Shimmering Light, Roseberry Topping,
My ‘Skyscapes Watercolours’ original paintings result from the fusion of my long standing interests in meteorology – in particular the study of clouds (nephology) – and watercolour painting.
I have a long-standing interest in meteorology, and I am a member of the Royal Meteorological Society and the ‘Cloud Appreciation Society’. This interest is reflected in my skyscapes watercolours.
The science of clouds was advanced in the early nineteenth century by Luke Howard’s classification of clouds. Howard’s work influenced Turner, Constable and many other painters in their rendering of skyscapes.
For me, the skies are an endless source of interest and variety. They are also a source of emotional impact; it is worth noting that Constable saw the sky as the ‘chief organ of sentiment’ in a landscape painting.
In most of my skyscapes watercolours, the sky is the dominant subject. In this painting I have depicted the light of the sky over Roseberry Topping, a local landmark in North Yorkshire. The landmark, over 300 metres high, is named after the Norse God Odin, and features on Chris Rea’s song ‘Chisel Hill’. As such it has important historical and cultural references and I wanted to give the painting a shimmering, ethereal quality. I adopted the ‘wet on wet’ approach using several stages of watercolour washes, using a limited palette. The painting is all about the play of light from the clouds onto the hill below, emphasising the contrast between the dark hill top and the lower slopes bathed in light.