Saturday, 3 August 2013

July - Summer Blog

Oh dear,  missed my (self imposed) July blog  deadline but perhaps this is a reflection on the fantastic weather the country has experienced over the past few weeks.
 It's been a great month. We have spent most of the past few weeks climbing in the Lake district. Not so good for my painting but hopefully it'll pay off in the long run.

Luckily no need to lust after foreign trips this summer.With the English school holidays starting later than Scotland, the Lakes were relatively quiet. Sitting up at Kern Knotts Crag was an absolutely lovely experience, crystal clear weather and beautiful views.

Looking out from Kern Knotts 
Huge boulders

We took on a number of pretty challenging multi-pitch routes everywhere from Pavey Ark  in Langdale to High crag in the not so far away Buttermere. Climbing with John and Gillean is great and we're lucky as a family to enjoy the same things.
Looking up towards The Napes from Kern Knotts
John going for it on Inominate crack
Gillean seconding
Gillean gets his ipod out to take an en route shot!

This is one moment where my heart was in my mouth....John was cool. There he goes on the top pitch of Death Star, Pavey Ark
Gillean heads up the 3rd pitch of Rake End Wall, Pavey Ark

I do sometimes think what the hell am I doing up here especially when like a few weeks ago we  were precariously balanced on a holly tree which protrudes directly out of the rock,on the first belay of Hedera Grooves at Falcon Crag.Strong as an ox though!

First belay on Hedera Grooves (Gillean is perched on a very small shelf to our left!)
All the climbing and being outside has made me loose track of time ever so slightly....the sense of freedom that a break in routine can bring is life enhancing.

Time  takes on a different rhythm.Daily routines from meal times to bed time have shifted considerably (something I'm working on before I go back to work!!) and time spent in the mountains feels like stolen time. Precious.
On a recent outing we managed to start climbing at 1pm and by the time we played the guess what time it is? game it was 6.40pm and we still had a hour and half walk out and a 45min drive  home...late dinner that night!
Looking out from the Henhole,Cheviots
I can loose an hour or two in the studio but nearly 6 of an afternoon felt very surprising indeed.

Since the hot spell has subsided I've been painting quite abit more and with the impending annual Crossing Borders art trail I am very conscious of the need to get on with the ideas that have been brewing for a while.

A few interesting things have happened in the microcosm of my studio, and I have to own up to making some bad decisions when it comes to knowing when to stop. The image below is a diptych I started in June but oh my word look at it now! It has lost it's vitality and changed into something quite different! It has completely different qualities and although in and of itself I am fairly happy with it, I wish I had kept the original sketch and valued for what it was...vital, fresh and brief. Next time.
The should of left it alone stage!
One half of the diptych as it is now.Oil & Wax on Canvas 80x80cm
The second thing that's been going on is the reminder to myself of never taking anything creatively or otherwise for granted. Those easy mono prints  are just not happening at the moment no matter how hard I try! And lastly sometimes where you look for inspiration and subject matter is not where you find it, for me it's sometimes not in the far flung mountain scapes but in the more gentle and quiet landscapes right on my door step.

 Near Denholm - One for Summer
Oil on canvas 50x50cm
I've taken a lot  photographs lately and really want to include them in this July post.... so below are a few I thought were worth including.

Walking down from Buckbarrow Crag

Top of Eagle crag, Grisdale

Wild swimming on the walk out
Waterfalls galore

Baa ,baa black sheep
Another unfortunate sheep crag bound and destined for disaster :(
Budding boulderer ( delicate moves at Brant Fell !)

Brant fell Boulders
Sheep in the shade, Brant fell.

Fox gloves at Gouther Crag

Bog cotton, Rothley  Northumberland.

Stone me, who is that?!

Our photographer didn't quite get the idea of a double shot!!!