Autumn in Teesdale

My wife and I enjoyed a rare day off work without the children today, so we decided to head up to Northumberland and away from Teesdale. I was imagining a nice walk along the Coquet, Till or even the Rede. My obsession with waterways is not always shared by my much better half and we settled for tea in Corbridge.

Lovely town, some fine buildings, lots of Romano-British history and expensive tea! I suggested we take a walk along the Tyne, but the cold was biting so I agreed to settle for some nick-knack Christmas shopping. Compromise is the key to a lasting relationship, so a few quid lighter; we packed the car and headed for home.

The fix still needed fixing, so when we arrived back in the house, I produced this painting of woods in Teesdale using a technique borrowed from Barry Coombs. It represents a radical change in everything I’ve ever understood about watercolours.  I often set out to paint with a new direction, but always seem to fall into the same old trappings. Barry

Autumn in Teesdale

and Leslie both gave me a new insight, changed the way I think about colour and values. I don’t pretend this simple painting is anything of note, but for me, it represents a real leap forward in painting without line or pen as the underlying structure.


13 Replies to “Autumn in Teesdale”

  1. WOW…I still totally “see” you in this and I am totally impressed. I feel like I could walk right into the middle of this stand of trees. Wonderful depth, soft light playing amongst the shadows, all in your own style! By the way, Keith. Don’t put away your ink pen. I love those drawings and paintings you do, also.

    1. Thank you Leslie, It’s funny you should say, because the areas of the painting I like most are those which don’t look
      like they’ve been painted by me- but that’s just the quirky nature of what we see in our own work. I felt it was a move
      into a new way of thinking and direction especially with colour and depth, that’s what I’m searching for.
      I always search for your opinion too and especially your valued your wisdom.

      1. You see, I do think it is a new way of working for you, but you have salvaged your special hand in it all which I so admire. I don’t think I could have captured this special light filtering thru these trees as well as you have. When I first started following you, I did so because I saw refreshing and interesting visions. You have not disappointed me in my visits, here.

      2. Since starting my blog, I’ve met so many interesting artists who influence my work! You’re one of those Leslie. At times I become so inspired I get side tracked trying to replicate what so many of you produce, both in words, colour and line. This painting was one of those. I’m always humbled by your kind, supporting comments. I’ve never been this daring in my work for years… and to publish?

  2. I don’t want to go down in history as the guy who ruined your painting! This piece works very well and, although I love your pen stuff, this one doesn’t need it. You’ve created a strong pattern. If I may make a suggestion, and I’m about to anyway, try darkening some of the background trees (left of centre) so they are silhouettes against the back lighting.
    A safe way to try it is to make a colour copy and do it on that first. Cheers.

    1. Thanks Barry, That was my first real attempt, and I could see how this approach could work for me. I too felt it didn’t need
      the line work which is one of the things I like about it most! I’m still a big coward when it comes to putting in some final
      dark colours for depth. I see those trees too, but felt afraid to darken them.

  3. What a stunning piece you created and in a new style too. I feel like I could get lost in this enchanting clearing in the woods. Beautiful capture of the right-hand light and the shadows crossing the forest floor. Simply lovely Keith!

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