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

I love to paint and I paint what I love

(It may be an old cliché but it is true)

My inspiration comes from the environment, from the people around me and the lives and work of other artists both contemporary and throughout history. I use acrylic, pastel, oil, watercolour and mixed media to interpret subject matter that attracts my attention and kindles my imagination.


What I find most exciting about painting is being fired up by something stimulating, perhaps the work of another artist, the flight of a bird or even something in the news, and then wanting to express my reaction to it.

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 without the artist's permission.

Studio visits are welcomed

If you would like to visit my studio please contact me to make an appointment.


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. My wife and I joined the march in Whitby and I was surprised and delighted at the end of the route when my banner was selected for a prize. 

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


My banner looks somewhat disheveled after being paraded around the streets of Whitby

Japanese project September 2019

As a student I was fascinated by Japanese prints and I used to copy elements of them in my sketch books.  An example from that period is on the right.  More recently I have been studying the work of Katsushika Hokusai and this has set me off on a new path.

In the series of paintings below I have looked at my local environment through 'different eyes' and then imagined 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 I have used the colours and shapes from 'A fine view'.


Kimono fabric design

Again, I have incorporated the colours and shapes in my '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

My kimono design reminds me of a 'Jackson Pollock' creation!



Summer 2019

This summer I visited the British Museum to view the 'Manga' exhibition which I loved and it has inspired me to work on some new designs and a major project.  Full details will be posted later this year.

May 2019

A competition was held this year to design the cover of an anthology of poems and short stories by the Castle Writers of  Pickering, North Yorkshire. I felt honoured that my design was chosen.

My design was chosen to illustrate the cover of this anthology - May 2019


Elisabeth Frink Exhibitions 

At the beginning of 2019 I visited two exhibtions showing the work of Elisabeth Frink.  I 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'

Recently completed project

I 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.   


Kaleidoscope of colour



Sweet Peas

Lily Labyrinth

On-going Ancient Tree project (Now overtaken by my Japanese project)

After an impromtu visit to Castle Howard to catch sight of a flock of waxwings I was intriqued by the number of 'ancient trees' with in the grounds. After a closer examination I became captivated by the textures, shape, patterns and colours caused by centuries of growth and decline.


This led to some exciting research and I discovered that 'ancient trees' are in the third and final stage of their life ... esssentiallhy they are in the process of dieback and decay. This means that they are of interest not only aesthetically, but also biologically and culturally. This stage of their life can go on for a long time.


The age at which a tree becomes ancient varies

Trees such as oak and yew, are more long-lived than others. One of the oldest trees in the UK is in Perthshire, Scotland (the Fortingall Yew) and it has been estimated to be at least 2,000 and 3,000 years old.


Castle Howard and Duncombe Park

So far I have been able to explore locally in the grounds of Castle Howard and Duncombe Park and I have begun the process of preparatory sketches for a design. With over 100,000 'ancient, veteran and notable trees' recorded across the country this could become an obsession!!


Where will I have to look?

These trees can be found in urban parks, on farms, in ancient hunting forests, wood pasture and parkland, in hedgerows and even in churchyards.

Castle Howard Sketch

Duncombe Park Sketch

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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.