Blencathra- the biggest in the bag.

From early on things didn’t go according to plan. I struggled with one or two of the larger sketches, the painting just wasn’t going well and with watercolour the more you work at it the more laboured it looks. Several attempts were made but with no improvement. Now this isn’t the first time that this has happened but usually a second attempt usually sees the sketches work, learning from the previous mistake. Blencathra though seemed to be getting the better of me and frustration was setting in. The pile of pencil drawings awaiting completion sat on the other side of my workbench, they were put on hold.Threlkeld from Halls Fell

I suppose this could be defined as artist’s block? after all if writers can get it why not artists? It isn’t actually something that I have had to deal with before, previously I have been able to move onto another fell and then come straight back but not this time. The more I looked at those blank bits of paper the more I avoided them.

This wasn’t working out, Blencathra like all the other fells needed completing. So it was that I decided that perhaps the best thing to do was revisit the fell and get inspired. In the past few years as part of this project I have ascended the fell several times, taking on the various ridges and routes to obtain those illusive references. This time I was free to wander at will and so I chose my favourite route, the fine ridge of Hall’s Fell. I picked just the right day, warm but not too hot and weather conditions of patchy cloud which cast blocks of shadow across the landscape. Not setting off until early afternoon meant that the fell was all but deserted and the light was better for photography. This trip really was the tonic I needed, it spurred me on to return to the easel and finally complete this the biggest (in work) of all the 214.Doddick Fell

I even have managed to edit together a short film of my photographs and sketches from my experiences on this, the best of the northern fells, Blencathra. I hope you enjoy my efforts.


  1. It’s really interesting that you came across artist’s block at the very last stage. Perhaps you simply, consciously or unconsciously, didn’t want to finish the project or were frightened to “muck it up” right at the end. Whatever the reason, you’ve overcome the obstacle. Many congratulations! It looks wonderful from where I’m sitting…. Wishing you all the best in the future… and CHEERS!

    • Thanks for the comment Jola. yes, it’s a little odd that I became stuck at this, the biggest fell. Perhaps it was due to the number of images required which just looked overwhelming when laid out on the table. Still, all done now so all downhill from here.

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