Abstract Perspectives Gallery

Artist: Lisa Empson

People often say they don’t understand abstract paintings.  I used to be one of those people. That was until I learned to ‘let go’ and let the images and emotions an image evokes just wash over me. What I enjoy about looking at abstract art is that, whatever the artist intended when they painted it, the image evolves into something else in the eyes of each beholder.  In that respect each visit to the painting is unique.  Abstract or surreal art invites you in, to let your mind wander.  Sometimes the journey into a painting is very pleasurable, sometimes irritating or disturbing. But the journey always evokes a reaction of some kind.

When I lived in York I frequently would take the drive across the moors to Whitby. It’s a gorgeous drive, passing through pretty villages, then the lovely market town of Pickering before climbing across the moors.  The moors are a land of long, sweeping landscapes and big skies. My favourite! Always there is that gasp when, waiting for the view of Whitby Abbey in the distance, you finally find it!  “There it is!”  This painting attempts to capture the moment when Whitby Abbey, as big as it is both physically and metaphorically, appears to be much less than centre stage, but nontheless important.  

I consider this painting to be a sister to Finding Whitby.  They have a connection in that St Hilda who became Abbes of Hartlepool around 648 ad before moving further south along to coast on to found her abbey at Whitby in 672.  

I was born in Hartlepool, though lived away for many years.  On every visit home my first stop was the drive across the bay to Seaton Carew, with its wide, expansive beaches and grassy sand dunes woven with encroaching marrom grass.  I would gulp in the long vista across the bay to the historic Headland, with its colourful past involving kings, saints, monks, nuns and invasions by vikings and the scots, 

colourful abstract image of this prehistoric site using golds, russets, blues and black to evoke its spirituality

Kirkcarrion Upper Teesdale small original acrylic

I think of this painting as the little sister to my Winter Melt painting.    It’s much smaller being just 30cm x 30cm but once again I wanted to use the effect of shimmering gold paint in the sky and landscape.  If you like it, make me an offer in my silly sale.

Kirkcarrion is a magical, mystical place.  Its copse of trees at the top of the hill are a landmark that can be viewed for miles around.  It has a tangible presence; the perfect resting place for the prehistoric chieftan who is said to be buried there. It’s well worth the short climb to the top of the hill.  You cannot fail to be impressed by the quiet spiritual atmosphere as you wander through these trees.

Clean Air Upper Teesdale

Upper Teesdale – sheep, cows, hills, streams, waterfalls, endless skies draping rolling hills…

I adore the time I spend at Upper Teesdale; filling my lungs with good clean air, feasting my eyes on colourful long vistas.  I had all of this in mind when painting my little abstract mixed media painting. You might be able to see this too, but it’s an abstract.  It is what it is.  Make of it what you will.Just enjoy the colours, textures, shapes of the painting you see before you.   

Crest of the Wave

Most weekends you can see at least one, if not many, little sailing boats gliding and scurrying around the harbour they go about their play often until dusk.  Sometimes that extra swish can take my breath away.  You can find out more about Hartlepool Yacht Club by clicking here.

Someone told me they can see a swan in this painting. That’s the great thing about abstract art.  You can make the painting your own. 

Golden Dawn – Seascape

I’m lucky enough to be able to enjoy walking in the countryside during my spare time, and even luckier because when I’m not enjoying country views I am drinking in seascapes.  I live on the North East coast overlooking the bay towards the Eston Hills.  I never cease to be amazed by the incredible colours Mother Nature provides in her palette.  I could never try to copy those spectacular views, but I do enjoy interpreting them.  Crisp splishes and splashes, blues and reds with a hint of shimmering gold against a crisp new dawn.  I hope you feel something of the magic I feel when I look across the ocean. 


Like many of us I find the idea of aurora so mystifying.  They can often be seen off the North East coast – apparently – though I’ve never been fortunate enough to see this phenomenon myself.  Elusive, magical, mysterious; a blast of out of the ordinary colour.

WINTER MELT by Lisa Empson (sold)

This painting was inspired by many wonderful drives and walks in our gorgeous countryside, in particular Teesdale and the North Yorkshire Moors, though I feel there is a bit of the Cairngorms in their too.  Landscapes often appear to be quite remarkable, the colours often magical.  Shimmering gold sky?  Why not?

Would you like to purchase one of the pieces of original artwork from this gallery? Please contact us to find out a little more about the piece and price details.

York Place Gallery


York Place Gallery is a small, independent gallery situated on Hartlepool’s historic headland.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This