On a personal note
One of my first personal experiences of landscape came from my solo walks as a 15 year old. Id walk from Whalley over such delightful Lancashire places as The Rough, Apronfull Hill, Turn Head, Barley Moor and down Pendles Big End. Then I'd head back to Whalley along the footpath via Downham, Worston, Mearley and Pendleton. I could see the walk or most of it from my 5th year German class window which was on the second floor of St Marys College. I’d retrace the walk mentally as I watched the clouds race over hill and dale. When spending money was short and I couldnt raise the bus fare to Whalley I'd walk it from my Mums terraced home in Roe Lee Blackburn. The vast majority of my landscape commissions are commissioned by people with simuar memories of family walks and who like myself find an almost meditative peace by revisiting these treasured places.
In my Landscape painting’s I am still constantly engaging in this moving visual dialogue between paths known and paths remembered. The subject has been a fascination which has developed my painting philosophy painting as a way of understanding the way the mind and landscapes co exist. A commissioned landscape painting is concerned with a specific topography or familiar sites, to myself and to the client. They are a culmination of joint experiences, memories and imagination.
“I think it’s the role of an artist to make something which goes beyond a technical representation of what they see. In the same way that fiction can brings the writer and subject together, I trust the physical process of painting to reveal something which is both unique to me and communicates something others can feel is true” James Naughton 2016
The initial drawings of Pendle from the West side. Drawn in pencil on paper 11x11cm each captured on some amazing pleasent days.
Two watercolours formed the clients final selection both images of Pendle from almost the same direction. The one on the left closer to the hill near the bypass to Clitheroe and the right hand one from near StandenHall Clitheroe.
The Final Piece came together in the studio with a 100 shades of green. I wanted to capture the almost constant threat of rain in the clouds that brush against the steep fellside and creates Pendles mood. Lancashires Everest with its own jetstream. The painting is now in Bettys lounge on her wall evoking many happy memories of walks with her father some 60 years ago under the old "Big End" unchanged and full of mystery.