When the Lockdown was first lifted, I headed for the hills.

Well, I headed for Garrowby Hill to be precise – the closest high point to my studio, and a place with a huge, panoramic view across the Vale of York and beyond. It felt freeing to be up high and I felt alive.

Suddenly boundaries were removed. Instead of seeing just the nearest wall, fence or hedge, I could see distance and I had a sense of where I was in the world. The world went from feeling small and contained to feeling vast and limitless.

I have painted this view plein air (outside on location) over a period of time, taking in the colours, textures and changes in the seasons. Crops are sown, grown and harvested and wildflowers mingle amongst them with a loose life of their own. Distance is lush and bright in spring, and brown and parched in the height of summer. Birds, insects and animals live their lives oblivious of Covid and the political turmoil we find ourselves in, and agricultural work continues with a relentless rhythm. The world goes on turning.

The project is ongoing and I will be adding to it over the months and years ahead, painting and recording the changes in this landscape and the place where I live, love and work.

July: Garrowby Hill. A copy of this work hangs in the Woolpack pub on ITV's Emmerdale!

July: Garrowby Hill. Plein air acrylic on canvas. A copy of this work hangs in the Woolpack pub on ITV’s Emmerdale!

August: Garrowby Hill. Plein air acrylic on canvas

August: Garrowby Hill. Plein air acrylic on canvas

I Can See for Miles and Miles. Studio painting based on my plein air works

I Can See for Miles and Miles. Acrylic studio painting based on my plein air works

May: Garrowby Hill. Plein air work on paper

May: Garrowby Hill. Plein air acrylic and charcoal pencil on paper

May: Garrowby Hill Flowers

May: Garrowby Hill Flowers. Plein air watercolour on paper

June: Garrowby Hill. Plein air acrylic on canvas