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Last Friday Rob and I went to the preview night of Art in the Pen. This is a fantastic event at Skipton Auction Mart where they turn over a hundred cattle stalls into mini galleries, each one run by a different artist.

I absolutely love checking out craft and art fairs but this was a step up from ones I’ve been to before.  It was much bigger, there was a huge variety of work and the level of skill and talent was just amazing!


We decided to make a proper date night out of it so on the way over we stopped at the Tempest Arms for a lovely meal. I had the Tiger Prawn curry with the softest, most delicious garlic naan I have ever tasted!

Then we made our way over to the auction mart and were greeted on arrival with a small glass of wine and breath-taking views of hills and fields.

Once inside there was so much to see that it took us a good hour and a half just to do one lap around the stalls! I thought I would pick out a few of my favourite artists from the night to feature here.

Helen Russell Creations


Helen is actually the reason we got to go to the event. We met her at a fair in Barrowford earlier in the year and fell in love with her work then. It’s all cute critters each with a personality and back story getting up to all sorts of fun. Helen offered the tickets on her Facebook page to her fans and Rob quickly put our names forward!

Helen is as joyful and friendly as her work is and I have my eye on a few of her items, especially that night time fox vase!


Oh and before I go any further, a quick note on outfits! I was not sure at all what to wear! It was our date night and an art preview night so I wanted to make a bit of an effort. But it was an auction mart – big, drafty, sawdust on an uneven floor! In the end I decided on my green shirt dress, but with a long sleeve tee underneath, tights and small brown heels and felt like it paid off! Dressy enough to feel special, insulated enough to fight off the August evening chill! I’m calling it a win!

Anyway back to the art!

 Janet Browne Textiles

This work cannot be full appreciated from just a photo but Janet creates these huge intricately detailed landscapes from textiles. Her work depicts towns, walks and even the Tour de France route!

There is a massive amount of time and effort gone in to each piece, Rob and I spent quite a while in her stall checking out each one. If you ever get the chance I would really recommend going and seeing her work, you need to get up close to take in all the textures and different fabrics!

Sheryl Roberts


I saw Sheryl’s paintings from across the stalls. They are amazing, like huge windows looking into the best kind of volatile skies. I don’t think I have seen anything like them before. We got up close to them later on but really it’s the kind of art you need to stand back from to take it all in.

Do go and check out her website, because all her work is gorgeous. I think if I had any one of her paintings it would always feel as if you were letting wild skies into your house.

Sarah Westwood

Now we come to our final artist I realise that I have picked out four women, which doesn’t really do justice to all the men’s work that was there too. Oh well, I’ll try and do a more balanced selection next year!

Anyway Sara’s work was lots of fun and featured a lot of foxes which is always a winner with me. I loved her illustrations; they are lively and happy in lovely mute colours. I was very tempted to buy her notebooks and coasters but those are two things that I own in abundance.

So those were my favourites of the evening. If you want to know more about Art in the Pen you can check out their website here. Hopefully they will keep on running them because I would love to go again!