Dobroyd Mill, Last Building Standing, oil, 25 x 35 cm

Snow and Brief Sunshine, 9th Jan, oil, 20 x 25 cm

I’m mainly a plein-air artist and usually find the winter months to be unproductive. However, in the coronavirus lockdowns I’ve tried to get out to do some art whenever time and the regulations have allowed. Though my spring and summer output was less in 2020 because of the restrictions, I’ve painted outdoors more in the winter months than in previous years. The latest out-door session in 2020 was 27th November, quite a mild and sunny autumn day; in 2021 I’ve managed plein-air work on 15th January in the snow and on 26th February again locally.

The first piece is my latest in a series documenting the demolition of a local weaving mill to prepare the site for a housing development. This oil painting is probably the final one in the series as it captures a view of the last building left standing. Not sure why the building has been left, probably for security reasons if only to form a strong anchoring point for the linked metal fencing. i was attracted by the geometrical composition of the view, including the unsafe looking suspended live electric cable and junction cylinder. The backdrop of autumn colours bathed in the soft light was a bonus.

The other oil painting was done to capture the heavy snowfall we had in mid January on the hills I see from the front of our cottage, in a brief session during the late afternoon when the sky cleared to a welcome blue. The name of the hill is Cheesegate Nab. As far as I’m aware, cheese has not been made in this area, so I can’t offer an explanation for the name.