Sunday, 7 July 2013

Painting in the Lake District

I just took a week off, to go paint in the Lake District (I know - lucky me!). 

As I mentioned recently, I have been feeling the urge to do more landscape work. The trouble is, I really need to work on-location, at least to begin with, and we get such a small window of opportunity in the UK. So, while things were a little less busy in the studio, John and I took ourselves off to Castlerigg: a gorgeously lumpy-bumpy bit of the northern lakes.

Every day, while John went off for a walk, I sat myself on a hill, or by a lake, and sketched my socks off. This is me at Castlerigg Stone Circle, which is thought to be 4 thousand years old: 

While I was sitting there, a lady from Thailand laid on her back in the centre and banged a tiny gong, to call spirits. Someone else proposed to his girlfriend. She said yes and shed a tear, while another stranger took their photo. It was all go! This is what I am painting above (it's watercolours with Inktense watercolour pencils):

As this is all a bit of a new departure, I wanted to experiment as much as possible, so took various media away with me, which of course meant a heck of a lot to try and cram into my rucksack every morning. The pastels in particular were tricky, but I thought they would help me to work larger. I used this old container from B&Q, meant for screws I think, but they weighed a ton and it was like carrying a brick on my back!

We were rained off entirely on 2 days and I had a couple of wet half-days, when I tried to soldier on, but quickly realised it is impossible without shelter. Otherwise, I was out there with my sketchbooks right through until about 6pm each day. 

It was wonderful to have such concentrated time and the opportunity to draw the same hill over and over if I wanted, trying different approaches. I managed to do nearly 50 landscapes, from very quick sketches through to finished pieces and have uploaded all the other drawings and paintings I did in to a new landscapes sketchbook on my website.


Julia Kelly said...

Looks like a wonderful learning vacation!I do that too,send everyone off on a hike!

AS said...

thats so lovely mam!