Saturday, 23 June 2018

Acrylic on a larger canvas, 24x30 inch.
Thought I would do a bigger, looser painting using acrylic just for a change. It means I need to use the larger French easel which can be amusing to set up but it all worked out okay. I spotted this view when taking George for a walk. We passed a mainly deciduous wood or, I suppose a copse which was fringed with tall, thin, coniferous trees with russet coloured trunks. The copse, I realised hid a deep depression, could have been a quarry perhaps at some time but now there emerged straight limbed beech trees stretching to find the light. As I walked looking at the verges I told myself to bring a wild flower book next time. There are a lot of gorgeous wild flowering plants hidden in the long grasses which have not been cut. A pair of buzzards silently wheeled round, high above the copse, on broad tilted wings.  Several people passed and some were eager to tell me that they had just seen a pair of fox cubs playing in the road. Very unusual. Mind you, I must say that on a drive yesterday I saw my first 'live' badger emerge on to the road in front of me. It ran along the road before diving sideways into the thick undergrowth. Again, yellowhammers were constantly calling as I painted. A couple, came over and we had a good talk about art. Must remember Thursday afternoon at Elloughton.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Looking north from near Holme on the Wolds


20th June, 2018.
As a test for both of us, I decided to board George.. for the first time...... just for one night. I drove over, and stayed in Hovingham, returning to collect him the next day. I know it makes sense, but it was very strange to be completely alone and responsible for only myself. Was I being selfish? However, next time I go anywhere, I will take George with me... unless I need to go abroad I suppose. So, after some sketches of Hovingham in the morning, I collected George from the kennels and then drove to Holme on the Wolds where I painted this scene. The sky was very busy and the distant farm gave a sense of scale and focus which balanced the picture. The clouds moved rapidly in a fresh wind, yet the temperature was warm and the sounds of yellowhammers could be heard continuously as I painted. After walking and feeding George, I made a coffee detour to the Pipe and Glass, at South Dalton. 
David Hockney

Saturday, 16 June 2018

A farmhouse in Kirby Underdale

12x10 inch - oil on canvas

I set off early afternoon and headed for Millington, just north of Pocklington thinking I could have a look at their "Open Garden" day. After walking around the village I came to the conclusion that I had got the wrong day. I spoke to a 'Wolds Way' long distance walker who was sitting outside the public house, enjoying a pint in the sun. He was from South Wales, I should have asked him if he knew Bill. He was having a great time and we talked about David Hockney and his Wolds paintings. I left him there and decided to travel to Kirby Underdale. As I dropped down the steep, narrow road, passing Painsthorpe I stopped at the Church, and went inside. It is rather beautiful, it's location, situated on a slope, surrounded by steep sided, wooded hills is idyllic. Leaving, I saw this farmhouse in the village and parked up. In an adjacent field a group of handsome young brown and white calves, with clean pink noses came over to the fence, when they saw me. I let them rasp my hand with their sandpaper tongues as I tickled their noses. They were trying to reach some low leaves of a cherry tree which I pulled down for them to grip. Leaving my audience I started to set up and quickly lay down the structure of this view. The feel of rain pushed me along and, luckily, I more or less finished as heavy drops started falling. Hope you like it.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Looking down on Warter, East Yorkshire.

Plein air, oil on canvas 12 x10 inch.

The forecast was for rain in the afternoon and I set off with no clear plan..A circuitous short cut got me lost, eventually emerging at Driffield, I had intended to head for Kirkham.... anyway a ride over to North Newbald, found us parking under the welcome shade of a huge tree near the village hall. As I sat, with George, with the tailgate up RoseH appeared having just left the hall. We commented on the fluffy cotton wool seeds now falling like slow motion snow. Then a minute later, RobinH, wearing a striped apron passed by. The sound of voices made me look up, two engaging ladies who had been painting, in the Hall came over and we talked of our common interest. I then took George for a short walk around the pond via an elevated path and past the public house. The yellow flag iris on the pond fringes are at their best, very tall and profuse, a refuge for young mallard. I was disappointed not to spot the very large carp which had recently been introduced by the man from Tibthorpe. I travelled to Huggate and popped in the the Plum Tree Studio of Belinda Hazlerigg and was very impressed, she has a lovely vibrant mixed media style which works well with landscapes. After a shared ice cream we drove towards Warter and parked just off the road where I saw the spire of the church emerging from the field edge. So, here it is. Very steep, small fields give a sense of the terrain. A local retired farmer stopped and checked me out, and we established a mutual respect. As we talked a red kite flew nearby. Of course the land here is part of an enormous estate, a private estate of 13,000 acres. We had a very good talk about pheasants, David Hockney, Beverley tea rooms and the weather before he drove off in his small vehicle which was loaded with pellets of pheasant food . His rifle safely secured probably explained the noise of shots I had heard earlier. I had to work quickly on this picture and by necessity, not overworked it - it was a last minute choice but I like it. I think this is a view I will repeat, especially as the seasons change.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Sledmere House, East Yorkshire.

