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God's Own Crag

Almscliff Crag, located between Otley and Harrogate, is one of Yorkshire's premier rock-climbing venues. Rising above the surrounding farm land, this isolated reminder of the last ice-age is visible for many miles around. Its rough "millstone grit" provides a superb surface for the climber, and the manner of its erosion over millennia offers endless formal interest for the artist.

According to the notes in my climbers' handbook for the area my acquaintance with Almscliff goes back to 1979, and since then it has exerted a constant pull on my attention both as a climber and as an artist. My engagement moves constantly between respect for the grandeur and sense of presence of its overall form, and attention to the intimate detail of its surfaces. I doubt that the attraction exerted by "God's Own Crag" will ever disappear.

Although the majority of my studies of Almscliff are executed in pastel, recently I experimented with a set of small images in watercolour, some of which are also included here. The crag us divided into two tiers (High Man and Low Man) which terms will help to make sense of many of my titles.

For several years now the nearest pub/restaurant, The Square & Compass, located in the nearby village of North Rigton, has kindly agreed to sdisplay a selection of my studies of Almscliff, for which I am very grateful (contact@thesquareandcompass.com).

Additional images, the focus of which is the surface detail of the rock, also appear in the gallery entitled Chalk on Rock. A selection only of my pictures of Almscliff is offered here, as I have omitted those which have been sold.

Click on the images below for additional detail.

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