A new exhibition of work by renowned York artist Lesley Birch captures the indefinable meeting place between land, sea and sky. KAREN DARLEY reports

IT takes an artist of rare skill to capture the movement of the air in the subtle play of colours across a canvas.

Renowned York-based artist Lesley Birch somehow manages that in the works on show in her latest exhibition, at Scampston Walled Garden, between Malton and Scarborough.

Running until the end of October, Ethereal Moments explores coasts, hills and the dividing line between land, sea and sky, in works painted from both memory and imagination.

Ethereal is the word. You can sense the dip and sway and toss of wind-whipped waves in many of the paintings in Lesley's new exhibition. Yet look closely, and all dissolves into something indefinable, something you can't quite put your finger on.

Lesley, who exhibited in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and has previously won the UK Artist Magazine Award, draws inspiration from her Scottish childhood, and landscapes from the wilds of the Scottish West Coast to the depths of Cape Cornwall.

She works from her York home studio and is a founding member of PICA Studios, an artists’ collective based in an 18th century printworks in York city centre.

“I make paintings in response to the landscape," she says. "I immerse myself in the emotion and moment of the painting. Through my work I try to access childhood memories and feelings about places I’ve been.

“I want my paintings to have a timeless, nostalgic feel. Scampston Walled Garden is an fantastic setting in which for me to explore these Ethereal Moments – as the garden mirrors the excitement that can be created with colour and atmosphere.”

The exhibition in the Garden Café, within the walled garden, will be the third and last to be held at Scampston this year. The exhibitions have showcased the diverse talent of local artists and photographers here in Yorkshire.

Isobel Pritchard, marketing and visitor services manager at Scampston Walled Garden, says: “Lesley uses colour so beautifully and emotively to depict landscapes and people, which whilst personal to her, also resonate more widely with the viewer.”

The exhibition is available to view in Scampston Garden Café until October 29. The Café is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

There is no admission charge to view the exhibition. For more information about Scampston Walled Garden, visit the website www.scampston.co.uk or email info@scampston.co.uk.

More information about Lesley Birch and her work can be found on her website, www.lesleybirchartist.com