A few years ago, inspired by the pictures in some of my old climbing guidebooks and also my noticing just how many different colours and shapes are in boulders, crags and cliff faces when you look at them closely, I started painting close-ups of rock faces. So far I have just done a few, gritstone crags close to where I live in Otley. I am getting back into climbing and bouldering at the moment, have dusted off my crash pad and have been getting out to the crags a bit more again. I always love looking at the rock, particularly with the sun on it so maybe soon I will find myself doing more of these.
For over a decade I lived in a house from which I could see Chevin Buttress out of my front room window. I often run and walk underneath it and years ago did the three classic routes that sit alongside each other - The Waster, Gronff and the original line Chevin Buttress. This painting is of the left end of the crag, showing it after summer rain that seemed to turn the rock almost red.
The rock at the great gritstone plug Almcliffe in Lower Wharfedale is renowned for its climbing. Given its relative height, exposure and 360 degree panorama it also gets great light. This painting is of some of the rock that makes up Overhanging Groove, a classic Hard VS just around the corner from the Wall of Horrors.
On the eastern face of the Sugarloaf boulder, one of the larger boulders on the north side of the track at Caley is Angel's Wall, another classic Hard VS that is also a long and necky boulder problem. A relatively steep wall with big hidden holds, I have only done it a couple of times as it gets a bit airy at the top. I love the way the greens and almost oranges came out of the rock along with the 'normal' browns of gritstone.