Painting by numbers in the north

Cumbrian Fells (M. Day)

I think we were all a little misled at primary school. Sky and sea are blue. Fields are green, sheep are white. There is a sun. None of these elements seemed to match up with our northern surroundings. Our clouds were not fluffy and white but a powerful, illuminated slate. The fields were rough coppers, oatmeals and mosses. The rivers didn’t sparkle like diamonds but frothed like freshly pulled Black Sheep Bitter. And our sheep were never white but a graffiti-ed mix of fluorescent pinks and blues and reds depending on whether they have been tupped or not. And they lied about the sun.

But it makes for a much softer palate of colours. No jarring of primary against primary but a soft merging of the elements that sit naturally one next to the other. It’s rough and moody but powerful and magnetic.

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