Like water under a bridge

by maggie

Last weekend I was up in the Peak. In the heat on Saturday, up on Dovestone Tor on Derwent Edge, eveything was very bright and still. Of course I left my camera in my tent.

Crookstone Out Moor in the afternoon haze.

Crookstone Out Moor in the afternoon haze.

There was lots to look at, and lots to draw… but were to start and what to chose.

When you go somewhere new there is a kind of race with the period of ones visit to decide what to record – it takes time to assimilate a new landscape. The most potent memory is the heat of course. But the rock had it’s own character, the piles of the Cakes of Bread and the strange circular recesses in the crag – as if they had been attacked by a giant penny.

In a perfect world you should be able to visit everywhere twice – once to look and the second time to sit down and make a picture. I still haven’t worked out whether there was anywhere at the Dove Stone that needed to be made into an image.

On Sunday, therefore I returned to somewhere I had been before – somewhere cool.

SK238835: a pool below a bridge in a wood above a field

SK238835: a pool below a bridge in a wood above a field

There is shade and light: reflections, translucency, solidity, shadows and silhouettes. Heights and depths, both above and below the water. The colours of the leaves, grass and ferns; the colour of below the water. There is time, not so visible in a photography but with a drawing the shadows and the beams of light move over the rocks and the water – you have to decide where to pin them on the paper.

an exercise in shadows

an exercise in shadows

So I’m not sure how much I made of my opportunities this last weekend. My excuses for Saturday was the heat, but mainly I think I didn’t know what to do with the source material that I had. Foreground, mid-ground, distance – what’s the most interesting and most suitable subject. How to tackle a grey bland rock with breaks and cracks? Or endless grasses, heather, flowers, cotton grass. The pale empty heavy sky.

I’m sure I’ll be thinking about the images that I didn’t make for a while now.

MER

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