Ron Thornton is one of the most successful professional watercolour painters in the north of England today.

An artist from the time of his boyhood in the coastal town of South Shields, Ron first decided to enter the teaching profession and reached the position of middle-school headmaster before becoming a full time artist in 1990.

The unusual combination of teaching and artistic ability rapidly enabled him to become one of the most sought-after tutors of watercolour painiting in the region, initially through personal contact at classes and clubs, and later through a very successful series of video watercolour technique instruction packs.

Ron's life-long passions have been the sea and ships and, with the River Tyne literally on his doorstep, it is quite natural that the estuary features very heavily in his painting portfolio.

At the turn of the millennium a revolutionary new bridge was added to the famous array of bridges across the Tyne in the centre of Newcastle. Through painting this bridge, the bridge which was now closest to the sea, Ron was inspired to start a unique project to capture the images of the many bridges, some beautiful and others not, that span the river from sea to source. As he travelled up the Tyne to carry out this challenging project he realised that there were other closely related subjects, many with a very interesting past, and the idea of the book The River Tyne from Sea to Source was conceived.

As a companion volume, Ron's second book A Coastal Voyage in Watercolour - The Borders to the Humber is now available to purchase. The beauty and splendour of the north east coast is captured in watercolour, complemented by fascinating accounts of local history. The book contains more than fifty views of the historic coastline from St Abbs at the Scottish borders to Withernsea in East Yorkshire.

Enjoy the unique collection of both books in the River Tyne gallery and the Coastal gallery section of the website. All the paintings are available to purchase as originals or prints.