Teesdale Landscapes

I often look back on events in life that were solitary experiences. Things I’ve never shared because they seem too meaningless for discussion, knowing others will find less interesting. Some of these events are none eventful, by which I mean nothing of any significance occurred other than, at the time, I was in a place special to me. Occasionally such places are never even visited, they’re simply snapshots in my mind taken from a journey on a train or in the car.

An isolated tree, bent with the wind, or a narrow lane hedged by hawthorn vanishing from view yet leading somewhere.  I reach out across the landscape in search of such places, a distant figure walking a dog by the side of a wood, a dark sheet of water drowning the corner of a field which never dries.

Others are visited more frequently, a virtually hidden copse of trees, or the bumps in meadow where a village used to be. Meaningless and unimportant yet they fill an album locked inside my mind, trivia, but still there they remain.

They can be even less so, worlds within worlds, ripples in a familiar stream, or a blackbird watching me dig in the garden waiting for its chance. Moments and places shared without voice or word–unspoken but understood.

Some of these places I yearn when furthest from. I think of wader birds on the Saltholme Nature Reserve when I’m trapped in a business meeting. I remember the chill on Cronkly Fell when surrounded by company I’d rather I wasn’t! Sometimes when far away from home I hear the voice of crows in the Ash, or the silence that fills the crags below Holwick.

I’ll take this journal of thoughts and images with me when I’m gone, never shared

The hidden waterfall

say for this post.




20 Replies to “Teesdale Landscapes”

  1. Memories of places like this are far more useful than those stored digitally… Can you imagine getting your laptop out in the middle of a meeting to peruse your selection of favourite places… lol… plus they tend to hold much more depth…

  2. Mmmm… I also have a memory full of imagery from small moments that only I know about, or ones which were shared with others but which I remember in my own, unique, individual way.

    Sweet painting, that – the hidden waterfall.

  3. Such a lovely post describing what it is like to be an artist. I had a watercolor student say this week that she couldn’t believe how differently she looks at her surroundings, now. I love it when I hear that from someone. What a lovely waterfall!

    1. Thanks Leslie, during autumn I’m constantly stopping the car looking at light filtering through trees. The waterfall is in a remote part of the North Pennines. Even on a cold wet day like today, I can still sit there just to listen to the sound of the water. Thanks again for your comments.

  4. I can really relate to what you’re saying here. In fact I think this kind of way of being is essential for ones mental health. Recently I’ve been thinking about how that kind of hightened awareness from observation of ones surroundings takes you into a slightly different state (as does painting). I guess that must be something to do with the origens of what’s come to be called religion & you can still have the feeling regardless of whether or not you’re religious in the traditional sense of the word. Probably lots of us artists would have been labelled as withches or shammans a long time back!

    1. Ah… Sonya, your reply captured more of what I meant to say than my post! Religion is only an ideology and mine are the landscape and sky. My beliefs weren’t handed down through family or taught in school. I connect with events and place in my surroundings, which for some reason mean something to me. I do consider my self to be mad, as in the words of the Mad Hatter, “the best people are”!

  5. There are moments I know are so special I try to drink everything in, hold on as long as I can… the smells, the air when I breathe deeply, all the sounds and sights… those details a camera will never capture. Sometimes when lying in bed I try to put myself back into that moment and feel it all over again. It never quite works, but there is the memory at least. A beautiful post Keith and a very special hidden waterfall!

  6. I have some quite place I go in my mind that I don’t really think would be an interest to anyone but me. But that’s okay, it’s beautiful place to go and the thought and memories are wonderful.
    I love the waterfall. Bravo!
    I’m already coming back in here so much I put you on my blogroll so I wouldn’t have to keep looking for you.
    Almost 0 degrees today. BRRRRRRR!

  7. I live in the Mid-Atlantic of the USA in the Autumn and Winter, then I head South to the Outer Banks of NC, USA in the Spring and Summer. It’s a nice little arrangement. And right now with the temps dropping drastically daily I am truly longing for the beach in the summertime.
    Thank you for the link, Keith!

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