Northants & Rutland Open Studios - Late May Bank Holiday

Saturday 25 May - Monday 27 May

1pm – 5pm

We are delighted to be hosting Northants & Rutland Open Studios Pop-Up Studios for another exhibition at the end of May. Work will be on display within the visitor Stableyard area, including the Tearoom and Coach House.

Open Studios 25-27 May

For the exhibition on May 25 - 27, we are delighted to welcome works from:

  • Vanessa Halton
  • Amanda Drage
  • Jo Cutts
  • Vicki Maddocks
  • Simon Mead
  • Hol Blaber

Find out more about the Artists:

Vanessa Halton

Vanessa Halton Biography

I grew up in Leicestershire and attended Robert Smyth School

In Market Harborough where I attained my A -levels in Art, Design, History of art and Graphic Design. Following this I commenced my Foundation Course in Art but circumstances changed my career to Nursing and Medical Education where I have worked for 40 years. I currently live in Northamptonshire but have enjoyed Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire and Austria as my home.

Having enjoyed the ‘Open Studio’ at Lamport Hall in February 2023 I joined Northants and Rutland open studios where I started producing art again. In 2023 I was lucky to have 2 successful exhibitions and a prize winner in the September 2023.

Landscapes and nature are my main influences with the firms, structures and changes in light the textures nature brings to the surface. I love soft pastels but also produce work in watercolour, pen and ink and pencil.

Facebook: Vanessahaltonart

Price Range: £60-£160

Amanda Drage

Amanda Drage Biography

Amanda Drage is a painter of animals and wildlife, currently living and working in the Kettering area. Amanda works with a range of media including oils, soft pastel, and charcoal.
Through her work, Amanda aims to evoke an emotive response to the animals she paints, allowing us a close view of fleeting moments, with a strong emphasis on portraiture. She enjoys close-ups and unusual compositions, and her focus is often on the gaze of the animal and what it reveals. She is moved by nature’s contrasts – in light and shadow, texture, and colour. Her work ranges from closely observed and finely detailed portraits, to looser and more expressively painted styles, depending on the mood she is working towards capturing. From time to time she also enjoys experimenting with patterning and mark-making within her work, adding a more contemporary dimension to her animal paintings.

Over the last ten years Amanda has also established herself as a pet portrait artist, with a high demand for her sensitively drawn pastel portraits, and a worldwide client base.


Instagram: @amandadrageart   / Facebook: Amanda Drage Art

Price Range: From £150

Cutts' Creations

Jo Cutts Biography

My name’s Jo, the artist behind Cutts’ Creations and I live in Rusden, married with one daughter, two dogs and a cat. I first discovered the world of needle felting during the pandemic lockdown in 2020, and it all started with a basic kit my daughter and I chose to do together. I am now a member of the International Felt Makers Association and enjoy participating in their activities.

The needle felting process itself involves using specialist barbed needles which when stuck repeatedly into the wool results in it being bound together. Due to the time involved one of my larger creations took over 40 hours of manual labour to produce using this process.

Initially, I liked to create the simple Waldorf style fairies and have since developed my skills to create 2D scenes and even taken on commissions based on customer’s personal photographs. With countless types, styles, and objects that can be needle felted, there is always a new challenge to try out.

My work is quite playful, with animals being the most popular at local craft fairs. In 2023 I exhibited a Ukrainian inspired sunflower field scene at Peterborough Cathedral. I am immensely proud as over 8,000 people visited the exhibition, and I went on to sell it to a lovely couple at the Boughton House Christmas Fair.

I now enjoy creating 2D scenes and looking to explore wet felting to use as watercolour style backgrounds for my artwork.


Instagram: @jocuttscreations / Facebook: Jo Cutts Creations

Price Range: £50 – £100

Vicki Maddocks

Vicki Maddocks Biography

Victoria Maddocks, a self-taught artist, traces her artistic roots back to her childhood days, where she was always found doodling and painting. Despite her early passion for art, she pursued a full-time career, temporarily setting aside her creative endeavours. It wasn’t until her return to the UK, after spending many years living in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, that she reignited her love for painting.

Working from her cosy studio, Victoria seamlessly weaves her love of art around her bustling full-time job. Her inspiration springs from the tranquil beauty of the local urban woodland, where she dedicates some of her time to volunteer work. Living near both the woods and the sea has profoundly influenced her artwork, as she captures the ever-changing light and energy of these natural landscapes.

Victoria’s artistic style is as diverse as her mediums. As a mixed media artist, she finds freedom in spontaneity and emotional creativity, evident in many of her abstract pieces. She skillfully utilizes iridescent paints, metallic leaf, and occasionally resin to breathe life into many of her creations, creating mesmerizing reflections and refractions of light.

Her works reflects a deep connection to nature, often featuring imagined seashores or woodland scenes infused with a sense of tranquillity and wonder. From oils to acrylics to inks, Victoria fearlessly explores various mediums, allowing her art to evolve organically and intuitively.

With each artwork, Victoria invites viewers on a journey into her world, where imagination meets reality, and emotions are expressed through vibrant colours and intricate textures.


Instagram: @vixartmaddocks / Facebook: Victoria Maddocks Artist

Prince Range: £40 – £780

Tarn Turnings

Simon Mead Biography

I am Simon Mead, a Northamptonshire based wood turner. Over 40 years of turning I have developed a love of hollow forms realised through quirky and difficult woods.

My work uses locally sourced native wood, of which Ash and Yew are my favourite to work with. Where I use non-native species, the materials will have been sourced from other retiring turners.

All my pieces are individual, as I look to emphasise the existing patterns and shapes within the wood. They will last many generations with love and simple care. I now exhibit and sell items at local events and can be contacted to visit or see other works.

Instagram: @tarnturnings 

Prince Range: £5 – £1200

Hol Blaber

We look forward to welcoming you to Northants and Rutland Pop Up Studio at Boughton House between the 25th and 27th May.

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