Jane Dawson: Co-ordinator

Jane is the founder of Fine Studios. After completing a BA (Hons) Fine Art at Newcastle University, a very long time ago, Jane worked in retail, as a lecturer, and ran a successful wholesale distribution business with husband Hugh at Fine House Farm for 25+ years. Her desire to return to her love of painting and printing never left, but she always felt a little bit guilty: making art was an indulgence. When her mid-life crisis struck Jane returned to University and completed her Post-Graduate Diploma in Psychology which subsequently led to her doctorate exploring visual and visceral responses to modern art using both brain imaging and behavioural methodologies. Her prominent finding? Art is good for you!

So, when the distribution business closed, a fabulous amazing opportunity arose. The warehouse became Fine Studios: a community art-space. A space where artists, experienced or beginners, young or old, can come to create, look at, experience, collaborate, contemplate, visual art. Because: Art is good for you.

Victoria Ryrie: Trustee

Victoria lives locally and spends her time trying to combine wrangling two energetic children, running a small soft furnishings business, being a school governor and playing her violin in a variety of bands. Sometimes she seems to do all these things at once! Her life needs some creative space and silence, and Fine Studios fulfils that need.

She is delighted to be a Fine Friend and Trustee because she is passionate about the power of the arts to bring people together, enriching their lives and releasing their creativity. She is particularly excited about the possibility of using art to reach out to a really diverse group of people. In a rural community like this one, it is all too easy for people to become isolated, physically and mentally. She believes that encountering, exploring and creating visual arts at Fine Studios will be a perfect way for you to transcend your circumstances and feed your spirit.

Dr Peter Bell: Trustee

Peter is an enigmatic fine friend.

Jane Veitch: Fine Friend

Jane studied History of Art (MA Hons 1977) at Edinburgh, married and established a family before studying Painting and Drawing through the Open College of the Arts. Since 1999 Jane has established herself as a painter of wild and marginal places both in Northumberland where she lives and also further afield in Northern England and Scotland. Her practice usually consists of concentrated working expeditions where she encounters and absorbs the experience of place, of wildness and of being a part of the natural world. This is followed by a more prolonged and meditative time in the studio where a process of distillation takes place using both memory and collected material. Jane uses a variety of painting and drawing media both out of doors and in the studio.

Penelope Axon: Fine Friend

Penelope is a retired solicitor addicted to arts and crafts courses and workshops in a continuing search for some sort of talent


Judith MacKenzie-Hewitt: Fine Friend

Judith is a fine friend, very busy with her beautiful grandson, with a huge heart and love for the arts.