Arts Derbyshire


Artist gifts artwork to Derbyshire counselling service

Derbyshire artist Kelly Herrick is hoping her artwork will provide inspiration to those with mental health conditions across the county.

The contemporary landscape artist, based in Ripley, has gifted an original painting Harbour View to Derbyshire counselling provider Derwent Rural Counselling Service (DRCS).

The 1m x 1m painting of Staithes in North Yorkshire will be hung in the charity’s waiting rooms and the artist hopes it will fuel positive and optimistic thoughts for those benefiting from DRCS’ services.

Kelly said: “I really wanted to use this opportunity to take a piece of my work and give it away for pure joy and helpfulness in my local community.

“It’s a view of Staithes in North Yorkshire and I really love this painting because it’s got a feeling of tumbling down the hill, from the top down to the village and the houses, out to the horizon. It’s got a lovely vibe to it, and I really enjoyed painting it.

“It has a bright florescent pink background, and a really warm feeling to it. It’s a lovely, summery, happy and expansive painting, set at that time of day in the golden hour where everything feels cosy, safe and glorious and happy.

“I wanted to give it to a social enterprise or charity somewhere people will be able to enjoy it. A lot of people got in touch and I did have to make a decision. It was based on the feeling of a safe harbour and calm horizon, it’s going to Janette Smeeton and her team at DRCS who have counselling offices in Derbyshire including Alfreton and Belper.

“Mental health services have been incredibly vital to us since the pandemic, and DRCS has continued to dig deep to help people throughout. I’ve used another professional counselling service and I now know how important it has been for me, ground me and help me create art for people.

“I think with the work they do, and with this painting being sat in a waiting room where people are feeling challenged or tumultuous, it might calm, inspire and uplift people. My purpose is to help people shift into an inspired and optimistic state, about the world and themselves, so what better setting could it be in?”

DRCS offers counselling services, including talking therapies and well-being programmes in Derbyshire and the Peak District, to help individuals with common mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress and long term conditions.

It has continued to operate throughout the pandemic using face to face alternatives including online and phone appointments.

Janette Smeeton, chief executive of DRCS said: “I am absolutely delighted that DRCS has been chosen as the recipient for Kelly’s painting. We hope the piece, which captures the joy of our natural world, will provide a positive focus for our visitors, and inspire optimism.”

Kelly has also donated three other oil paintings to Heanor Borough Council for the council’s regeneration programme; to Ripley Rainbows’ hut and to a new independent supported living scheme Real Life Options in Swadlincote.


Painting gift – artist Kelly Herrick and DRCS’s Janette Smeeton.

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