|Great Gable East |
work in progress
acrylic on canvas
These two works are the first of the series and I suppose the trials and tribulations began here, I prefer the top view of Gable with the mountain cutting out most of the sky, looking dominant, and sublime; the lower painting of Gables East fellside try's to capture a typical spring blustery morning where shadows chase each other turning greys into mauve's, ochres and the new pale greens.
Is there a Lake District genre of Landscape painters? Having done a quick check through popular paintings on google there are Heaton Cooper, Grimshaw, Glover and some other Victorian painters, I'm not sure, did the search for the sublime end in the Victorian times? John Cooke and others in the last century have continued this work, Melvyn Bragg seems to think so; but are these good artists in the minority?
Despite the fact that many recent paintings have made the place look chocolate or biscuit boxy my memories of the 60's and 70's Lake District are not as such, hitching lifts up the M6 from Blackburn on the back of a bike, arriving in Keswick soaked, hungry and broke, wet tents and gear, sweeping rain, sleet and wet snow that was useless to climb on, grey skies and moist, steep, cold, cliffs in the valleys and gullies of the Langdales, Buttermere and Borrowdale; plus the gritty influence of northern climbers like Don Whillans, 70's working class campsites full of jeans, beer, folk songs and revolution;
As to why this never developed into a 60's, 70's NW school of landscape art in line with the northern Manchester painters or created a group to rival the SW Cornish artists I don't know? maybe the Lakes just got conceptualised out during academic studies and of course any artist studio was being overpriced and bought out by second home owners, Is there a northern landscape school of Art that includes Landscapes? I don't know. Neither can I find a book on Lake District painters (A project for Melvyn Bragg?) but having said that I must admit to not searching very hard for one....The landscape program on Channel 4 two nights ago featured many views of the Lakes and the Western Dales will that piece of work be developed.....
I think I'll have to paint all four Lake Districts the one with the early summer scuddy white clouds and blue sky, the one with clear skies and sharp coat of frost, the one with the grey battalions of mist and rain and finally the light bright greens and yellow of spring...I will have to re-read the maid of Buttermere by Melvyn Bragg, Wordsworth and Wainwrights anecdotal commentary on the Western Fells.. anyhow this is writing and I'm a painter get back to the canvas you old fool you....