Yesterday was the 113th Grand Annual Show, held on the most perfect September day. The show retains its roots and traditions, and the competitions, whether baking the tastiest chocolate cake or scone, drawing or painting the perfect landscape, herding truculent sheep, or attempting to run the fell race, are all of a high standard and accompanied by good humour. Perhaps best of all, the show is a place where old friends meet and catch up, whether at the show or after in the Farmers Arms.
The show is yet another great reason to visit our village. More information on the show can be found here (https://www.mukershow.co.uk) but for now a few snaps to remind us of the day.
James Wheeler’s paintings have been part of the Old School since the days before we took over the gallery back in April 2017 and we’re pleased that the association continues and grows stronger over the months and years.
Of all our artists it is Jame’s work that I’m reminded as I make my way off Shunner Fell at dusk or walk along Occupation Lane on one of those atmospheric days Upper-Swaledale throws at you from time to time; the patterns and textures of the landscape, the lonely field barns and farm houses, all lying under a brooding, heavy sky.
Using oil on cork, James perfectly captures the drama and atmosphere of our surroundings and next year we hope to be able to showcase Jame’s original work in the Hartlake gallery. Watch this space!
Barn With Tin Roof, by local artist Sue Dewhurst, brightened up our dark winter days. Now, just has Spring has sprung in Muker, the painting has moved on to provide warmth and colour in its new owners cottage. We’ll miss it!
John fought through a bad back and yesterday’s “seasonal” weather to deliver four, new, superb line and watercolour paintings of Muker, Gunnerside & Hemsley. We’re really chuffed he made the effort. I guess you have to suffer for your art!
I’ve only had literally 20 minutes shooting with the Sigma SD Quattro H (paired with a Sigma 18-35mm DC) but couldn’t resist pushing out these shots. I was blown away when I first processed images from a Sigma Merrill … and I pretty much have the same feeling processing these. Can’t wait to get out and really put the camera through its paces.
A recently re-discovered print of Muker, measuring 6 feet by 3 feet, found in Reeth Memorial Hall, and dating to circa 1950, one year before electricity came to the village and four years before the creation of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Considering its age it’s in remarkable condition. Who took remains a mystery but whoever it was, had a fine eye, a fine camera and a fine set of muscles to carry it!
And hopefully the restored version below, now on sale to generate funds for Muker Village Hall, does the original photographer justice.
A wonderful thing about working in the Old School Gallery is the many conversations we have with the folks who visit; whether it’s the American lady who suddenly recited three Robert Frost poems, or the ex RAF Nimrod pilot who told me tales of flying over the North Atlantic, or the Chinese film maker recently returned from Tibet. We learn so much in these conversations and hopefully give a little back on the subject of art, crafts and photography.
A recurring conversation concerns Sigma’s “secret” cameras with their magic Foveon sensors. The trigger is the overheard debate between customers, discussing whether an image is a photograph or painting. It quickly moves on to the vibrant colours and immense detail, even in the far distance … and that brings us to the technical bit about Bayer sensors and Foveon sensors, micro-contrast, photons and wavelengths.
If the technical bit doesn’t kill the customer off they invariably buy the print! … And one camera club member liked the print so much he returned to say he’d bought the camera!
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the top selling photographs in the gallery are taken by the Sigma DP0 Quattro. It offers something different from Bayer sensored cameras that the buying public seem to be instinctively drawn to, unbiased and unburdened by any technical knowledge or heavyweight marketing budgets. And as a photographer it provides me with a distinctive, unique, tool with which to capture the stunning scenery that surrounds our tiny village in upper Swaledale.
My short journey to reach the Cart Ford above the Foss, where you cross the Rushing River, began by The Small Cultivated Field. I passed through The Clearing, then on up the Dale, gaining height as I climbed through Grazing Land. If I’d been visiting my friend Waendel at his Woodland Clearing I’d have taken the pass before The Clearing, careful not to stumble and fall into the potholes full of cooling butter, and down past Sigemund’s Rock, or perhaps climbed up the hill to see if Sjon was at his Look Out Hill, then down past the Row of Shepherds Cottages. But today it was to the Cart Ford I was headed, to take photographs of the Foss and just beyond The Spring I found the very spot.
(Translations below 🙂 )
Old Norse & Old English Translations, with thanks to http://www.daelnet.co.uk/placenames/index.cfm
Yesterday’s beautiful day in Swaledale held the promise of a great evening’s photography, but as it approached closing time, and my chance to get out, the sky became overcast and the light flat. Nevertheless there was still chance to explore the countryside and search for interesting compositions so I pulled my boots on and headed out.
And then, after a quick pint at the Farmer’s Arms, the sky had cleared and overcast turned into gorgeous sunset.
An early morning walk from Muker to Keld, and back via Angram, to judge the morning mood. The weather was overcast, and light flat, until I arrived back at Muker, at which point the sun decided to come out, and then stay out all day. Sods law.
Our new life in Muker, Swaledale at the Old School, provides the opportunity to explore the countryside around, understand the light, read the weather, revisit scenes as the seasons pass, judge the moods, and develop a feel for the landscape with an intimacy I’ve never had the opportunity to do before. I’m sure it will take a year or two before I have a portfolio worthy of the landscape, but discovery is my favourite part of the process, and the process has begun.