Above Wessenden

test2Whenever I gaze at this painting I want to stretch out my arms as far as my finger tips will allow, as though they are the wings of a bird, swooping over the valleys, gullies, lakes and peaks and into the far distant hills which weave shrouded in mist.

This painting portrays to me all that I think about Yorkshire, her grandeur, strength, unassuming beauty – and her pride. I call her the Texas of the England.Wessenden rates as one of my favourite moors. Many an hour I have passed, walking this tussocky landscape above the Holme Valley, two miles from Holmfirth on the A635, an unspoilt part of the Pennine chain.

The rain had fallen earlier that day, clearing the air and providing me with an unbelievable vista. Not only did I want to capture the range before me, I wanted to illustrate the wonderful watersheds that nature had provided. I desperately wanted to convey the patterns of sponges, the gullies and the becks which were chiselling out the wonderful shape and tone of the moor. In the far distance I could hear a skylark.

As I frantically tried to emulate the reflection of colour and movement of clouds chasing across my vista, as though racing for shelter before the next storm broke, I was aware that a shadow crept over the moor. It would not be long before the next rain fell. But time waits for no man and it would not be too long before the bracken turned to glowing burnt amber and my glistening, pure moor would take on another fascinating persona