Black and white photo of a rolling field with trees in Ryedale

Research in Ryedale

Wednesday was an art development day in Ryedale. This is the countryside that is taking my focus at present and particularly the working landscape rather than a romantic notion. This is not a new idea, artists have been interested in the agricultural landscape for hundreds of years.

The plan was quite simple really to drive round and discover places not previously known and open up the area to myself. This can be tricky sometimes when you know some nice spots and feel drawn to them.

This is a place just coming out of Scackleton where I had painted a few years ago with Patrick Smith. It has the rare quality for a roadside view of being able to accommodate two cars and space to paint but this one has both of those.

I started my nosey round in Slingsby where I heard loud clanking from the field next to me. The farmer was quite happy to be photographed and made light work of these heavy pipes. His farm is in the second shot.

I liked the little vista through the hedgerow and pleased to make contact with someone working hard on the land. Apparently each pole weighed 6 stone! That’ s more than half of me or top half maybe. Next photo to this is that man’s farm. I liked the connection here with the buildings, the trees and the cut field.

I took quite a lot of images in black and white which give you a nostalgic feel and also add to the drama.

The weathered buildings, flajing paintwork and dented railings all add character and signs of human and animal activity.

There was a nice little pull in between Stonegrave and Nunnington that opened into a fantastic scene punctuated by the magnificent hedgerow. The working element was the tractor marks and pile of manure.

I was also taken by these big sweeping foregrounds.

As is the nature of being out and about that you meet people who are almost always pleased to see you and chat. Being an artist also helps give a focus for these encounters and people respond to your interests. So thanks to Steven, Jackie and Fred. I hope that I got your names right and thanks for being accommodating. Fred is a retired art teacher and proudly showed his recent digital artwork.

The last two are from Jackie and Fred’s front gate.

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