Welcome to the website of artist & illustrator Colin G Culley MA        

About Colin


After a lo

After a long and successful career in education and sport, Colin became a full time artist in 2006 and now works from his studio in Lockton, in the idyllic surroundings of the North York Moors National Park. He is well travelled, keeping journals, sketches and photographic records from across Europe, Scandinavia, North and South America, Mexico, Nepal, China, India, Australia, New Zealand and the Antarctic. 


Colin is experimental in his work and uses oils, pastels, watercolours, inks and mixed media to interpret his view of the world. He enjoys nothing better than the challenge of coming out of his comfort zone and learning from the techniques and experiences of other artists from the early cave painters to his contemporaries. He strongly believes that it is this progressive open minded attitude that prevents him from stagnating and assists him in his development. He is a passionate environmentalist, conservationist and has been a pesco-vegetarian for almost forty years. He is not constrained by one type of subject matter or technique and will tackle anything that inspires him and fires him with enthusiasm.  He is a regular visitor to galleries and studios wherever he travels in the world, but he especially enjoys the diversity of London and venues across the U.K.  He firmly believes that all artists can learn from each other even if their ideas, techniques and passions are at variance with each other.e

Artist's Copyright

© Colin Culley - The copyright for all the images on this website remain the property of Colin Culley and may not be reproduced in whole or in part, without the artist's permission.

Studio visits are welcomed

If you would like to visit Colin's studio please contact him to make an appointment.  See contacts page for directions.


Dalby Forest North Yorkshire       2020 - 2021

Colin is currently an 'Artist in Residence' with Forestry England based in Dalby Forest, North Yorkshire.  He is developing a contemporary communication platform that aims to attract new audiences to the forest. He will be using a range of media including photography, video, painting, prints, digital art, social media, poetry and literature. Colin sees this as an opportunity to address and foreground issues which he is passionate about. In particular global warming, insensitive commercial activity and the general lack of empathy with the natural environment,  all of which have a profound impact on flora and fauna and on our planet, which is the only place in the known universe confirmed to host life.

The Spiritual World of Dalby Forest


Colin's project aims to encourage a new audience to engage with Dalby forest and to enjoy a different way of exploring and understanding this amazing resource.  


Throughout human existence there has been a rich relationship between human thought and the forest world. Trees have acquired symbolic meanings which remain in language, lore and culture. They have often had great religious significance and even today they frequently feature in rituals.


Folklore, myths and practices across the world have long associated forests with spirits or souls. They are often portrayed as dark, shadowy places of mystery and intrigue, places where there are supernatural happenings and inexplicable voices.  Forests were believed to be the habitat of monsters, strange creatures, witches, demons and fairies.


Colin's project is focused on Dalby Forest Maze (currently under construction) and its alignment with the Midsummer Solstice. The stone circles at its heart become the catalyst for an adventure. Colin delves into the 'symbolic realm' and through photography, painting, poetry and ultimately through a fantasy narrative,  he will explore the links between ancient values, modern practices and the future. The emphatic underlying message is an urgent need to protect all of our vulnerable ecosystems to prevent the impending disaster which is currently threatening our world. 

SelfScapes Research Cluster - York St John University


In conjunction with his residency in Dalby Forest Colin will participate in the second (the first was in 2018) 'SelfScapes' research cluster event. Sadly, due to the covid-19 virus the main SelfScapes event planned for the summer in 2020 had to be postponed. However, with the easing of the 'lockdown' restrictions the SelfScapes planning meeting went ahead in Dalby Forest during September with a significantly altered format to conform with the corvid-19 limitations.


SelfScapes is a new research cluster at York St John University and refers to the relationship between self and its environment. The aim of this research cluster is to investigate both the body and place as sites for interconnected experiences and how this might be mediated through a range of media. By bringing together a diverse range of students, academics and artists from fine art, illustration, photography and other disciplines, the objective is to create an environment which facilitates democratic, multidisciplinary collaboration.


If you would like more infomation click the link to access a publication on the last event 





Sadly, due to the covid-19 virus, both the North Yorkshire Open Studios and the Lockton Artists Open Studios, have been posponed until 2021.

These are the nine artists who would have been participating in the Lockton Artists Open Studios in 2020.

