The problem with showing paintings is that they can be very large, especially acrylics or oils. Water colors often work out to a more convenient size, especially those done while traveling. Either a 4- by 6- or an 8- by 10-inch pad is very convenient, especially while fell-walking. No fun lugging anything heavy over 12 or so miles. Although for oil pastels, I use a 9 by 12, sometimes across both pages for a fair-sized landscape.

Painting under the happy lamp over my drawing table or on an easel during a bright day is wonderfully decadent compared with being outside during bad weather. On the other hand, a slow rain can add its own unique impression, such as on the painting below.

Dusk across Lake Grasmere toward Loughrigg, 8 by 10 water color

Yes, I brought home water from the Lake District. Good stuff, L.D. water. Sheep don't pee in it. Can't say the same for the cows though.

Grasmere Sunrise

One of the most enjoyable experiences is sunrise, whether over the lake or over the mountains. Mist is ignited in vibrant colors as species after species of bird awakes and greets the dawn in an ever-louder chorus. Now, for some reason or other, I've prided myself on being able to observe, and what one really sees is not necessarily what one expects to see.

For example, in the sunrise below, the sun (even through mist) "breaks" the ridge line (toward Nab Scar for those technically minded). Through the eye, then, nothing is fixed and solid, because normally speaking a mountain's ridge line is rather fixed in the span of a human life. However, broken it was and broken I painted it.

Sunrise, 8 by 10 water color

There's a sequel to the morning while I painted this sunrise. The farmer who rented the field (southwest of Lake View) came over and asked what I was doing. "Painting," I replied. He went away.

The following year the field was fenced off by barbed wire. So if you don't care for my artwork, you're not alone.

However, the farmer still had to leave a trail open to the lake, because the Lake View and its guests have the right of access to it , as long as the trail is used at least once a year.

One of course can't always paint outside at Grasmere.

Look Out!