Over the last few months I've been out walking, sketching and photographing in the Yorkshire Dales working on ideas for an exhibition based on stories from the Dales which will be happening in July 2013. Inevitably this has taken me through the area known as the Three Peaks - a triangle of high country ringed by the hills of Whernside, Ingleborough and Penyghent. Running though the centre of this fabulous landscape is the Ribblehead Viaduct - the mighiest structure on the Settle to Carlisle railway.
I first came to this place on the day I was introduced to the Dales. I was being taken down my first pot hole! The Three Peaks area is honeycombed with caves and I was being initiated into the art of speleology (that's caving) by a couple of enthusiasts. Driving from Durham we left the A1 at Scotch Corner and passed through Richmond. Then we made our way up Swaledale, crossed into Wensleydale and finally stopped at Horton in Ribblesdale. I was knocked out by the beauty of the countryside that day - the shape of the land, the meandering drystone walls, the tiny barns - and have stayed that way ever since. For the last twenty five years I have lucky enough to live in this wonderful landscape.
Over the years I have painted the Three Peaks several times, usually mounting the three images in one frame, as I have done with the latest set, shown above.
Every day people walk, cycle and run the Three Peaks, often clocking in and out at the time clock in the cafe at Horton. The three hills offer amazing views and have entirely different characters.
Below is a smaller set which I painting while planning the larger version.
CLICK HERE to enquire about buying The Three Peaks.
I'm lucky enough to live in North Yorkshire - a county rich in beautiful landscapes and also in beautiful buildings. We have some of the best ruins - Fountains Abbey, Byland Abbey and - above - Richond Castle. There are some wonderful industrial buildings, like the Abbey Mill at Studley Royal - below - which has been in continual use for a jaw-dropping eight hundred years, and the county is also littered with stately homes of every age and style.
This one, below, is just outside my home town of Masham. Swinton Castle is now a luxury hotel with a very interesting history.
Swinton originally belonged to Henry Scrope. He was charged with plotting to murder Henry V at Southampton just before the king was due to sail for France. Scrope was beheaded and Henry went on to his victory at Agincourt, giving
one of his greatest hits. The existing Swinton Castle was built in the Tudor period and then, in the late 18th Century, the Tudor building was wrapped in a Georgian facade. Battlements, wings and a tower completed the ensemble.
It's a building I draw and paint a lot and its one of the subjects I'll be taking students to on the course: Drawing & Painting Architecture at Artison in September.
We're going to look at, learn about and draw some other buildings in the Masham area and along the way I'll be dispensing tips on drawing, getting proportions right and perspective.
I'm taking part in Art in the Pen this year. Its an annual gathering of great artistic talent in the unlikely setting of an auction mart in Skipton. Where sheep and cattle are normally bought and sold there will be paintings, prints and pottery instead.
For this event I've been working on some new paintings including Bolton Abbey and the Strid but I'll also be showing work of Ribblehead Viaduct on the nearby Settle to Carlisle Railway and Janet's Foss - a beautiful waterfall near Malham in addition to a wide range of other paintings and prints.
Among the other artists taking part are Charlotte Morrison, Hester Cox and Rosie Scott Massie who, like me, show their work at The Masham Gallery.
Art in the Pen runs from Sat 18 and Sun 19 August and is open from 10am to 4pm. Admission is £2 (under 16s free). There is also free parking and the event can be found at Skipton Auction Mart, Gargrave Road, Skipton, BD23 1UD.
CLICK HERE to see more pictures which will be on show at Art in the Pen.
CLICK HERE to visit the Art in the Pen website.
Until August 31st: The Edge of the World
The Edge of the World is at:
The Gallery, 24, Market Place, Masham, North Yorkshire. HG4 4EB
The Gallery opening hours are:
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Monday - Closed
All the paintings and prints shown in this newsletter are available to buy through The Masham Gallery.
CLICK HERE to enquire.