Eskdale Needle

This is ONE of the largest pictures I have ever painted, measuring 90 cm x 70 cm, or 35"x27". I do tend to work on a large scale when painting scenes like this, where I have been so overawed with the immensity of the space before me, (and around me!), that I want to re-enact that experience again while painting the picture. I feel a little more part of the scene while I am painting it! It is a picture of the Eskdale valley in the Lake District, Cumbria, with Scafell - and Scafell pike on the skyline - the highest point in England. It's painted in oils on a piece of heavy canvass that I stretched myself over a wooden frame. It's part of a very large rough piece of army camoflage canvass material that I bought cheaply to prepare several pieces of art-work. After I had stretched it I did sand it down before covering it with a primer, but I should have sanded it down again and given it a second coating. But .... I didn't. I was impatient to get started on the painting! I found the surface quite sharp to work on. I used brushes for most of the painting, worked the paint here and there with the tip of my middle finger, and developed the detail of the grass in the foreground with the edge of a rounded palette knife. I developed this painting from photographs taken with a digital camera while on the walk. I'm getting too old now to be lugging painting materials and an easel this high up a mountain!
I was very honoured this painting was purchased for the Williamson Art gallery and museum's permanent collection this year - 2015.