Local fine artist, Carol Davison, has launched a collection of still life paintings, under the name Making Memories Permanent, from her Allendale Forge studio.

Carol makes individual tableaus of memories, incorporating evocative items such as clothing, silverware, suitcases, linen and other treasured objects, with the aim of keeping her familial memories alive and vibrant.

The collection, as it stands, comprises of five pieces, but is set to grow as Carol plans to roll the works out for commissions, suggesting the prints be ideal for weddings, birthdays or christenings with customers providing key items to commemorate.

On the project, Carol said: “My latest inspiration came about with a burst of energy, after cleaning a cupboard out recently.

She added: “Many beautiful linen clothes surfaced and with them, memories of my grandmother, born 1900, who would lovingly crochet the borders of clothes, which graced the table when afternoon teas, with tiny sandwiches, were served in fine bone china cups and saucers.

“The suitcase in another painting reminds me of my grandfather, born 1890, a seafaring man all his life.

“I would visit Sunderland in my school holidays and when he was due home on leave, I’d be waiting for the much-loved familiar figure to appear at the bottom of the street, carrying that little case.

“My grandfather survived two world wars at sea – torpedoed during the First World War, losing many friends, he floated and was luckily picked up by another ship.”

Having been brought up on a farm, in rural Northumberland, Carol has always been exposed to beautiful surroundings, though was only encouraged to pick up a paint brush into her retirement.

She said: “I have been painting for about 12 years and it came about by accident, really.

“Now it is all consuming. It became clear very quickly I didn’t have time for the B&B I had occupied for 50 years, between Allendale and Whitfield.”

Carol’s gallery is lined with stunningly intimate portraiture, with the faces of Tibet and India captured on film, then painted by hand, taking between five to six weeks each. She said: “I never thought I’d see these things.

“I have been fortunate enough to see some amazing places and tell the stories of its people and now, I am surrounded by memories.”

Having only set her sights on still life last year, Carol will alternate between the mediums of portraiture and still life, adamant that she will never paint a landscape or attempt another vegetable painting again.

Being an active member of the art community has allowed Carol to forge some special friendships, crediting her art teacher, Paul Stangroom, who owns a studio in Prudhoe, for her artistic growth.

Painting in her studio everyday, she is at her happiest when members of the public drop by, enjoying the opportunity to discuss her work.

On her plans for the future, Carol said: “I hope to submit prints to the Royal Academy Exhibition, London, and get into galleries – though it is like parting with one of the bairns.

“My great great grandmother’s wedding certificate states she worked for Newcastle-based Maling, so the next painting must have that beautiful china as the theme.”