Waiting on Holme Moss – TV helicopter just above the yellow van.
You could hear the crowd roaring as they climbed the valley from Holmfirth. Electric!
Momentum (p=mv) Newtonian Mechanics = One thing leads to another.
Sean Yates – No comparison! Legend.
I have always had a love of cycling, ever since first seeing the Milk Race in the early seventies. Our school class lined the roadside with flags waving as they hurtled past at great speed, then they were gone. The whole thing lasted about ten minutes but made a lasting impression upon me, I wanted to be one of those bike racers, the colour and excitement was so intense, it was a lasting memory.
I pestered my parents for a racer, just not one of the three speed things. Eventually, as a teenager, I got my way in the form of a Carlton racing cycle with ten gears, a proper bike. I was now a bike racer. I cycled everywhere, I was able to go where I wanted for free in my own time and pace and I loved the speed. Those memories have never gone and I remember them like they were only yesterday.
Cyclo Cross 1990 on my old Carlton, lots of clearance for the mud!
During my mid-twenties I raced, not very well, but I pinned a number on my back, it was so much fun. Those days are gone now, but in the last three years I have returned to cycling seriously, although I never stopped altogether, I have taken to time trialling to keep myself fit again. As a consequence, every Saturday morning I roam the country lanes of Northumberland getting the miles in as they say, ‘building base’. I do more in the summer evenings as well, once the clocks change. This has opened up a whole new approach to gathering useful material for my work and I’m able to see the landscape like never before. Apart from the health benefits, my car fuel bill has reduced considerably; this is very liberating and overall a positive experience, one I can highly recommend.
The Road To Felton
The latest work is a direct result of my time cycling, it’s also a collection of my thoughts as I struggle up the steep hills and back down the other side gaining momentum and speed, all the time cementing a solid foundation of fitness and mental strength.
Bad Day Ahead
With the wind in my back coming along the flat, I gain more momentum as I can see the whole landscape before me as I speed home.
Rain, A Few Crows
A few more hills, I turn the last corner and another landscape is there to paint, what an experience, I could never have done this driving the car.
These hills, valleys and flats are like my life unfolding before me.
Fence Posts, No Wire
I’m sure there is another hill ahead as I work away in my studio, at least now I know I can freewheel down the other side and my struggles are not in vain.
Willows In Strong Light
Grazing Cows, Morwick
Warm, No Wind
These few paintings continue the momentum from the last body of work – 16 Newtons. I may be approaching another hill but I know I can only come down the other side.