Lucia Smith

Yorkshire Dales in soft pastel: my favourite pastelling techniques of building on careful composition, underpainting, priming surfaces and the layering of pastel colour remain. I have long known that contours move, changing perspective offers us a scene to watch: moors dance, shadows chase, the clouds shift, the contours look different again.

But there is more to discover about what I paint: the underlying rocks, the geology, the ancient history, the geography!

Maps, books, knowledge. I am finding a shared curiousity with the scientists. If I know more about what I see, I can grasp the scene more completely; it informs the composition, distils its song. Great Scar limestone to the west; majestic strata of the Yoredale series in the east; soft rounded sandstones in the south. Springs and watersheds, tributaries, confluences and earthquakes. They are all hiding in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

So many dales with so many different personalities: the search takes me to hidden, remote Dales, finding new contours, new compositions. I pick up a PEBBLE and muse: its journey is much longer than mine. It belongs to this place even more than I. As a reminder, I hide a pebble shape in all my newest works.


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