Holwick Crags- Holwick Teesdale

Holwick Teesdale

I’ve been unhappy with a lot of my recent work. More accomplished artists have their bad days, but my particular problem seems to be set firmly in my mind.  I can see where I want to be, but find old habits dragging me back into the same old same old! Plus, I have Norman Cornish nagging away in my mind, like some angry aunt, always looking for fault, always seeking to compare! I’ll never be Norman Cornish, but at the same time. I’ll never stop trying.

Trying too hard can often be a cause of my problems. Sometimes I need to go away and leave a particular medium for a while. At the moment I’m out of love with my acrylic work, although before this ‘lost period’ there was much to feel positive. Now my watercolours seem to be heading down the same slippery slope. I love to paint, yet at the same time it causes so much unhappiness, I often wonder why I persist!

This painting is of the crags at Howlick, in County Durham. A beautiful spot, the rocks have no magnetic powers, yet they pull at my mind. The power of ‘place’ is a wonderful thing, and I know I have something to accomplish here before my time I done. Faces are like rocks, perhaps there’s a connection that I don’t see but feel, perhaps I need to finish this post and go to bed!!!


8 Replies to “Holwick Crags- Holwick Teesdale”

  1. I understand exactly what you mean. All i seem to do lately is sketch as for some reason i can no longer complete a painting. I have hit some kind of block. I love your painting, by the way.

    1. Jinty, Many thanks for your post. I’m with you on the ‘block’, although I feel I’ve turned a corner. That’s what this is all about, a journey, we need to understand and experience the dark days to fully appreciate the good. That’s what makes us whole! I’m off for a look at your blog. Please keep in touch and thank you once again for your kind feedback!


  2. First of all I am totally impressed with this landscape scene. I don’t know of Norman Cornish so had to look him up. His work is really wonderful and gives off the same essence that I feel when viewing yours. When I began viewing your work another artist came to my mind, however. I think it is your strong use of ink in such a fine and feeling line. His name is Frederick Frank and he wrote two books that I re-read frequently. The Awakened Eye and The Zen of Seeing. The drawings I have viewed of his are all in ink or ink and wash. They are filled with feeling and a sense of knowing. That is what I see you doing. I hope this gives you a boost of confidence, Keith.

  3. Thank you Leslie, I’ve just had a look at Frederick Franck and his work is very interesting. I’m going to buy both The Awakened Eye and The Zen of Seeing from Amazon. Pleased you enjoyed the work of Norman Cornish, his work is only just receiving the recognition it deserves! Your wonderful work is also a great source of inspiration to me!

  4. These Holwick crags really are fascinating. I’d love to see them someday. Your painting of them is very beautiful. It’s hard to see why you are unhappy with it. They remind me a little of a special view I’d share with my dad as a kid hiking in the Sierra Nevadas. The rocks looked like castles. I can relate to what you write here. It’s why I took a break from painting… but I stayed away so long I forgot how I loved it.

    1. I’m really grateful for the feedback. The crags at Holwick are very special. Sometimes painting what I think rather than what I see, proves too much of a challenge for me.
      I can easily slip back into old habits, and this more than anything drives me to despair! It’s great to have so much feedback. I wish I’d brought my work out into the open sooner!
      Please keep posting.

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