I walked down to the pond, it was smooth and still, the only sound being from the tumbling water of the fountain. As I stood on the stone flag path, forming the perimeter of the pond, a bright electric blue damselfly landed at my feet. Almost instantly, another arrived and they fly off in a tight embrace. As I stand, a group of house martins fly down and hit the water heavily, appearing to be momentarily submerged, causing lots of ripples before flying off.  Are they bathing, drinking, i'm not sure. The sun is out and across the pond I can see lots of deer the hidden 'ha-ha' ensuring they stay in the park. A jingling rythmic sound heralds the arrival of a bright yellow, people laden old agricultural cart, being pulled by two magnificent shire horses. They are told to stop. They stand still, in the sun, motionless, but then a hard sharp voice of command tells the younger horse to be still as it starts to get impatient. Back under control they move away, across the rough grass and out of sight. I walk round the pond and suddenly, clouds of silt explode and I can see a massive fish arrowing away towards central safety. I notice in the rough grass lots of buttercups but especially cuckoo flower or lady's smock, which are quite white here. A couple from Huddersfield came over and we had a lovely chat ( a coincidence as last night I talked to Steve from Huddersfield but now living in Vancouver ).
The house is shown here standing high above the terraced upper slopes. This is one of many I intend to paint. When walking Goerge after doing this one I think I saw a better view which I will try later. Walking away after painting I spotted some large hawker dragonflies. The abdomen seemed to have a long yellow strip down the whole length. Cannot find out what it is ..yet... maybe a Lincolnshire Hawker (;o)

Thursday, 7 June 2018

South Dalton Church, St. Mary's, East Yorkshire.

12x10 plein air photo from phone a little too reflective and darker than original.

I know, I know, the spire is taller than shown here but it is only a small canvas. Of course, if you are not local then the spire is perfect (;o).
I started late, intending to visit Sledmere House, yet, being short on time found myself here, St. Mary’s Church, South Dalton. I walked into a field of growing wheat which looked almost white in the sunlight, a deep contrast to the deep shadows of the trees. Painted straight onto the canvas, with a small brush, I started with the church, then the sky and lastly, the foreground field of wheat. Overhead, a pair of low flying red kite with twitching forked tails made me pause to admire their colouring as they passed. Ladybirds are now out and about, I spotted one between the embryonic cereal crop of a neighbouring field as I was leaving. At the side of the church, a beautiful terrace of old, vernacular - well, to this area, bungalows are situated. They are enhanced by gorgeous floral displays, residents can sit on their cleverly designed outside porches facing west, thus getting the afternoon sun. In the common front lawn area are several bird feeders and on passing I watched a greenfinch busily taking advantage of the well stocked feeders. Now, I am sitting outside the Pipe and Glass having a coffee, listening to cooing pigeons, singing robins and ....the silence. After coffee I drove home via Etton and Cherry Burton. I had a mission. To visit a farm which has started selling milk direct from the farm. It was recently featured on local television, milk can be bought in one or two litres, in plastic or reusable glass bottles. I have always bought milk in glass bottles, as my former students are well aware, and I wanted to try their milk. It is delicious. So, if interested, the farm is on the Etton Road just outside Cherry Burton. Passing through Cherry Burton, on my way home, I saw a man with his small dog looking at the pond. What was he looking at? I slowed down. At the far side of the pond a large heron was standing, scanning the water for food. Then, when leaving Cherry Burton, near the Old Hall, I spotted a hedgehog on the road - so I immediately signalled oncoming traffic to slow down. Hope it survived. Sorry about the reflections on the picture I will alter it later.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Kirby Underdale, East Yorkshire Wolds.

