Waterhead Introduces Lake District Inspired Art

Waterhead is delighted to have a new gallery of paintings in the lounge. What better subject than our beloved Lake District mountains. Artist, Sam Martin, tells us about the inspiration for her painting, her companion Mist, and finding her true vocation.

A selection of Sam's paintings in the lounge at Waterhead

Give me Mountains Any Day

I live in a small village in Yorkshire with my husband, 2 teenagers and our border collie, Mist. We rescued Mist in 2011 from an animal rescue shelter and she comes everywhere with us, even on all our holidays.

Martin Family Walks

Since I was a young girl, I've always had a love for the mountains. We used to go to The Lake District and Snowdonia on holiday and then ventured to France, Austria and The Alps. I remember getting the cable car to the top of the Aiguille du Midi, the base station for most of the Mont Blanc walks, and feeling so jealous of the climbers who were donning their crampons to climb to the summit. That's what I wanted to do and is probably why I make the most of the fells and mountains we have here in the Lake District, Wales and Scotland.

Finding My Perfect Vocation

Sam and Mist in the mist

I worked in IT for 20 years but never felt like it was what I really wanted to do. After we got Mist, I wanted a job where I could work from home to be with her. One Sunday whilst climbing Helvellyn, I looked across at the layers of mountains and thought, they’d look great with a vibrant pink or lime green sky. When I got home, I started painting what I had in my head – I loved it. The idea of being creative about the mountains that I loved made perfect sense.

A selection of Sam's vibrant paintings

I uploaded a few of my paintings online and they sold. It was at that point that I thought that painting was what I really wanted to do. So I set about emailing hundreds of galleries, applied for online galleries and gradually built things up. I was very lucky when The Lakes Art Gallery in Grasmere started to exhibit my work – I am still with them today. I've since had exhibitions in galleries throughout Yorkshire, The Lakes, Wales and Scotland and regularly receive commission requests from customers asking for their favourite views.

High Any-Weather Inspiration

The landscape is my inspiration, in particular, the mountains. I love how they can be so dangerous but also fill me with a calm that only they provide. I love them in the sun, snow and especially when it rains. I love it when they disappear in low cloud but you know that they're still there. Like sleeping dinosaurs!

Sam's Multi-colour Studio

I paint using a high quality emulsion and acrylics and then apply a varnish to all my work for protection. I generally get my ideas when I'm out walking, I take tons of photos and then when I get back to the studio, I go through them and make mini sketches of the ones I think will make good compositions. I then apply that to canvas.

My Favourite Place in the World

I've been coming to the Lake District since I was very young. I spent my honeymoon here and we are over at least once a month to climb the fells. My children have been climbing since they were six so lots of the paintings are from summits of fells we've walked together as a family.

The magnificent Lady Baa Baa

I was lucky to be asked to paint a full wall mural at Elterwater Hostel a few years ago and this led on to painting Lady Baa Baa as part of the Calvert Trust Go Herdwick trail.  I also painted Lamb Bells who was part of the trail for Love the Lakes in Keswick. I've just finished painting a huge commission for Domehouse in Bowness which was filmed for the programme 'The Yorkshire Dales and The Lakes' and will be aired later this year on More 4. The Lakes is my favourite place in the world. You can walk the same fell lots of times but each walk brings different views which is why I think I love it so much.  

Waterhead Bar and Grill

View Sam’s paintings in the relaxed surroundings of the Bar & Gill at Waterhead. Enjoy a coffee, gin and tonic or dinner overlooking the lake and the mountains beyond. For more information about her paintings take a look at Sam's website