The artwork of Yorkshire Artist Tony Dexter

On show at the Gallery At The Art Shop in Ilkley

From 30th January to 25th February the “Gallery At The Art Shop” on Hawksworth Street in Ilkley is presenting an exhibition of over sixteen of my paintings.

Known for my vibrant canvases my contemporary paintings are based on a series of subjects including fishing boats, fish, shorelines and woodland scenes. Painted in acrylic on block canvas the images are highly colourful and bold.

I know people buy paintings because they like them, it suits their taste, they want a statement piece or there is an emotional connection with the subject. Of course my subjects are familiar, but unlike a photograph or a lifelike reproduction, my artwork shows a viewpoint that is both unique and distinctive.

The ‘Gallery At The Art Shop’ (open 10 am – 5pm, Mon –Sat) is part of the popular Art Shop in Ilkley well known for artist materials and framing and I’m delighted to be showing my paintings in my local town.



Misty Winter Wood





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Why be dull when you could be colourful?

Don’t get me wrong I’ve nothing against magnolia.

Actually I have….my paintings

In fact a derivation of magnolia covers my walls. It makes a great natural backdrop to present my paintings against. They zing. They make a statement. They can’t be missed.

With original paintings this bold, this vivid and this dynamic perhaps now is the time to cover your magnolia, or white or cream or…..?Sunset over Filey Brigg

Wood on Stone 1


Put the tape measure away

As well as the subject matter people love my paintings for their vivid colour. They can make a statement in any home.

However sometimes they think a painting that’s 30” square (76cm x 76cm) may be too big. Whoever thought size was an issue?

I suppose many folks think they have a specific spot to place a painting and if that picture is outside the available hanging size limits them they think twice. But is this any way to reject a piece of art? Of course not.

You buy what you like. And, importantly, until a painting is in your home and you can see how it hangs either in different rooms or in different positions how can you tell what ‘works’

Changing rooms around and changing paintings around brings new life to your surroundings and can add a different atmosphere.

I guess that phrase ‘where are we going to put it’ can apply to anything you buy.

But my plea is if you like it you’ll make space for it.

Mull Hull (Wooden Trawler)


Perhaps I should get out more…


Two major exhibition opportunities in August culminated in the sale of numerous paintings.

Art in the Pen in Skipton and the Stephen Joseph Theatre Gallery in Scarborough were the venues for visitors to see and buy my artwork.

I don’t exhibit much; in fact these are the only two shows planned for this year.

It’s not that I don’t want my work to be seen and evidently these sales are as a result of my work getting out more. So, other than my website*, it’s time I started to seek venues which will give me an appropriate audience and help spread the word.

It’s not easy. I’ve only been painting for a few years and getting to know which venues ‘work’ in terms of meeting the right visitors is a bit of a minefield.

So, I’m seeking some help. Do you know of or have a venue that can display my paintings? An art fair or gallery that you think appropriate? If so I’d be delighted to hear from you via the ‘Contact’ page

My thanks to the staff and visitors, the buyers and helpers at Art in the Pen and Stephen Joseph – I naturally couldn’t have done it without you.


* the website shows all available paintings


sjtPen 100 - Art in the Pen


The joy of exhibiting, like at Art in the Pen the contemporary art fair, is that I have the opportunity to both sell my work and talk to prospective clients.
Their comments are always interesting. From ‘love the colour’ to ‘different to other artwork at the show’. From ‘good to see such a unique perspective’ to a simple ‘wow’.
I half joke that part of my plan (I don’t really have one!) is to “cover magnolia”.
People instantly get the point. Why have bare walls, why have a painting on the wall that blends in, why have something photographic, why have something small when you can have a statement piece.
I’m not deliberately challenging them to question their reasons to buy art but asking them to consider, just for that time they are on my stand, what a piece of art may emotionally convey.
My work is based on ‘real’ things like boats and barns and trees, BUT from another perspective and I want people to both see my vision and also apply their own thoughts and their emotions into the work.
A visitor on seeing one of my tree paintings commented that she hadn’t really appreciated or really looked closely at the colours in a tree. The fact that this particular thought had registered with her made my day. Artists notice things. And by our work people notice things.
By the way my work looks great on magnolia walls where you can appreciate it and people notice it!


Trees Together 2Shoreline Posts

Buy the art you love and forget the décor

Why should art match your décor? Why should art go with your colour scheme?

