I begin by combining 3 photographs I took with my digital camera on holiday last September in North Yorkshire. I love the textures of the moorland, the scree, the heather, the broken down tracks, the muted colour and the sense of wildness, despite the fact that, as you can see in the photograph on the left, you are never that far from civilisation. These little scraps of wilderness manage to be comforting and forbidding, lovely and austere at the same time. G and I were following a walks leaflet, which we had bought from the wonderful Moors centre, a fascinating place with permanent informative displays about all aspects of the North Yorkshire Moors, as well as changing exhibitions of moorland inspired art. I was interested and surprised to learn that far from being the totally untouched and natural spaces I had always believed they were, the moors were actually man made, and the result of agricultural development. The standing stones, many of which litter the moors, are thought to have been in existance for thousands of years.
I decided that, instead of basing my new picture on one photograph, I would challenge myself by combining several of them, as I have done before, many years ago, when I was an art student. Despite feeling that I'm a little rusty as an artist, I began with thumbnail sketches and very quickly worked up a rough graphite sketch in 2B pencil.