Donald Holden recently photographed alongside fellow artist Celia Davies

Portrait of Donald Holden by Preston Artist Norman Long

Donald Holden demonstrating his painting techniques

The Longitude Gallery, Clitheroe opened on Friday 9th November, 2013 and it was a privilege to represent Donald almost from day one.
We first met him via a recommendation to view his work at a New Longton exhibition and we instantly loved his work. Over the past eight years Donald and his wife Dorothy became great friends and would call in often for a coffee and a catch up. He was always so supportive and hosted Artwalk sessions and art dinners and talks in the gallery.
Longitude have sold over 50 of Donald’s paintings and his work has always been hugely popular and admired. His style was ever moving forward, pushing the boundaries from realistic to abstract, but always telling a story of place and space with each line or mark.
His love of Lancashire is most apparent but he also painted on his travels through Yorkshire, Northumberland, Cornwall, and Wales.

His love of art was nurtured at Nelson Grammar School where his love of art began. He went on to become a much loved teacher of art at Mansfield High School, teaching and inspiring many artists around the Pendle area.

Donald’s influences came from many sources: from artists within the British Landscape tradition such as Paul Nash, John Piper and Graham Sutherland as well as still practicing artists, such as David Prentice, David Tress, Barbara Rae and Many More.

For thirteen years Donald was an energetic member, and mentor, of the Pendle Arts Gallery in Nelson. This was a group of volunteers who, along with Donald, got together when Nelson Town Council closed a professionally run photography gallery in Scotland Road Nelson at the time of the poll tax saga, They approached the council proposing to put on exhibitions of paintings, photography, embroidery and ceramics in the previously used gallery above the Tourist Information Centre. They then put on about ten shows a year with local and nationally known artists, workshops, talks and visits to other galleries and museums.

Donald once commented that it felt strange not to paint or draw everyday, that something was missing. He painted prolifically and there are some 150 to 200 unseen paintings that will be presented to the world and continue his great legacy.
If anyone would like to contribute to Donald’s biography with additional information, stories of his days teaching or general reminiscence please email us at