Today was meant to be my first full day away from the office since March. Any such plans usually guarantee interruption by a client on the phone or a change in the weather. The latter dictated today’s proceedings and I was forced back indoors.
My recent ‘postcard’ project has been a stop-start affair. The handful of postcards I have managed to draw during short trips to the Durham Dales, have only demonstrated the need for a full day to explore and sketch.
Local farms have Swaledales as their fell stock and are a common subject, throughout my sketches – I now refer to the body of my work as such.
These hardy creatures are hefted to the land, meaning they know the limits of their grazing. Some of the lambs are sold, as store-lambs in the marts during autumn as there’s insufficient grazing available in the hills by late summer to bring the lambs into a finished condition. They are purchased by farmers with better land at lower attitudes and grown for meat production or breeding.
They endure some of the most inclement weather conditions in the country. I admire them for there diligence. My trick is to walk ahead and pause. After a few inquisitive minutes they resume feeding making good subjects.
If the conditions improve over the coming days, a walk up Cronkley Fell is on the cards