Plein air painting 12 x 10 inch, all done in one visit.

Kirby Underdale
After a later start I set off for the Wolds again. Necessity meant I had to detour via Kirkburn where I visited the wonderful Norman church. Here, outside, on trestle tables were a collection of plants for sale. As I looked at the plants a man turned up bearing more plants. We had a talk about the plants, one in particular, southernwood, an aromatic herb, which was supposed to be used for putting on floors in medieval times where it's fragrance would help mask unpleasant smells. So I bought one as a curiosity, my floors at home are okay.... Before I left he pointed out the deliberately overgrown fringes of the graveyard, an orchid in particular, one of five to be recorded here. Then off to Huggate and.... beyond,  I was aiming for a place called Painsthorpe as it sounded intriguing, yet found myself at Kirby Underdale. I had not been here before, it is a little paradise. Steep Wolds sectioned into small, hedge lined fields. Bright yellow buttercups dominated the lower fields which gave me my focus for the picture. A farm stood half way up a distant hill looking like something from a book about 'Perfect Locations for a Farm'. I set up and started painting as a lone buzzard circled high on broad lazy wings. A couple of walkers appeared and asked me where they were, they appeared lost though in fact, a road sign was to blame as it said Kirby Underdale was two and a half miles away - in fact, it was just a few yards further over the crest of the road. A loud noise heralded the arrival of a man riding a mower. He just appeared as if from nowhere, cut a little patch then disappeared. A white van passed bearing a logo saying Halifax Estates. This was to be significant, a public car park, local barn and another cottage also bore the same name. Must investigate. I finished the painting and noted the buzzard had now been joined by it's partner, the pair of them soaring in unison. I took George for a walk down a narrow steep road, intriguingly sign-posted for Hanging Grimston. I passed lots of cow parsley, still in abundance up here, though Hogwort is now very much in evidence and will dominate soon. I also saw yellow and blue vetch, crosswort, red clover and rattle. It is all rather wonderful and I am sorry not to have explored the area before now, just as well that I have decided to paint this series of paintings about the Wolds.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Sunday visit to the Pipe and Glass, South Dalton.

 Sunday 3rd June 2018





I set off later on a strange day, the very lightest precipitation was actually welcome on this hot, humid, still, windless day. Intending to paint a larger canvas of the Wolds area near Holme on the Wolds I realised that the visibility was distantly, hazy and misty, so I adjourned to South Cave. Parking at the Pipe and Glass, there seemed to be an ethereal, heavy, low pressure greyness, the sun hidden behind a veil of encompassing, moisture filled, yet brightening now, sky. Looking back along the light grey road, at the neat, whitewashed cottages, framed on my right by a large ash tree, I decided to try a sketch. My intention is to use this as a study for a later painting. As I sat on the rear bumper, next to George, with the tailgate wide open, I listened to the quiet round voices of contented, well dressed diners,  all the time being serenaded by the beautiful song of a blackbird perched high above, in the ash tree. The constant arrivals and departures of diners was noisily interrupted by the arrival of several people driving sports cars, mainly Porsche but also Lotus, E Type Jaguars, an AC Cobra, Morgan three wheeler ( but was it pre-war?) and several Italian super-cars. Then another group, of motorcycle tourers, arrived and had a few problems manoeuvring around the now, decamped, sports car drivers who had taken up residence outside. Shortly, both groups drove off, loudly and I could hear the blackbird again. As I finished the first sketch, an enchantingly graceful car stopped next to me, having finished lunch and happily replete I was asked to show them my sketch. They displayed exceptional judgement and good taste as we chatted briefly, before they resumed their journey.
Before leaving, I decided to visit the Herbarium, it is welcoming and imaginatively constructed and helps supply the kitchen with a huge range of fresh herbs.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Looking down on Enthorpe Station House ( beware of trains ), East Riding Wolds.

