Gibson’s Cave-Bowlees

Gibson's Cave

Nearly 650 meters above the village of Bowlees in Upper Teesdale, run two small becks; Flushimere Beck and Wester Beck. They join force above Gibson’s Cave descending in a tremendous roar in the shape of Summerhill Force. Gibson’s Cave takes its name from a local vagabond who hid from police in its dark underbelly. There’s an atmosphere within this chamber, especially when alone and the last of the evening light dwindles. It wouldn’t surprise me of Orcs appeared on every side in ambush. Oh I’m just being silly!

That day, I made the mistake of lingering too long in the woods above the waterfall, having to make my way back through the trees in almost total darkness. This painting was produced from a photograph taken on the same day. Far too cold to be painting outdoors.

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14 Replies to “Gibson’s Cave-Bowlees”

  1. Oh, how deep is the chamber? I think it must be very creepy when you all alone there, but then again I’m a scardy cat 😉 I do love how you’ve captured the water as I can almost hear the roar of the water. Love how you included the grasses in the foreground as if we have just discovered the cave. Is this scene in your sketchbook?

    1. The chamber only goes back a few feet. It’s the overhang that’s more threatening! I wish I’d had time to put this in my sketch book. I’m starting another of my own in the form of a diary. Thanks for your kind comments Amber.

  2. I love your drawings and your descriptions of the areas of Northeast England. So, so different from where I live.

    I can’t believe you had to walk home in the dark.

    I love your waterfall. You did such a great job of depicting the water falling off the rocks.

  3. Ha! I had to look up what an Orc was! I love a good scare as long as it is in a movie or book and not TRUE! The textures and shapes you have included in this painting makes it one of my favorites of yours, Keith. The composition of the falls to the left and the gaping opening of the cave staring at us, darkly, from the right helps my imagination wander as yours has in the story. Love this.

    1. I feel this painting was a slight step forward in the way I would like to paint. I tried to keep the pallet as clean as possible and the strokes just as simple. The longer you linger in such places, especially at dusk the more the imagination runs wild! Thank you for your kind comments.

  4. That’s great to have a bit of history linked to your painting, as it really helps to set the mood of the surroundings outside of your painting… I can easily envisage what it would be like sitting there… Love the tones in your painting too, and you’re not the only one who’s not realised how dark it’s got whilst packing up for the day, and had to find the car in the dark.. lol..

  5. I like the fluidity in your work. I think though that I’d be more scared of walking alone in the dark in a city or certain towns than out in the wilds! O.K I admit, it depends on “the wilds”! In England (or France or Spain) we’re not about to meet a hungry crocodile for example!

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