I’m saying it shouldn’t.

Now that’s a brave statement, but it’s based on the view that if you like something then you should own it for you. You’re buying for you because you like it and not for how others perceive how things in your home match.

Who cares if things don’t tone in? Of course it’s your money and you can do what you want BUT overcome any reservations and uncertainty and enjoy what you like.

Art cannot be caged by mere decorative considerations and nor should it be.  Art deserves better

So be bold and buy that stand out piece, that statement piece, that piece you like. Because what you like defines you, your house and your lifestyle.

Island Home Trawler Side £175.00


How Big?

All my current paintings for sale are 76 x 76 cm (30” x 30”) [well all but two that is]. All are in impasto acrylic on ‘block’ canvas which means they don’t necessarily need framing. They are varnished to enhance the colour, as if that’s needed (!), and the canvas edges are painted white and each painting is strung, signed and ready to hang.

Of course the dimensions of the paintings gives them impact and when first hung they may seem dominant but that would be true of anything new added or placed in a space to which you’ve become accustom.  Initially a few of my customers thought that the painting size and the space they had available would not be compatible…but their early reservations were dispelled when the pictures were hung.

So perhaps when choosing a painting forget about the size or the possible space available to hang it, buy it because you like it and enjoy it wherever it’s placed


Wood on Stone 2

Wood on Stone 1

Get the full picture…

While ‘online’ images provide a reasonable copy of art work they do, inevitably, lose a lot of colour, distinction and subtle nuances. Equally web/email painting copies are often viewed out of context in relation to their size being smaller and with less visual impact than the original larger work.

What’s more while much of my work is acrylic the paint is frequently laid on thickly in layers creating an ‘impasto’ effect. Again something lost on ‘compressed’ internet images.

So seeing a work of art ‘live’ in a studio, a gallery or at a contemporary art fair clearly gives you the full picture

The Beached Crab £245.00The Filey Crab

Noticing Things

In his book “Playing the Gallery” Grayson Perry quotes a child who when asked “What do you think a contemporary artist does?” gave the reply “They notice things.” I like that.

Noticing things is something I can relate to. Being aware of something and painting it seems to be just what I do. I also like it because I’ve often found it not easy to wear the badge ‘artist’. After art school I went into the commercial world and therefore left the art world behind. I’ve never regretted it and starting to paint later in life and only for the last few years, has reinvigorated me creatively.

My work reflects the things I notice and often from a specific and different angle or viewpoint. My pictures have the attributes of works of art – paint, canvas, varnish, and subject. They also sell so I assume that it’s because people like them.

In the higher echelons of the art world where money, fashion and vested interest are predominant and are assumed to imply superiority perhaps there is a tendency for people to look down on the simple but important emotional reaction of ‘liking’ something.

So for me being partial to a work of art and liking it is reason enough to buy it and perhaps I should now recognise that as an artist I’m doing something I like.


So what’s right?

I’ve currently around 21-22 paintings for sale. Since starting painting a few years ago I’ve created over 100 canvases. Clearly there have been many sales mainly through just a few exhibitions and the website.

Part of the overall number of 100 or so paintings include several that started life as one subject only to be rejected. These ‘reject’ canvases get ‘scrubbed’, re-primed and new pictures are created.

So why were they abandoned in the first place?

For me, as I paint, I get a sense of how ‘things’ are going.  But what is that ’thing’?

I suppose it’s a point, a factor or a stage where I believe a particular painting isn’t working. A point where I become more and more aware that no matter what I do, how I change it, revise it and modify it ‘things’ don’t improve. And so it’s consigned to the ‘over-paint’ bin to become a new painting.

Yet conversely, sometimes astonishingly, on the brink of rejecting a painting I do something that completely, almost by accident, changes it and it becomes ‘all right’.

Of course that’s my interpretation of what’s ‘all right’ – whatever that means.

Embracing the concept of turning a muddle into an acceptable work of art by accident seems to me to be a wonderful part of the creative experience.  There’s an opportunity to learn new methods, embrace different finishes and make changes that were never part of the initial concept. For me that’s all part of creativity and ingenuity not confined by a specific technique or a predictable outcome.

Are artists arrogant, self important and over confident?  Perhaps they need to be as initially they are their own self critic.

On the other hand rejecting work that doesn’t work or making major changes as a work progresses makes me more self-effacing and down to earth. I like that.

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