12x10 Oil on canvas

The road from Etton to Enthorpe climbs high and at this point the views are wonderful. I am looking north, to my right looking east, the vista is enormous showing field after field and disappearing towards the horizon. Cow parsley is still looking good, buttercups, speedwell and plantain feature up here. However, the biggest surprise is the huge drifts of crosswort in the verges. Here, at this point, the fields are completely open, with no hedges, the crops coming almost up to the road. This caused a problem, inasmuch that there was no shelter at all and as the wind was quite strong, together with a mistiness developing I became very cold. I had to put a warm jacket on, yet, despite this my hands became very cold and I had to stop painting. Before painting, when it was warmer, I walked George to the distant building. On the way, I wanted to check out the disused railway line which is where the track dips. Sure enough, there was an old railway bridge and a closed gate to the Enthorpe Station House. On the gate a large circular sign declared the we BEWARE OF TRAINS. I stood looking down at the disused railway ( private land ) and heard a yellowhammer calling. I also noted that the swifts are really here now in great numbers as they flew around me.  Smiling, I continued past the pale brown field to the next junction. The field was deeply furrowed and the tops of potato plants were just emerging. The soil here is heavily contaminated or at least mixed, with lots of broken flint. It made me wonder about how good the drainage would be and how resilient the potatoes needed to be.   To the right of the picture, tall, thin, tree trunks can be seen against a dark background. This reminded me that earlier in the year, I had seen a huge wagon transporting felled lumber away from this spot.
Again, I rushed to the Pipe and Glass for a coffee to warm my numb hands and was delighted to see, as I passed St. Mary's church, a low flying red kite, it's forked tail working hard as it manoeuvred in tight circles.
What a lot of writing, hope you like it, I have treated this picture a little loosely  again and am pleased with it.

Monday, 28 May 2018

Looking north to Dalton Park, East Yorkshire.


Well, tut tut, I slept in....after an enjoyable, late night with friends in York. So today found George and I here, parked at the entrance to a field of growing cereal. The day was hot and a little hazy which meant that landscapes were always going to be rather vague. I decided to do this as an exercise. The distant view shows two buildings on the Dalton Park estate. I thought these would provide some interest, even though they seem to disappear. The grass verges here surprised me as they contained some magnificent borage plants, in full bloom. Beneath them I could see yellow vetch, crosswort, plaintain and red clover as well as many different grasses. also, wild 'forget me not' and of course cow parsley. apart from the occasional pheasant it remained very quiet with little birdsong.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

Looking towards Lair Hill, East Yorkshire Wolds.

I did this this afternoon, Wednesday 23rd May. The previous evening I had seen the film, ' I Claude Monet' and had the idea of painting the grass verges on the Wolds. My plan was to be a lot looser and more impressionistic, suggesting the wild flowers and without a sky. As you can see, I failed miserably.
This is my first 20 x 16 inch canvas for a long time. I used an old French easel, with old tubes of oil paint, which resisted being opened. I also used, mainly, a small headed, hogs hair brush with a long handle. I used a much larger brush for the sky. I have tried to be less detailed yet still faithful to the scene. I need to try a lot more and look forward to developing a looser style...... maybe. One does need to keep challenging, revising, and inventing new approaches to 'looking'. I have exaggerated the sky here and I like it. I have suggested the presence of cow parsley and campion using daubs of colour. The field in front of me was very light soil, actually full of flint and some chalk. As I painted George watched, barked, got taken for short walks and chased his ball and seemed quite content. Yellowhammers sang and bird scarers boomed in the distance. I spotted a solitary figure, a farmer I think, walking over a bare flinty field inspecting it's condition for planting. These large bare fields make it easy to spot the occasional hare and I wonder about the young leverets, are they safe? Are they a target for the numerous buzzards? Questions, questions.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Above Weaverthorpe, Yorkshire Wolds.

