Mill wheel

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From a couple of years ago, acrylic on water colour paper. A mill in Leek, Staffordshire moorlands. Done for a leaflet about the Trent and Mersey canal. Another one of those Facebook memories that crop up that you’ve forgotten about until they pop up on your time line….

The lake

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A view of late summer. Riding on the Rudyard lake light railway train, along the length of the lake. I saw this sailing boat over the other side. Too far away and slightly misty to get a clear view. I love the romance of the scene. Its a long, thin lake. Sheltered by hills on either side. Actually a reservoir for the canal system. I don’t think it ever gets stormy on there. No tides, no rise and fall of water, unless there is a period of drought. A lovely, if busy, place to visit.

It’s out in the hills on a little side road, we have cycled there down steep gradients when I was a lot younger. One road to it is very narrow, with passing places. The other is on the far side of the town of Leek and means an extra twenty to thirty minutes travelling to get there.

One day I will take paints and a canvas to capture the views.

The winking man

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If you drive over the road between Leek and Buxton you drive past a hilly ridge of rocksĀ  on the right hand side called the Roaches. There is also a hill called Hen cloud. You can turn off on the left and either take a road that runs along or behind the ridge. There are rocks to climb or scramble over and footpaths to follow up high to a pool on the top and then down again to the road which loops round the end of the RoachesĀ  Follow the path onwards over the road and eventually you get to a wooded valley and a cut through the rocks covered in lichen and moss called Luds Church. I’m not sure of the map references but it’s an interesting place to visit….

But the winking man is further up the main road past the first turn off to the Roaches. Its on the left side as you drive up the hill. It looks like a profile of a face with a hole for the eye but as you drive up to it the rock beyond can be seen through the eye and it appears to wink or blink.

The rock of the Roaches is hard wearing and the face has been visible for years. It is a well known landmark but be careful when you are driving I’d rather miss the wink of an eye than the view of the road.

Illustrations

One thing I really enjoyed doing a while ago were illustrations for a leaflet for the canal and rivers Trust. I’ve probably already mentioned. My friend provided the images to work from and I painted with Acrylics on watercolour paper. I did that to get the depth of colours without having to paint thin layers and I could paint over any mistakes I made.

I was really pleased with the results. I only remembered them because they popped up on my Facebook memories. I wonder what else will appear there?

The top picture was an amalgamation of the two harecastle tunnels at Kidsgrove, Staffordshire, a work in progress. And the second was a mill at Leek in Staffordshire.