This painting was the last of a full day's plein air painting. The light was beginning to fade, clouds were starting to collect and the temperature was beginning to drop. Even in high summer, the North York Moors are an elemental place. I had to work fast to capture the last of the sun on the foreground and in the middle distance.
This view is on another great route through the high moors, which I've often travelled from Great Ayton. The village of Westerdale – which always sounds like a name a writer would invent in a classic Bronte style novel to me – is just up the road.
Arriving back home in the late evening, I dug out my ordnance survey map to work out exactly where I'd set-up my easel. I discovered the name of the land I pitched on is equally magical because of its strangeness: Little Hograh Moor. I was also able to determine that Castleton sits in the distance, just out of sight in the painting.