Travelling a little further, on a hot, still day, I arrived at Sledmere House. I thought I would see how the walled garden is progressing. The head gardener Andy, is making the walled garden look rather special, full of colour and interest. I have produced a few pictures here, at Sledmere, for my "Walled Garden" exhibition, one which I postponed as my priority was to look after D'reen. When it happens, it will be a reminder of our trips to various gardens such as Castle Howard and the beautiful Wassand Hall ( open this weekend), try and visit if you can. Okay enough of that, Sledmere was too busy, the car park full, they were having a dog event day, and so I headed north. Here is a view I spotted looking down from the village of Weaverthorpe. I parked on a neat grass verge, rather too exposed and wondered if I could 'fit it all in'. I did most of it there but have to admit I added some detail later. This was done on the 13th of May when the oil seed rape was shouting out, "look at me". Now, it is turning, and looking greener, before long it will look ugly and dark indicating it will be ready for collecting in. I liked the active sky. It changed conveniently slowly and I rather like trying to capture the movement. Hope you like it.
To AT, I am glad you enjoyed your plein air adventure.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Holme Wold Farm - A Royal Picture?


The town was very quiet this morning. Unusually, several stalls were empty in the colourful Saturday Market, all very strange.I wondered why until someone reminded me of a wedding taking place. I visited Carluccio's for a coffee and a catch up with a friend and then returned home. On the radio ...... THE WEDDING commentary ! So, I gave in and put the television on, vows were being exchanged, then some wonderful singing from the choir followed by the excellent cello playing of Sheku Kanneh-Mason. I found that I was actually enjoying it all. Well all the best to them for a happy future.

It was a lovely sunny day, off I went, into the South Dalton area again. The cow parsley in the hedges is at its peak. Wonderful. Hawthorne hedges, bridesmaids bouquets, is also gloriously covered in flowers, May blossom. Trails of beautiful white flowers, flowing from the parent plant exude a heavy fragrance, which on passing lifts the spirits. The hedgerows continue to look wonderful, bluebells here and there, slashes of crimson pink campion, in particular, and some subtle wild flowers whose identity eludes me. I parked up in the shade of a dense copse, and made sure George was comfortable before setting up. This view is looking towards Holme Wold Farm. Most of the farm is hidden by the surrounding trees. As I painted the soft chirruping noises of foraging partridges could be heard as they approached me via the tractor 'runways'. On seeing me they exploding into flight and cruised off into the distance. Otherwise the day, was very quiet. Ethereal. A distant call, a mewing sound, alerted me that there was a buzzard, or was it a red kite, above me. It remained invisible until closer, on broad wings it soared past effortlessly, scouring the land for food. Orange tipped butterflies are still to be seen and are now joined by small blues. I also spotted a lone plover fly past. Again, I felt rather sad, as, as a young boy I would see huge flocks, so I adjourned to the Pipe and Glass for a coffee.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Lair Hill House, on the Middleton-on-the-Wolds road, near Holme-on-the-Wolds.


A cool day, though not a bad as yesterday when we had an artic wind... in mid May!
So, out again. Not too far, near Holme on the Moor, on the Middleton on the Wolds road, passing hedges full of cow parsley, campion, buttercups, cowslips and trimmed hawthorn hedges with fresh reddish growth sprouting into life. Yellowhammers are numerous and I think I saw a cuckoo flying along a low hedge in a strange undulating flight as I approached it flipped over the hedge and out of sight, is it too early? Perhaps not, even the swifts are here now,
This view, good for my art students, is looking up at Lair Hill House. It is beautifully situated with lots of interesting outbuildings and surrounded by a protective bank of trees. As I painted lots of huge vehicles passed by, massive tractors with raised rolling gear and agricultural bulk carriers. All courteously slowing down as they passed. A beautiful day.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Wolds view from near Lund, East Yorkshire.

The forecast is for rain but not until later, over here on the east. So, on a bright sunny morning, after making sandwiches and a flask, I set off. My intention was to visit Lund village and see if anything caught my eye. Approaching the pond, my breath was taken away.... almost. What a wonderful sight, the entire pond was ..PINK. The nearby cherry tree had shed a lot of petals and covered the pond. I tried to find a spot to paint it, but it is difficult and so I moved on. Another location, this time... a pink road, appealed as the cottages either side may have made a good picture. However, a nearby cottage is having a lot of building work done and the associated traffic precluded painting. So, moving on past the now familiar buzzards and red kite, past verges of wild garlic, bluebells, plantain, cowslips and embryonic cow parsley, to this spot above Lairhill Farm. In an adjacent field a farmer in a massive blue tractor was busy tilling a brown, speckled field with a Power Roll XL 1200. I noticed it had five wide rollers on a large rig and guessed it was 12 meters wide. Anyway on with the painting. A distant farmhouse could just be seen behind rolling fields which looked interesting. The main feature however is the sky, A big change from yesterday suggesting rain could be here soon. Occasionally the sound of a shotgun reminded me of this area being a different world from the small town of Beverley, yet only a short fifteen minute drive.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

View from Wold Farm, Lund, East Yorkshire Wolds.


