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Helen Clark: I’m the mood for Spring , simply because I’m near you..... near the Peak District that is!

Blog Posted on 16 May 2011


Well enough of the Scottishness – I am back to my beloved Peak District and how glorious does it look at the moment? The sea and the lochs were absolutely stonking but there’s  no place like home  (SIT  -  Toto).


With all this much needed rain this week, have you noticed, everywhere has suddenly turned so green, fresh and lush - the Peak District has undergone a transformation.  Spring has sprung in earnest and I love it – give me Spring over Summer any day of the week. Just walk by a river and see the willows bursting into bud at Bakewell. See the lush green fields littered with the lambs at Chatsworth and the deer under what’s left of the pink blossom . Stop the car and look at the view of Calver and beyond from the top of Curbar Gap – or see the beautifully colourful hedgerows of Baslow, from the top of Birchen Edge (from one who turns pink in the sun in minus 2 seconds I am probably doing Summer an injustice but it hates me and my kind – freckles, fair skin and blonde hair – ok if I’m honest – really reddy brown hair).


Everywhere just seems to look so young and fresh, like a start to the year – wash away all the snow and the murk of winter, a clean new look to the fog and sepia tones of the early year.......greens.......whites.....spring flowers........mmmm, what shall I paint this week........ I’m in the mood for Spring...........


So what do I go and paint? 3 donkeys in sepia tones and a hare in the snow. Eh? Where did that come from? Why not the green and whites and young lambs that you were waffling on about a second ago you mad artist woman?  This just proves what a weirdo I can be and the paintings this week are probably more to do with my mood than a blog has seen, ever before .


Monday – well I just felt a bit sepia, you know what I mean? It’s the start of the week and I had that Monday morning feeling and the post holiday blues. I’d been storing this gorgeous photograph of Villager Jim’s precisely for this moment as I knew I’d be on a downer from the holiday and back down to earth with a big bump (bumps in all the wrong places and someone had broken into my house and made all my clothes a size smaller – honestly, burglars now adays) . These gorgeous creatures are actually brown and white in real life so that also had a lot to do with it but painting all this sepia cheered me up no end. I’ve called it “The Wise D-Onkeys”  (as opposed to M-Onkeys – gettit?).
Wednesday I looked through more inspirational photographs Jim had just taken a fantastic raggedy hare in a field in Wardlow. The weather had gone a bit nippy and I actually had to put the heating on in the Gallery. I was cold (having gone in a silly short sleeved top and no cardigan – not suitable attire when it’s 13 degrees outside) and the wind was freezing.

A Hare in the snow I think. This is called “The North Wind”

Then by Friday I took Bog Dog on a walk by the river at Ashford in the Water on the way to work and felt all Springed up again. I’d got just the photograph I wanted to paint. Another hare but this time it had been taken in a  dew laden Spring meadow, really early in the morning. The gorgeous dew droplets seemed to have turned the grass minty green, which looked fantastic against the colour of the hare.  This one’s called “The Dawn of March”

You can see all theses paintings step by step at, I take photographs as I go along to show how they emerge – you can REALLY see how bonkers I go about things now!
I wonder what next week will bring – a fox in the fog at Foolow? A cow in the cold at Carsington? A sunbathing sow at Stanton ? Who knows – I’ve certainly no idea.
 Depends what mood I’m in, doesn’t it?!

Blog brought to you by Helen Clark

Type Of Art: Painting
Location: The Caudwells Mill, Rowsley
Contact Number: 01629 732 638

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