Opening Times Today

Opening Times Today

Annual Holiday. Please note we are closed until 16th October.

Any orders will be processed then.

Many thanks

Stop Press...

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Brighton Festival Artists' Open Houses.

We are open at weekends throughout May (11 am - 5 pm) as part of the Art in Ditchling Trail.

Come and see a new exhibition - paintings of Mountains and tuck into some coffee and chocolate brownies!


Recent Publications...

rooks hill cover for website 3.3.18 

Rook's Hill - Ghost Tales from a Hidden World

by Rosemary Pavey

Ten stories of life and death to stir the imagination - intriguing, entertaining and beautifully written, Meet 'The Thing' in The Old Rectory, a lethal adversary at chess, a dying painter and two old bats who run a pets' cemetery...

Listen. Draw up a chair. The wind has a tale to tell and you might be surprised to hear what the wind knows.


166 pp Paperback  6"x9"


El Greco Lights a Fuse in Ditchling

Posted on


three highland cows auto


My latest trawl of the local charity shops yielded a small volume on El Greco (20p from a bargain box) and I have spent my free time since then reading up on the great man. Born on Crete in 1541, and trained as an orthodox icon painter, Doménicos Theotokópoulos, left his island home, seeking wider artistic horizons first in Italy, then Spain, where he spent the rest of his life. This much is generally known. He did well for himself, and though he did not find favour with Philip II, he secured important commissions and maintained a comfortable lifestyle in Toledo – the city immortalised in his paintings. Later generations dismissed his incandescent figures and perspective distortions as the work of a madman. And it was not until Picasso and the ‘moderns’ rediscovered him in the 20th century that he was recognised as a genius who defied all definition.

In 1926, a fellow-Cretan, Nikos Kazansakis, author of ‘Zorba the Greek’, travelled from Piraeus to Toledo to pay homage to his spiritual grandfather. Enraptured by the works he saw, he described El Greco’s vision as a ‘terrifying holy intoxication’. He felt that his body would dissolve under the influence those colours - the paint: ‘blue, green, lie-de-vin’, gleaming with metallic intensity. In the epilogue of his autobiographical novel ‘Report to Greco’, Kazantasakis returns to Toledo and in a long dream-sequence, questions his mentor face to face. How is it that his paintings burn up so? That the figures evaporate into air – leading the spirit to celestial heights. For El Greco, the world is pure spirit. And all forms, being composed of elemental fire, aspire naturally – defying lumpen gravity... There is a frisson here, an echo of the Spanish Inquisitors who were also returning flesh to flame during El Greco’s lifetime, but more. A commitment to spiritual integrity which seems much needed in our time.

I have been painting cows - fat, solid Highlands, with their splayed hooves firmly rooted in Sussex mud. I have had my mind distracted by a thousand petty everyday concerns. How miraculous to release these things from the physical weight which ties them down and watch them fly over the rooftops, like dream figures in some painting by Chagall. Kazantzakis says that El Greco was in love with all things Jewish – his life-companion, Jeronima – his house in the Jewish Quarter – perhaps the music he heard while he was at table? The Jews were driven from Toledo in 1492, fifty years before he was born. Only a handful of ‘conversos’ lingered on in Spain, but the voice of the Sephardim lives on in the haunting music which they took with them into exile in North Africa and Turkey and Russia. Did Chagall hear it in the songs his Jewish community sang 400 years later, and translate the sounds back into colour? A wilderness vision is one sure pathway out of human bondage. And Chagall adds humour too... which is another.

But flying cows in Ditchling? Who knows? Stranger things have happened...

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Studio News

dumbrells studio 13

Visit the studio


Unit 13,Turner-Dumbrell Workshops, Ditchling.

Open most Saturday mornings 10.30-1.00 and whenever I am working there. ( mornings and afternoons Tues-Fri)

Please feel free to come and browse without obligation.



view from the top of wastwater screes

A new series of paintings exploring the landscape of Mountains.

Ever suffer from mountain-sickness - the longing to take off into wild and inaccessible places?

300 miles from the nearest peak, Rosemary finds a cure by swapping boots for brushes and takes a walk in paint through the wilderness landscapes of her mind.

Exhibition open throughout weekends in May and at other times when possible. Please see opening times for daily information.


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