Today is forecast to be the last of the recent hot days, so I set off, and eventually stopped, via a walking tour of Lund, and inspecting the pond at North Dalton, to this spot, near Holme on the Wolds. As I drove to the site, I saw a huge, low flying buzzard, slowly flapping its massive,  broad wings, flying unhurriedly as it ignored  a pair of attacking crows. Further along, I saw a red kite, soaring effortlessly, it's forked tail busy articulating as it flew. Suddenly, a crow appeared and tried to chase it away with no effect. In fact, the kite wheeled round resulting in the crow flying away, the kite prodding it along. I set up the Pochade box and started the painting. In front of me a field with serried rows of embryonic cereal, revealed at a  distance, the silhouette, of a lone hare sitting upright. The  calls of a plover made me look up in time to see the characteristic broad winged dive, always so dramatic. Sad, however to see just this lone bird, as a child I would see flocks of hundreds. As I painted, a car pulled up and a man got out and walked through the cereal field. Later as he returned, we talked about the crop, I assumed he was a farmer but in fact, he was an agronomist. I mentioned the need for rain, and he agreed saying "though not too much".  We reflected on the wildlife and how rich it was in this area in particular the numerous French partridge. A local resident passed with his lovely, curious golden Labrador, which was carrying a plastic bottle, all the time wagging his tail. I finished the painting and adjourned to the Pipe and Glass for a coffee, feeling the weather was already changing.

Lairhill Farm, near Holme on the Moor.

Travelling home, after painting at Loaningdale, I stopped and saw this view of a distant farmhouse near Holme on the Wolds. I stopped and took George for a walk and then gave him a good, long drink on this, still, very hot day. With the car parked in the shade of an adjacent wood, thus protecting George from the sun, I started painting. The canvas size is rather small for these huge vistas, making any real detailing difficult. Yet, I feel quite happy with this composition. The farm in the distance is Lairhill Farm situated in an area known as Lund Wold. To the right of the farm is an intriguingly steep cleft called Hugill Dale. It is invisible from the road, investigation being somewhat limited as a huge, active bull, is resident. Again, as well as abundant numbers of pheasants, partridge, and even quail can be see popping in and out of the hedgerows. Yellowhammer numbers are also strong. To the left of the farm, on the Goodmanham road, a field containing horse boxes could be seen. Later, as I painted, several drove past me heading for Holme on the Wold.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Loaningdale, Yorkshire Wolds, East Yorkshire.

Today the weather was very hot, as I set off, I encountered heavy traffic heading for the coast. Hence a detour at Bainton, past Chalk Pit Wood, and via Middleton found me here. I had never heard of this area and was surprised to see the name 'Loaningdale' referring to a delightful small valley situated behind the cottages. This section of road, like many in East Yorkshire is part of a Roman Road, being dead straight. With my imagination working overtime, I  pictured soldiers marching, with determination, talking loudly and thinking of food and rest at their next camp. Perhaps they were heading for York, that famous Roman City. Regardless, I set up and started painting. Occasionally, huge agricultural vehicles passed by, elevated drivers smiling down at me from their giant air conditioned armchairs. As they passed, they created huge clouds of dust, I had to quickly close my pochade box until things settled. As the weather was so hot I was anxious about George, in the car, getting too uncomfortable and so I rather rushed this picture. However, I think I like it, and may revisit the area soon. I spotted a small group of trees and thought they could be a future subject.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Warter village - Tour de Yorkshire.

