In 2009 I climbed Hedgehope, the second tallest of the Cheviot hills, for the first time. It was a cold, wet, windy dull day but I couldn’t resist tackling a quick sketchbook study of Cheviot. It ranks well up there with one of the bleakest locations for en plein air painting. A year later, on a bright, sunny day with no wind I climbed Cheviot, struggling through snow that was so deep it covered the tops of the fence posts!
On a clear day, I often gaze at the Cheviots when out walking my German Shepherd near our home in Ponteland and remember my walks there. If you haven’t ventured into this part of Northumberland’s National Park, then drive to the Breamish Valley and spend some time exploring. You won’t be disappointed.
Of course I’ve been painting en plein air in mountainous places for many years now. Back in 2007 I had the privilege of painting Jebel Akhdar in Oman. I’d received a number of painting commissions from their government to paint hilltop villages and forts. It was a wonderful experience to paint them from life. We were able to return again in 2018 and stay at the Anantara hotel which boasts spectacular views of the mountains there.