Winter in Teesdale







I painted this picture late last night, thinking of the hardy Swaledales on the fells of the North Pennines. Unlike the cattle, which are brought indoors during the winter, the sheep suffer the snow and ice without complaint. It also made me think of the missing fell walker Gwenda Merriot missing in the Lake District. I pray that particular story has a happy ending.


22 Replies to “Winter in Teesdale”

  1. Well, I think they should be appreciated enough to give them a shed to break the wind, at least! I like every single one of these animal paintings you do. They all have that gesture and flow that gives them the feeling of movement. Fits the snow falling on your blog and in your country! What a challenge it might be to try and paint sheep in the snow. 🙂 Just teasing, Keith!

    1. The snow’s very deep in the North Pennines. Tomorrow we’re heading up to Barnard Castle (weather permitting). Two essential bits of kit will include camera and thermos flask. Paints will definitely be staying at home! Thank you for the feedback and directions for the snow!

  2. Wow they really are a tough breed to be able to endure the harshness of winter. Of course, being all huddled together like they seem to be must be like wearing a ton of wool sweaters 🙂 This is absolutely beautiful Keith. I love how you capture animals… so much movement and life. Love too how those 4 animals in the front seem to be keeping their eye on you 😉 I also like the flow of the land and how the herd looks to be spilling out onto the road. Very cool.

    1. Rounding them up is the most difficult part-once on the move they just go! The tatty the wool, is testimony to what they endure out in the freezing temperatures. Not all make it, especially when the snow drifts. I’m humbled by your kind and constructive comments. It makes it all worth while. Thanks Amber.

  3. Great piece. I keep looking at the lower left corner. Very strongly structured with the values and vigorous pen work. Nice brush work on the road, as well. I notice from your recent tweet that you watch birds. Birding’s my obsession, er… hobby.

    1. Thanks Barry, I’m still using your technique with the shades first. Bird watching is another great passion of mine. I’m fortunate to work as a ranger
      for Natural England, that’s the government body which promotes the English countryside, so I spend lots of time with wader birds up on the NNR at Moorhouse in Upper Teesdale. I also live on the doorstep to Saltholme NR, the dunlins and golden plover are a wonderful sight at the moment!

  4. Your comosition is great. The path leads us to the sheep and the sheep are so beautifully done. I have read and reread all of the books by James Herriott. This painting reminds of those books. Thank you for sharing it.

  5. You’ve really captured the stance of sheep that look a bit taken aback that someone coming towards them & they’re just working out what the next plan of action should be!Those ones on the bank look just about to jump down to follow the rest. I like how they are lit from the side with the long shadows. Nice & fluid.

  6. I liked visiting here today – I just love art and painting and I think that might be why I married an architect/designer I think cooking is my art form – making healthy tasty and fun. Maybe writing too? but I am rather questioning that form these days.

  7. Thank you for the blog link and once again you have snow as do several other bloggers in UK on my list!

    I will check out the ginger bread mam next – I love ginger and Tim Minchin’s song about prejudice which speaks of ginger on You Tube.

    I just took a phone video of ZIP playing supper bowl soccer all over the house, my girls will be home soon and I am sure they will love this little entertainer. Now goes down stairs carefully, more afraid of the heavy rain we have been having and still will not jump down from my lap – They sure are cute

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