Oil on canvas 12 x 10 inch
After walking George I popped into Beverley and had a coffee at Carluccio's. The town centre was wonderfully alive with lots of entertainers and a huge video screen showing the progress of the womens' race ( The Tour de Yorkshire ). I decided to continue the 'East Yorkshire Wolds' theme and found myself at Warter. The pond was unusually calm reflecting adjacent colours. I was surprised to see shoals of roach in the pond, having not ever seen them before. However, I digress. I settled on this spot and began by sketching out the scene, using a pencil, directly onto the canvas. The mens race was due to pass me in an hour. The leaders of the race, a breakaway group of about 6 riders zoomed past as helicopters, filming, flew overhead. The entourage with loud horns blaring signalled the main peloton a few minutes later. Very dramatic.
Hope you like it.

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

Looking towards Holme Wold, South Dalton.


Oil on canvas 12 x 10 inch.

Late afternoon looking over fields with bright yellow oil seed rape starting to bloom. The distant call of a Peewit (Lapwing) made me smile. I remember seeing huge flicks of these birds, with their broad blunt wings, and recall, how during the flying display of the male bird, the dramatic, sudden tumbling dive towards the ground was a wonder to see. This view is looking towards a hidden Holme Wold House with St. Mary's spire at South Dalton in the distance. The wind made the canvas flap a little which is another hazard of painting outdoors, as well as causing small harvest flies to get stuck to the canvas. Behind me was an intriguing, deep little valley. When I peered into it I saw lots of fine red cattle with calves. They found their way to the gate beside me and became very inquisitive. 
Fortunately the H U G E bull remained at the bottom of the valley. Behind me also, to my left was another farm Wold House Farm, a future subject.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

A view from Huggate.

12 x 10 inch oil on canvas.

Another warm day saw me driving down meandering lanes, passing large, rolling, arable fields protected by neat hawthorn hedges, eventually stopping at Huggate. This view, looking north, on a still, slightly hazy, sunny day appeared possible. The house seemed to be protected by the trees around it and the huge barn reminds us of the agricultural relevance of this area of the Wolds. The distant horizon was a little paler than I have shown , though not significantly more so. I liked the very pale pink of the lower horizon and the foreground sheep.  I laid out the essential details and visited the next day to continue the painting. The public house, The Wolds Inn, is just to my left and I decided to partake of it's hospitality, having a sandwich and an apple juice ( cider ) while sitting outside in their beer garden. Driving away from Huggate I stopped and walked George. After a few minutes I discovered some hidden valleys, very dramatic, making me think about a future painting. Then, as if from nowhere, lots of horse riders passed me. After a canter from the valley below they slowed to a trot and then a walk, and, as they passed we exchanged some views about the weather, and I noticed the last rider had number 302 on her back.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Twixt Goodmanham and Middleton on the Wolds.

A very very hot baking day, record for an April day, what a change. I found some shade, which was not easy and saw this building, it is called Station Cottage. Halfway through painting, a huge wagon with attached huge trailer passed me. It was carrying lumber from the distant woods. Yellowhammers were again calling as I painted, and George lay chewing a branch, in the shade. I started by having a coffee at the Fidler's Cafe in Goodmanham, ( the name relates to the old fashioned, manual fiddle used for sowing seed ). This spot is 5 minutes drive away. Whilst I was painting a car stopped, out popped an ex colleague who had just left Fidler's where she had taken her mum and sister. It always amazes me, that in the middle of nowhere friends pop up. Celandines were glowing golden yellow in the verges looking luminous. The chalky ground in the fields was evident here and there, reminding me that crops grow under a heavy regime of fertiliser and spraying. Indeed, I cautiously moved George as a huge crop sprayer approached us at one point.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

Holme on the Moor, East Yorkshire. ( WOLDS COLLECTION )

Plein air, oil on canvas 12 x 10 inch
This took me two visits, most done yesterday, with today just to finish off details as yesterday was very blustery making the pochade box wobble ! Though this is not an obvious view to paint I have found it delightful. This shows the western approach to the hamlet with daffodils still in bloom on the verges. Celandines are now also at their best and are scattered along the grassy roadsides. As I painted, the quietude made one almost meditate at times. I was fortunate to see a hare emerge from a hedge, and then casually move along it before crossing the lane. I also saw lots of partridge in the hedges, both grey and red legged as well as hearing the 'krarkk' of pheasants in the fields. The peace would occasionally be disturbed by passing farm vehicles and at one point a low flying RAF trainer plane. Sheep, to my left,  with very young lambs completed a lovely, serene, bucolic experience.

