Gaddesby by Pen, Paper and Paint

Please credit the artistic work: © The Piper Estate

John Piper, 1964

Gaddesby, Leicestershire: Medieval Stonework is a work by the renowned British artist John Piper, created in 1964. John Piper (1903–1992) was a prolific painter, printmaker, and designer known for his depictions of British landscapes and architecture, often incorporating elements of abstraction and modernism into his compositions.

In this particular work, Piper focuses on the medieval stonework found in Gaddesby, a village in Leicestershire, England. The piece likely captures the architectural details and intricacies of the medieval stonework in the village, highlighting Piper’s fascination with historical structures and their aesthetic qualities.

Piper’s artistic style often involved bold colors, strong lines, and dynamic compositions. His works frequently explored the interplay between light and shadow, texture, and form, conveying a sense of depth and atmosphere. Through his art, Piper sought to evoke the unique character and essence of the landscapes and buildings he encountered, capturing the spirit of a place in his own distinctive way.

“Medieval Stonework” exemplifies Piper’s interest in architectural subjects and his ability to interpret them with a modern sensibility. By focusing on the medieval stonework of Gaddesby, Piper not only celebrates the historical significance of the village but also invites viewers to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of these ancient structures.

Overall, John Piper’s “Gaddesby, Leicestershire: Medieval Stonework” is a testament to the artist’s skill and creativity, offering a unique perspective on the architectural heritage of the village and showcasing Piper’s enduring legacy as one of Britain’s most celebrated artists of the 20th century.

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W. H. Cowlishaw, 1892

The sketch above is by W. H. Cowlishaw depicting the font held in St. Luke’s Church in Gaddesby is a historical document capturing the architectural and cultural significance of the church during the late 19th century. This particular sketch is part of a series of seven sheets, each likely depicting different aspects or perspectives of the church and its surroundings.

W. H. Cowlishaw was likely an artist or draftsman who produced these sketches in 1892, providing a visual record of the village’s landmark at that time. The sketch offers valuable insight into the architectural details, layout, and condition of the Parish Church in Gaddesby during the late Victorian era.

During the late 19th century, there was a resurgence of interest in documenting historical buildings and landmarks, driven by a growing appreciation for preserving cultural heritage. Sketches, drawings, and paintings served as important tools for recording and commemorating these structures before the advent of widespread photography.

The Parish Church in Gaddesby, depicted in Cowlishaw’s sketch, likely served as a focal point for the local community, hosting religious ceremonies, community gatherings, and social events. Its architectural features and historical significance would have made it an object of pride for the villagers and a symbol of continuity with the past.

By creating this series of sketches, W. H. Cowlishaw contributed to the documentation and preservation of Gaddesby’s cultural heritage, ensuring that future generations could appreciate and learn from the architectural legacy of the village. Today, these sketches serve as valuable historical artifacts, providing a window into the past and enriching our understanding of Gaddesby’s history and identity.

To view the other sketches in W. H. Cowlishaw’s series, go to

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Copyright 2024 Loose Watercolours

Andrew Geeson of Loose Watercolours

Andrew (a Gaddesby resident) was born a baby, but through the ensuing years became a boy, an adolescent and then a man. Throughout all of this journey, he loved to draw and paint and right from the very beginning he could be found with pencil in his hand scribbling away to capture the ideas in his little head. Although he didn’t start out his career as a painter (after his failed attempt to become the Prime Minister, then a  trapeeze artist), he had always felt an urge to paint and draw, so finally took the plunge and dived in to the heady world of painting!

He started his career as a botanical illustrator, producing very fine detailed work for publishers throughout the world. He also delved in to the exciting and fun world of children’s book illustration, working for several years with Enid Blyton’s daughter on her mother’s creation Noddy.

It was only fairly recently that Andrew looked for a new journey to undertake, and discovered the beauty and inspiration of loose watercolours. It wasn’t an easy transition, having painted in such a tight manner for so long, but he took up the challenge of this fantastic and rewarding style of painting, learning from the very beginning whilst having to throw off his old style of painting.

After several months of trial and error (mainly error), he suddenly found he could paint in the way that brought him the most joy. So now, having developed his unique and simplistic method of becoming loose in watercolours, it gives him great pleasure to offer this simple approach to so many people. His approach is to enjoy the journey that watercolour painting brings and to love every moment!

To purchase his work or view his watercolour courses, visit

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 Harry Riley R.I , 1914

Harry Riley (1895-1966) was a popular and prolific, principally commercial, British artist, who flourished from the 1920s until the 1960s. Harry Riley is iconic in British Post War art history. As a poster artist and commercial illustrator his work was seen by millions on trains, in the underground, in magazines and on TV. Harry Riley was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and was a member of, and at one time president of, The London Sketch Club.

The above paining forms part of a collection which includes a series of sketches of life classes attended by his fellow artists. From his own collection of original artwork also included in the sale are works by John Hassall, O.E Brabbins, Frederick Donald Blake and Edward Wesson, friends and fellow members of the Wapping Group of artists.  The familiar railway posters, for which he is probably best known, show sunny beaches, suave men, fashionable women and perfect Janet and John children escaping from drab grey homes radiating happiness in Aberystwyth, Barmouth, Cardigan, Porthcawl, Penzance, Weston super Mare, Woolacombe, Mortehoe, Newquay and Plymouth.

His commercial drawings were iconic in setting the style for a generation through fashion journals, motoring ads, and comics. Specialising as a figure artist, he drew for Fortnum and Mason, Selfridges, The Champion, The Girls Favourite, The Autocar, British Rail, BOAC, Qantas and many others. As well as being an accomplished cartoonist for The Daily Mail, he presented drawing on TV in the ’50s. He produced WWII poster propaganda and wrote articles for the press. He was a character actor and variety entertainer and even modelled for his illustrations of Burton clothes.

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