THE KEIGHLEY artist, Doris Riley, who died in 1993, was a prolific artist and her work was widely exhibited locally.

In 1977 her work was accepted for exhibition for a prestigious British Waterways Board art exhibition in London - but she couldn’t afford the train fare to see it on display.

She often struggled on her Widow’s Pension to buy art materials and said at the time: “I have just had a holiday in Whitby, so my pension won’t stretch to a trip to London, too.”

Doris, who was born in 1901, lived at Cross Roads for most of her life and earned a living by teaching commercial subjects at Keighley Technical College. But painting was her real passion.

Doris studied art part-time at Keighley Technical College, Bradford College of Art, and at the studio of the Silsden artist, Joseph West.

She also received private tuition in oil painting from Christopher Hartley, an ecclesiastical artist, from Keighley.

Doris’s subject range was wide, with watercolour and gouache works including portraits, local landmarks and landscapes, Yorkshire coast, still life, and human interest scenes.

She had a particular interest in painting East Riddlesden Hall, just outside Keighley, and painted many scenes of the hall and grounds..

Doris was a member of both the Keighley and Bradford Art Clubs, and her work was exhibited in group shows at Cartwright Hall, Bradford Textile Hall, the Bankfield Museum, Halifax, Skipton Town Hall, and at The Queens Hall, Bradford.

She also had solo shows at Keighley Technical College and, notably, in 1975 at the Bradford Central Library.

The art critic of the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, reporting on the Central Library show, wrote:

“Not that her work is flawless. Far from it. Often she seems pulled apart by two sides of her nature.

“She received training at Bradford College of Art and at Keighley Technical College, and the formal instruction is revealed in delicate, formal portraits.

“At the same time she is basically a primitive. Badly drawn dogs and children rush about a jolly little park scenes, rather comic ducks paddle across glimmering ripples.

“Although she lacks technique, Doris Riley is blessed (or afflicted) with that strange gift - the artist’s eye.

“She sees the colours in water and park bushes which most people never notice.”

Doris’s paintings at the Bradford Central Library exhibition were spotted by John Thompson, at that time the Chief Arts Officer for Bradford Council, who praised her work.

Encouraged, Doris donated over 30 of her paintings to Bradford Museums and Galleries, who formally accepted them into their permanent collection in 1976.

In addition to painting, Doris was a talented creative writer and in 1979, aged 78, she was awarded an International Society of Literature Diploma of Excellence for her short stories.

* Colin’s popular website is an illustrated guide to professional artists past and present who were born, work, or have made their home, in what is now known as the Bradford Metropolitan District – including David Hockney.

Colin said: “The aim of the guide is to collate information about local artists for the benefit of art lovers and supporters in the district and elsewhere.

“The people included on this site are or have been professional artists, making visual art forms the main focus of their work.

“The biographical summaries and images have been drawn from a range of online and printed sources in the public domain.”

People who visit can click on any letter in the ‘Artists’ section on the website to begin their search, or search with other words such as genres and towns

Colin also curates Not Just Hockney exhibitions on the Big Screen in City Park, Bradford, which display a new set of pictures by local artists every two months.

The latest theme is A Celebration of Spring, with a daily presentation of the work of six artists.

Silsden art enthusiast Colin said: “They present, in their own unique styles, the transition from winter to spring, with images of the changing Yorkshire landscape and nature, emerging birds, and people coming out of hibernation too, as depicted either in a realistic or symbolic way.

“There is also an impressive range of art media on display this month, including watercolour, oils, pastels, collage, pen and ink, and stained glass. The colours chosen too, by these local professional artists really captures the freshness of the new season.

“Artworks like this cheer us up, encourage us to get out in the open, and to see and experiences the change in the season for ourselves.”

The artists included in the latest exhibition are:

* Jane Fielder, who has exhibited her artwork in galleries across the UK and overseas, including solo exhibitions at Bradford Cathedral and in Shanghai.

* Denise Mitchell, who is an award-winning artist, based at Baildon, with a particular interest in painting wildlife, nature, and landscapes, using mainly watercolour, oils and soft pastel.

* Steven Short, who is a self-taught painter and whose artwork has been exhibited locally. He has sold his paintings in the UK and internationally.

* David Starley, who is a professional painter based in Saltaire, after a career working in archaeology. He works in oils and his paintings often depict the landscape of Yorkshire.

* Jude Tarrant, who is a stained glass artist, glass painter and designer maker. She grew up in Eccleshill and now works from a studio near Portsmouth.

* Geraldine Thompson, who has a studio at Addingham. Her portrait and landscape paintings have been exhibited in London and widely across Yorkshire.

David Wilson, who is director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, which runs the big screen in City Square, said: “The Celebration of Spring presentation on the Big Screen just feels so relevant to coincide with the weather patterns at the moment.

“The change of season and their impact has always been a source of inspiration to artists.”