Monday, 16 April 2018

South Dalton, looking at St. Mary's Church.

12 x 10 oil on canvas
Hi everyone, I set out mid afternoon to finish this painting as the weather was sunny and I thought it would be nice to paint in the warmth of of a spring day. I had thought about not doing this view but as I looked I saw various points of interest including two distant horses. The large beech tree provides good framing and, in the end, I like it. It is a view which is probably more interesting to paint at this time before the greenery develops on the tree. At the moment painting, though a joy, is also a little challenging and I hope, as time passes, it will be easier.
A cheerful sight of a bright yellow, yellowhammer, made me smile as i packed up....'a little bit of bread and nooooo..... cheeeeeese"
Hope you like it.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

South Dalton and a red kite.

12 x 10 oil on canvas
After seeing friends in Beverley, I drove out in the late afternoon, to South Dalton. I pulled up and saw this view of the distant St. Mary's church, across bare fields. I liked the way the tree framed the spire of the church. In front of me were pools of water after all the rain we have had, even today was misty in the early morning and only improved slightly. The cold became penetrating and with my hands freezing I packed up and headed for the Pipe and Glass for a coffee. I had a lovely chat and sat near the fire to thaw out. On leaving, I looked up and saw a magnificent red kite circling lazily on outstretched wings, it's forked tail being just evident. I have kept this painting quite loose and not over worked it.

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Barn near Bracken, East Yorkshire

!2 x 10 Oil on canvas
A quiet day started with a visit to Beverley Minster, to hear the visiting The Choir of Jesus College, Cambridge, going through some practise before Eucharist. I then left and set off to find somewhere to paint. The sky was overcast, dull though the sun was trying to get through. I found myself on this road again, leading to Bracken. Growing on the verges alongside these quiet roads are wild primroses and anemones auguring in the developing spring. I set up on the edge of the field. The quiet location encouraged many cyclists to ride by, away from nearby busy roads. Vintage motorcycles also passed noisily with names from the past on their tanks. Two horseriders, having passed earlier, returned and said hello. I have put them in on the right hand side.  I have moved the left side tree closer to the barn, to help the composition. All the painting was done at the site and is a little loose and not overworked.
Back in Beverley I met the mother of one of my students ( AG ) and we had a lovely chat, as a fellow artist I hope you like this picture.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

The road to Bracken, East Yorkshire.

12 x10 inch, oil on canvas.
Another showery day with aggressive skies threatening, at any moment, to open up and force a retreat. I saw this barn just off the road to Bracken, East Yorkshire. ( That will have a few of you looking it up -  it is near Lockington ). Hope you like it.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Holme on the Wolds, East Yorkshire.

12 x 10 inch, oil on canvas.
Driving around the South Dalton you come to this junction at Holme on the Wolds,

( ... always makes me feel like singing
 " Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not cloudy all day....)

anyway it is a small farming hamlet. It has rained so much recently I have wondered about building an ark, and indeed I managed only to sketch this onto the canvas before it rained again. So I had to finish it at home. It will be so good to get some dry weather. I hastily moved over to the Pipe and Glass, at South Dalton for a bowl of soup.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Holmedale Farm, near South Dalton

Tootling around South Dalton before we had all this rain I saw this elevated farm, Holmedale Farm. Feel it needs tidying up really but wanted to post it.May just tidy uo the windows and also review some colour, may even remove the gate.

Monday, 26 March 2018

A road to Middleton on the wolds.


It was a lovely day today and after some essential jobs, I decided, quite late, to try another sketch. I found myself on the road to Middleton, and saw this view. I set up the pochade box and after a short while met a local farmer. Very interesting chat about past weather. He could remember the winter of 1947 when he walked on snow which had settled at telegraph pole height !! The cottage in the distance is Firtree Cottage, the road to South Dalton via Hotham Hall turns right just before the cottage. Though quiet, the song of a yellowhammer made me smile, ' ...a little bit of bread and no cheeeeese..' Huge agricultural machines passed by having done their work in the huge adjacent fields and horse riders came over to us. A lovely day with D'reen very much with me in my thoughts.

The set up.