Ann Hyde, Arlington Court

Paintings of Arlington Court by Ann Hyde

Arlington Court, nestled in the beautiful North Devon countryside on the edge of Exmoor, offers lots of artistic inspiration for any budding artist. Local artist Ann Hyde is the first volunteer Artist in Residence at Arlington, and can often be seen with her easel around the house, estate and gardens.

For me, artistic inspiration comes from all directions. On a day to day basis, it could come from just walking down the street and seeing something that catches my eye.

At Arlington Court, the views are a main factor. I paint plein air in locations that look so tempting to paint I have to set up my easel there and then. Great when the weather is being kind and on my side (although I have been seen determinedly holding onto my easel when the weather gets up). On days that I cannot sit outside I will find an undercover venue, such as the arcades at the Carriage Museum or the conservatory in the gardens. My preferred medium is watercolour, which I used extensively last season. However, this coming season I will be venturing into acrylics on canvas as well. 

Ann Hyde painting at Arlington Court
Artist Ann Hyde paints outdoors at Arlington Court
Ann Hyde painting at Arlington Court

Arlington is special, and seems to have a magic that pulls you in. Last year was the first season I was volunteer artist in residence. Initially I thought I may eventually run out of inspiration, however the opposite happened. New ideas have grown and I hope to do sketching too, as well as completed paintings. I would call myself an observer, as I guess artists are. Putting myself into a space and watching how visitors interact with the estate and how the staff work in their particular areas – I think it would make a great project. Should I progress this idea, then my collective sketches would be given to Arlington. 

Other National Trust properties that have inspired me, well, where do I start? All the properties my husband and I have visited have been unique; all have left me feeling that I want to go back and spend a day painting and sketching there.  

" Get a sketchbook and a pen and draw, draw, draw! It’s by far the best way to learn, develop and grow. "
- Ann Hyde

My advice to someone wanting to develop their artistic ability is to get a sketchbook and a pen and draw, draw, draw! It’s by far the best way to learn, develop and grow. Skills and style will be discovered.'