Noelle Odling


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Ingleton Old Quarry V, etching-aquatint, 170x170mm

Achadun Castle Isle of Lismore, linocut-Japanese woodblock print, 200x150mm

Sea and rocks II, Japanese woodblock print, 225x188mm

Park Isle of Lismore, watercolour, 350x230mm

Loch Kilcheran Isle of Lismore, watercolour, 265x185mm

Morvern from Lismore Island, watercolour, 200x148mm


I am a watercolourist and printer inspired by landscape and nature. My background as a geologist has given me a training in observation and an understanding of the landscape which has always informed my art. I enjoy outdoor watercolour landscape painting which allows me to combine my love of the outdoors, geology and nature with painting. I also enjoy the technical challenges and discipline of printing - etching, aquatint, linocut and, most recently, Japanese woodblock printing. I find the approaches of painting and printing to be often complimentary with the simplification and abstraction of printing reflected in the rapid approach required in outdoor sketching, and the subtle colours of watercolour sketching feeding into my printing practice. I am also very interested in the interface between art and science where my geological knowledge provides subject matter and inspiration, particularly for printing.


Noelle Odling was born in 1953 in Scotland and is by profession a geologist (now retired). She has worked as a researcher in universities and research institutions in the UK, South Africa and Norway and was latterly Associate Professor in the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, before retiring in 2014. Her research interests have included fracture systems in rocks and groundwater vulnerability. She has had a strong interest in art since childhood and her artist parents remain a strong influence in her work. She has been for many years a keen outdoor watercolour painter, a hobby which fitted well with geological work. Although she does not have a formal training in art, she has attended a wide variety of evening classes, particularly at the Leeds College of Art, in ceramics, printing and life drawing over a period of 14 years. It was through these classes that she developed an interest in printing including etching, aquatint and lino-cut and, more recently, Japanese woodblock printing. During her time in Leeds, she was also involved in a series of art-science collaborative projects focussed on the quarried environment and was the scientific lead in a Leverhulme Artist’s Residency to promote collaboration between scientists and artists. Now retired, she lives on the island of Lismore in Argyll where she can devote more time painting and printing.