private commissions from architectural ironwork through to product design and sculpture, teaching himself the rudiments of Blacksmithing along the way.

By late 2004 and after running a wrought iron curtain pole business in London, James decided to return to his roots in sculpture and painting and set up a workshop based in Highland Perthshire and a painting studio on the Isle of Skye.


Carolyn Pavey

Carolyn Pavey - Morning Housework

Pure observation is the essence of my work, whether it is a landscape, portrait or still-life; and it usually starts with my sketchbook and pencil. I particularly enjoy drawing and then re-drawing a composition until a balance is achieved.

Sometimes this is done directly with a brush on to a canvas using my initial sketches as a starting point. For me, this is the only way I can maintain a sense of energy in a painting; essential if I am to fully capture the atmosphere I wish to portray.

"Becoming well known for my larger works has encouraged me to push the boundaries with colour and composition. I enjoy layering on the paint to express both the dramatic and the more subtle nuances of the ever changing landscape, be it on the Isle of Wight or working abroad."

In short, Carolyn likes the viewer to be drawn into the painting, and to therefore almost become part of it.


Ben Spurling

Ben Spurling - Swanage Bay

Ben was born in Swanage in 1979 and still resides in the Purbeck area today, living in Swanage.

Living by the sea has always been an important part of Ben's life and this is reflected in his paintings. He is best known for his calm and uplifting interpretations of stunning coastal scenes and familiar countryside characters.

Ben completed a foundation course at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth before heading off to Swansea where he gained a BA Honours in Illustration. Inspired by days spent on the Gower Peninsula, Ben developed his enthusiasm for seascapes and plein air painting. Ben returned to Swanage in 2002 to work as a graphic designer, continuing to paint in his spare time.

Ben is happiest when he combines his two favourite pastimes: walking the Purbeck coast and countryside and painting from his portable pochade paint box. This allows him to work from life in oils, his preferred medium, capturing the tones and colours from a direct study in situ. These sketches of a subject or moment are invaluable for studio work or stand-alone final pieces.

Ben feels most connected to the subject when he is able to paint from life, outdoors.


Teodora Totorean

Teodora Totorean - Orange Burst

Trained as a teacher while studying literature and anthropology, I am a self-taught artist living in beautiful Devon. A curiosity of what unites us all beyond borders made me explore the journey of the human being through culture, traditions and now arts.

I am inspired by nature, archetypal images, my childhood memories of a happy place where I grew up and other forms of art like music and poetry. I like colours and texture and I am trying to find new ways of applying texture onto the canvas and incorporate other materials (fabric, vintage paper) into my work. I paint mainly in acrylic on canvas and I would describe my style as lyrical abstract.


Colin Willey

Colin Willey - Drinking from the River

Born in 1972, Colin Willey's work is about light and its effects. He is excited by the way objects are transformed by light and how the light constantly changes from moment to moment. His aim is to capture these 'moments' in the permanent record of paint. Colin works spontaneously producing responses to the subject that are fresh and lively and filled with light and atmosphere.

"Working outside in all weathers and at all times of the year I have built up an understanding of the way the landscape changes. The structure of the place can be relatively constant yet light, seasons and weather can have a dramatic effect on how they look."