CASTLERIGG


THE CARÉLES ODDITY
oil on board, 20" x 30", 2000, £NFS
Ltd Ed prints available (/500), Postcard prints available

The detail on the stones and the plough/ditch cuts are distinct and I wanted to compromise the hyper-reality by flatenning the horizon and removing its detail for once: the title and focus of this representation is the anomalous rectangle of stones found within the eastern circumference. This was composed directly from photographs on a day too cold to sketch, just before the winter solstice of 1999, and with all the sheep edited out!
Click HERE to read The Circle

art:
1. The Caréles Oddity
2. The Carles at Dusk
3. Somnolence
4. Castlerigg
5. The Carles 4 (image pending)
photo:
6. The Carles

CASTLERIGG (aka THE CARLES), CUMBRIA
A pear-shaped circle of local slate situated perfectly on Chestnut Hill in the Lake District. The stones are between 3’ and 7½’ tall, with the heaviest weighing 16 tons, and the diameter varying from 97’ to 107’ due to its shape. The stones now number 38 and an obvious entrance is facing north, with the possible remains of a ploughed-away bank to the south west. Estimated construction dates vary from 3200BCE to 2500BCE, making it late neolithic or early bronze age, but undoubtedly one of the oldest circles. The tall side-on pillar to the south east is aligned to the Imbolc sunrise between the fells of Matterdale Common. A unique and unexplained feature is the rectangle of 10 upright stones within the eastern side, measuring 22’ by 11’. Excavated by Davies in 1882 only charcoal and stone were found in a 3’ deep pit. In 1856 an excavation by Williams within the circle itself discovered 3 bronze age cairns and a stone axe. Another axe was unearthed in 1865 - the Langdale Mountains to the south are a known source for stone axes. The cairns themselves had been previously removed along with several of the circle’s stones to allow for ploughing. Another circle in the vicinity was noted to have still been around in the early 1700s by Stukeley, although no trace survives. Interestingly, the name Carles, meaning a “wise elder”, is a mistaken reading from the correct Caréles in Stukeley’s notes.
OS: NY.292.236 East from Keswick between the A66 and A591 in the Lake District.



THE CARLES AT DUSK
oil on board, 22" x 18", 2003, £100

Standing within the circle and looking out across the western hills after sunset. A view of one of Castlerigg's more subtle evenings, composed as a contrast to Somnolence.
Click HERE to read Sleep



SOMNOLENCE
oil on canvas, 48" x 36", 2002, £600

The stones of Castlerigg can throw up a myriad of colours under any light and so I painted this view with texture in mind. Also viewed from within the circle to give an appearance more of an avenue winding from the sunset and the tranquility of the landscape despite a vibrant sky. Castlerigg's intangible energy generates its own interpretation for any moment.
Click HERE to read Views From a Damp Bench


CASTLERIGG
oil on canvas, 40" x 32", 2000, £NFS
Ltd Ed prints available (/500), Postcard prints available

Hmmm. This started out as a snow scene. Didn't work. Then a pissed-up neighbour threw a cup of tea over it. He didn't work much after that either. Actually started in 2000 but fate deemed it was still being touched-up in early 2002. Definitely the correct decision re the snow: there were too many wonderful shadows and hues to the fields to ignore for this view. With the shadowed mountainous background curving into the cut edge of the field I wanted the low-level rain clouds to reach out and curl around the circle allowing it to bask in comparative light before they enveloped it. By not accentuating any shadows on the stones it leaves an ambiguity not only to the light direction but source.



THE CARLES


THE CARLES 4
ink & charcoal, A4, 2004, £50



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