For more details visit our website on www.locktonartists.co.uk


August 2020




Each of my fabric designs begins with the 'pattern' which forms the template for the overall design. Unlike my other fabric designs, where I develop the 'pattern' from my artwork, this particular design was inspired by grass cuttings floating in my wheel barrow. I edited and manipulated my photograph digitally.

Fabric design MC1

Fabric design DM1

Fabric design DM2

May 2020

The 'Lockdown' has provided Colin with the opportunity to revisit previous source material and enjoy some experimental work.

A Spring Supper

Mixed media on tinted paper



The Summer Engineer

Mixed media on tinted paper

An Autumnal Headwind

TMixed media on tinted paper


February 2020

Fabric design inspired by a flower meadow - acrylic

Fabric design - 'Free Flow'

December 2019


This experience was a completely new one for Colin.  The painting below on the left is the End product of an 'Intuative Abstract Painting' workshop with Jackie Midgley.  Expression without an end goal in mind.  Pushing the boundaries of colour and tone, creating contrast and depth.


The process began by making random marks on paper and joining them up in an haphazard way.  Elements were then taken from that 'Jackson Pollock' confusion and incorporated into the next version. This continued over a series of seven or eight paintings until it stopped at this version.

Five Fathoms

Five Fathoms - Kimono design


The 20th September 2019 saw the 'Global Climate Strike' kickstart a week of global action across the world. There were strike events in at least 137 countries. Colin and his wife joined the march in Whitby and he was surprised and delighted at the end of the route when his banner was selected for a prize. 

"The fact that you can only do a little is no excuse for doing nothing."


Colin's banner looks somewhat disheveled after being paraded around the streets of Whitby

Japanese project commenced in September 2019

As a student Colin was fascinated by Japanese prints and he used to copy elements of them into his sketch books.  An example from that period is on the right.  Watercoloured interpretations of prints sold very well for him at that time. More recently he has been studying the work of Katsushika Hokusai and this has set him off on a new path.

In the series of paintings below he is looking at his local environment through 'different eyes' and then imagining what a kimono might look like incorporating the colours and shapes from those paintings.

Whitby East Pier

Kimono fabric design

'A fine view' - Roseberry Topping

Roseberry Topping is a prominent land mark within the North York Moors National Park



Kimono fabric design

To produce this fabric design for a kimono Colin used the colours and shapes from 'A fine view'.


Kimono fabric design

Again, Colin has incorporated the colours and shapes in his 'Beggars Bridge' painting to design a pattern for a kimono.



'Beggars Bridge - Glaisdale

The beggars Bridge is located just outside the picturesque village of Glaisdale, within the North York Moors National Park.



Oyster catchers over Whitby Harbour

Oyster catchers are a common sight along this coast line creating wonderful patterns accommpanied by their distinctive noisy calls.



Oyster Catcher fabric design

Colin's kimono design reminds one of a 'Jackson Pollock' creation!



Summer 2019

This summer Colin visited the British Museum to view the 'Manga' exhibition which he loved and it has inspired him to work on some new designs and a major project.  Full details will be posted later in 2020.

May 2019 - Design for the cover of a poetry book

A competition was held in 2019 to design the cover for an anthology of poems and short stories by the Castle Writers of Pickering, North Yorkshire.  Colin's design was chosen and he was presented with his award in Pickering Library.

The design on the cover of the book



The formal presentation of Colin's prize, a bottle of champagne, was held in Pickering Library.




Elisabeth Frink Exhibitions 

At the beginning of 2019 Colin visited two exhibtions showing the work of Elisabeth Frink.  He found her sketches of horses, on display in the 'Lightbox Gallery' in  Woking, particularly inspiring.  The two paintings below were inspired by her work.

A Symbol of Freedom

'The Silent Witness'

An on-going project of fabric designs

Colin recently completed a series of fabric designs inspired by a visit to the 'Arts and Crafts' home of William Morris, 'Red House' in Bexleyheath, and by the wonderful 'Art Deco' interior of 'Eltham Palace', Greenwhich.  This is an area of creativity that appeals to him and which will be developed further during 2020. 


Kaleidoscope of colour



Sweet Peas

Lily Labyrinth

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© Colin Culley - The copyright for all the images on this website remain the property of Colin Culley and may not be reproduced without the artist's permission.