|"Hole of Horcum"|
This engagingly simple little watercolour (15” x 12” approximately) has quite a tale to tell and also gives valuable insight into my early works. The origins of the painting were formed during a memorable visit to the Hole of Horcum one cold (very cold!) winter’s day with two artist friends – Tony Hogan and fellow exhibitor Rob Gobel. It was so cold but we parked up and crossed the road to paint “en plein air”. I remember I was wearing fingerless mittens and my hands were freezing. We shivered our way through a sketch and then incredibly decided to get the paints out. We were stood on the edge of the steep drop and people must have thought we were mad. The paint just would not dry on the paper so we abandoned the attempt and beat a hasty retreat to a warm and welcoming pub in Pickering. However the scene stayed with me and using the original sketch I produced this somewhat fanciful painting. The floor of the valley was lit up but I exaggerated the effect giving me a rather contemporary effect. This so called ‘contemporary’ effect enabled me to get into the prestigious Blake Gallery in York when I painted a copy of this but double the size and it eventually sold. Of the two paintings this is the best because of the spontaneity involved as I worked my way through what I wanted to portray. It contains lots of elements of my early style such as the very loose sky painted with the board on its side so the wet clouds ran in the direction I wanted. This then is a reminder of happy days gone by and I am very pleased to be able to include it here in the ‘Three Journeys’ Exhibition.