I’m working on some ideas at the moment for my exhibition in July 2013 about the Yorkshire Dales and I’m doing a lot of reading. Apart from collections of Dales stories I’m reading an excellent book on Yorkshire geology.
The special character of the Dales is closely associated with the limestone beneath. When you’re walking in the hills the evidence that this was once the floor of a sea is evident in every fossil-studded rock. For an artist, however, it is the more recent legacy of the ice ages which lends the skyline its character.
Four hills in particular: Penyghent, Ingleborough, Penhill and Addleborough owe their distinctive profiles to a combination of smoothing ice flows and hard layers of underlying rock giving the flat-topped, step-sided horizon which typify the Dales and make them such a pleasure to paint.
Of these four, Penhill holds a special place in my heart. It’s in view most of the time when you’re travelling in Wensleydale, where I live. It is a lovely climb, with fantastic views from the top and it’s a hill of stories:
Here are some paintings done over the years of my favourite hill along with an excerpt from a recent poem, written for the forthcoming exhibition.
To enquire about any of the images on this page, please CLICK HERE
Always on the skyline of my life for two score years now,
Seen from a train, a distant castle, a motorway,
From a road rolling in the belly of the dale,
From ship shaped village green,
From beyond the torn walls of a ruined chapter house
The hill, prow lifted to the east,
Sails against the sky.
Rising from the sculpted ordered Georgian bridge
By hand hewn hedges smooth as hounds
And lifting to the racehorse rumbling high moor
The symphonic heft of Wensleydale behind, beneath,
And suddenly the sky is close above us.
Ripon Cathedral from Studley Royal, Limited Edition Print.
Art course coming up ...
There are a few places left on Top Techniques in Watercolour
- a course for everyone interested in painting in watercolour -
at Artison (near Masham, North Yorkshire) Thursday, 5th April.
The course, which will focus on a variety of very effective techniques, costs £65.00 (which includes an excellent lunch).
CLICK HERE to book.