Brian Holmes – The Artist

I grew up in the West Riding of Yorkshire. After Huddersfield School of Art and the Slade School London, I taught in the Midlands for several years.

Having taken the Art Teachers’ Diploma in Leeds, I was appointed lecturer at Leeds College of Education, which merged with the Leeds Polytechnic in the late seventies.

My paintings followed the New English Art tradition [Sickert etc]. Subjects included the Pennines enjoying bad weather, still lifes, foreign towns and the nude.

Many years ago, a painting by a four year old child was the catalyst which sparked off what I now call, for want of an adequate description, my personal style.

I am told that the style of these paintings and the humour in them make them very recognisably mine. Where humour is intended, I want it to be subtle and implied – More E.F. Benson than Bamforths.


Timeline of The Artist Brian Holmes


Born in Lancashire. Grew up in Yorkshire.


N.D.D. – Huddersfield School of Art.


Dip. Fine Art – Slade School, London.

1959 – 1964:

Art teacher in schools.


A.T.D. – Leeds.

1965 – 1984:

Lecturer / Senior Lecturer.

1966 – 1990:

Part-time Tutor – Swarthmore Centre.

1978 – 1982:

Attended three printmaking courses in Urbino, Italy.

Displayed paintings of Brian Holmes Art.


Painting demonstration BBC TV.

Mixed exhibitions in London, Midlands and the North of England.

One and two person exhibitions in Wakefield, Bradford and Leeds.

Three short stories read on BBC Radio 3.


One man print exhibition in Cagliari, Italy.

1980 – 2000:

Regular exhibitor at Leeds Art Fair and Holmfirth Art Week of Brian Holmes Art.


Leeds Printmakers, Dortmund.


Three paintings commissioned by the Northern School of Contemporary Dance.

Unofficially adopted as resident artist for Northern School of Contemporary Dance and gave some practical art sessions.


Painted a four-canvas mural – 7 x 28ft – for the Leeds School of Medicine [now in the Medical School Library].

Article and photograph in ‘Hospital Doctor’ and [first] colour photograph in the British Medical Journal.


Portrait of Prof. G. Giles, Clinical Sciences Building, St. James’ Hospital, Leeds.


‘Thackray Mural’ – 28ft. painting hung as a mural in the Conference Centre, Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds.

Commission – Painting of the old Medical School, Leeds.


Commission – Two paintings for the Urology Department, St. James’ Hospital, Leeds.

Still-life painting demonstration on the opening day of the renovated Leeds Central Library.

One man exhibition – AXIS, Metropolitan University, Leeds.


Invited to supervise temporary outdoor mural painted by employees at Betty’s and Taylors Confectioners, Harrogate.

Two person exhibition, Linton Court Gallery, Settle.


Four paintings in the Leeds Fine Art Club exhibition in the Walker Gallery, Harrogate.


Commissioned by police to produce ten sheets of forensic drawings for a crown court murder case [Defence counsel the Rt Hon Douglas Hogg QC MP, kindly wrote ‘very fine drawings’]

2006 and 2007:

Paintings in Leeds City Art Gallery Open Show.