Keeping it Local

There have been some benefits found in this Covid Pandemic – not many I know, but I have noticed one or two things that I have been thankful for.

During the period of lockdown in spring I really missed being able to go further afield onto the moors and do longer walks in the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales and the Yorkshire coast line.

I usually do a 20 min ‘round the block walk’ first thing in the morning to ‘clear the air’ and ‘ work out the stiffness of sleep’ and I continued with these, relishing that little bit of freedom of the lockdown. My route follows roads and main pathways around the village where I live – it does have some great views across the valley along the way, but it is mainly an urban circuit, except the very last bit which overlooks fields and a local beck.

On several days, still sticking to the rules of lockdown, my husband and I did a number of longer walks of about 3-4 miles in circular routes around where we live, on which we discovered lots of pathways we would have otherwise overlooked taking us through beautiful country areas, some low and hidden in valleys and ditches and some with wonderful views high up over Huddersfield. I am so thankful that we live so close to such natural beauty and this was reinforced ten fold during those difficult weeks.

I also reflected on how often I tend to want to go far afield to seek the wild spaces I desire when there is so much on my own ‘doorstep’, often overlooked in my haste to travel. It made me appreciate a lot more the area around me and see it with new eyes. And it has also made me start to seek out more of these natural treasures closer to home. Whilst further travel is now permitted I have set myself a challenge to explore more wild spaces within a circle of less than a 45 minute drive from our home.

I was fortunate to receive a commission to do two watercolour paintings of different aspects of the land around a local landmark. These were not in my usual ‘stomping ground’ but definitely within the 45 minute circle, so, after discussion with the client re their requirements, I had to do some further research, initially in my car driving round the area, and later doing a few walks to get to know the landscape better.

The paintings are now finished and off to their new homes. I am pleased with the outcome as, apart from quick sketches, I haven’t done any serious watercolour painting for a while. I am glad to say that the client was delighted too which is always the key point in a commission.

Emley Moor from Church Hill Farm
Emley Moor across Clayton West

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