Autumn is a wonderful time to be up again in North Yorkshire. This time I stayed in the market town of Helmsley with its warm ochre-coloured stone houses roofed with traditional “pink” tiles (originally these were imported from Holland, and then subsequently made locally). Using my reliable OS maps, I followed a lovely walk on a bridleway from the White Horse Farm Inn, Rosedale Abbey which gave great views across the fields and up on to the dales, before we ascended on to the moor and followed another path to Ana’s Cross (North Yorkshire is famous for these ancient crosses and stones, but you need to be prepared to walk to them!) from which, again there were inspiring views. The light is always changing up on the moors with dramatic skies and rain clouds to be seen. This time no snow, unlike Teesdale (County Durham)! I took with me my pocket-size sketch book, and wearing fingerless-gloves, I was able to make outline drawings and colour notes, which I worked up into larger drawings once I got back to Helmsley. I also managed a trip to Whitby which, again, was an inspirational visit for capturing the light and colours on the unique houses and yards of this fishing town. The wind was up, so I was able to make some carful studies of the sea too.
I’ll be creating further North Yorkshire oil paintings back in my studio in response to this trip, so please check back on my blog in the New Year (early 2014!).


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