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Mr Lock Sets Out by Ann Arnold

The Brotherhood of Ruralists
Information Website

Ann Arnold - Profile


Biographical Notes

  • Ann Barbara Telfer, born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1936, daughter of naval architect Edmund Telfer.
  • Studied at Epsom School of Art 1956-1959
  • Worked as an art therapist, 1958-67 and was a founder member of the Association of Art Therapists.
  • Married Graham Arnold on 29 July 1961.
  • The Arnolds lived in Ashington, Sussex from 1964 to 1974 then moved to Devizes.
  • They have lived in Shropshire since 1986.
  • Starting on 30 March 1992, the Arnolds journeyed by car through Western France - Saumur, Limoges, Cahors, along the Mediterranean coast to Genoa and Florence and on to Umbria and Assisi. The return journey took them along the eastern side of France. (Works shown in Journey from Home exhibition.)
  • Visited France and Italy in 1997 in order to paint.
  • Toured France in 1998, researching the Celts (works shown in the Celtic Pilgrimage exhibition).
  • Visited France and Brittany in 1999, painting
  • Elected academician at the newly formed South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts, in 2000.

Areas of Work and Influences

Ann Arnold works largely in oil and watercolour, but has also produced significant work in pen and ink, crayon, and pencil.

During her time at Epsom School of Art she was influenced by the teaching of Ron Benham who introduced her to the art of Stanley Spencer and Samuel Palmer and the writing of Richard Jefferies and Thomas Hardy. John Clare has been an important influence throughout her painting career.

The Sussex landscape was a subject matter with a strong appeal during her early years. The move to Devizes opened up the Wiltshire Downs to her and saw the development of the theme of the presence of people in the landscape and their relationship to it. This theme developed further with the move to Shropshire - a landscape of more dramatic colour as demonstrated in her watercolours. The delicate balance of nature and man and animal as part of it are a continuing theme.

Ann Arnold's portaits are not as widely exhibited or reproduced as her other work, but are of importance.

Works in Public Galleries

The Tabernacle - Museum of Modern Art, Wales


At one point we identified the following items in this collection, however, as of November 2010 it has not been able to verify that these are still in the museums collection. The museum's website refers to only one painting by Ann Arnold in the collection (Welsh Mountain), but the site does not function correctly so it is not possible to investigate further.

  • Clare’s Countryside (8 watercolours)
  • The River Dyfi

Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes


  • Fox in the Night


  • Ann Arnold’s work appears in all of the Ruralists Books and she produced art work for the Arden Shakespeare editions.
  • Ann Arnold was commissioned to produce watercolour paintings and drawings for the Heinemann edition of selected works of John Clare:

John Clare
Clare's Countryside
Heinemann, 1981
hardback, 78 pages
SBN 434-98013-7
Selected and introduced by Brian Patten

  • Ann Arnold’s essay ‘Graham Arnold and the Brotherhood of Ruralists’ appeared in Graham Arnold: A Retrospective, published by The Machynlleth Tabernacle Trust, 1992.
  • Autumn (pen and ink, 1989) illustrating the poem of the same name by Eve Machin, was published in The Orange Dove of Fiji, edited by Simon Rae, Hutchinson, 1989.
  • The Green Book, Vol 1, No. 1, Autumn 1979 includes a very short interview with Ann and Graham Arnold and a monochrome photograph of both artists.

Artist Statement

On music and literary themes in her work:

I am moved by sudden glimpses of 'Paradise' or when for longer periods my vision of the world, and by that I mean those things that I actually apprehend with my senses, deepen and intensify producing a feeling of intense joy. Thomas Traherne expresses this feeling with immense clarity and Finzi's music, of course in 'Dies Natalis' increases the emotion yet again, so that one is 'almost mad with ecstasy'.

updated: 16 Sept 118

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and the individual artists, 2000 - 2010