Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Views of Cumbria, Silverdale, Arnside and the Lake District. No vomit anywhere.

A few weeks ago I took the opportunity to visit my family up in Silverdale, Lancashire - an area of outstanding natural beauty. It's one of those parts of the world that hold a special place in my heart, as I strongly associate it with my childhood. 
For as long as I can remember, every summer holiday, my Mum, Dad, brother and I would visit my Granny and Grandad, who lived there. Last year my parents moved there too.

As a child, the three hour drive up the motorway would feel like a never ending journey, hellishly long; the tedium and monotony only interrupted by a strong desire to vomit. The desire to vomit only interrupted by actual, proper vomiting. 
As an adult, the tedium of the drive is still quite potent, but thankfully the demon carsickness has been vanquished.

My love of the countryside there, however, remains just as strong now as it was as a child. Below are some photos that were snapped on various jaunts around the local beauty spots.

One of the first of those jaunts was to the top of Arnside Knott. The views from the summit make the effort required to get there very much worthwhile:

Arnside Knott

Arnside Knott's view towards the Lake District

'God Rays' over the Arnside Coast

I've been reliably informed this is a White Galloway

I also took a wander around Warton Cragg, which, like Arnside Knott, hosts some great views of the surrounding Lancashire coastline:

Sunset as viewed from the top of Warton Cragg

Whilst up in t'north I decided to take the chance to go for a walkabout in the Lake District. Having had enough of driving that week (see above), I decided that I could only really be bothered to travel for about an hour. Thus I headed up to Windermere.
It was a very overcast, damp and foggy day, but there was a calmness in the air and the autumn colours remained bright and vibrant. I spent the entire afternoon pottering about the western side, near to Wray Castle. I must have walked for at least 7 miles in total:

Autumn in Windermere

I call him Winderdeer.


Windermere has a variety of interesting wave types, depending on what is in the water.

I'm guessing this exact photo has probably been taken about a million times already.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

There and Back Again: An Artist's Blog, By Luke Baggins (Bennett)...

Whilst not quite the 13 months that Frodo was away from The Shire, it has been a fair while since I last enjoyed the comfort of my trusty old blog.
Whilst I'd love to claim that in all those months I've been off vanquishing the lands of evil and darkness and making a positive contribution to the world of men, all-the-while avoiding the subtle but determined advances of my chubby best friend, that would be a lie.

The truth is that, regretfully, I haven't had the time or energy to devote to painting and drawing that I would have liked. Regular 12 hour days at work certainly haven't helped. But, for the immediate future, I now have more time on my hands than I know what to do with. As such I've decided to start doing more of what I love doing, resolving to take more photos, do more drawings, and to generally nurture and regain some creativity in my life.

The drawing below is the first result of that resolve, and the first sketch I've attempted in about 11 months. 

An original hand drawn pencil sketch of every Tolkien fan's favourite villain, Gollum, as depicted by Andy Serkis in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit film trilogies.

I think in total it probably took between 5 and 8 hours, although I'm not totally sure as that was spread out over a number of evenings.

I approached it in a slightly more methodical way than I normally do, focusing on small areas at a time before moving onto another. Usually I have a habit of doing a bit of everything all at once in a slightly disorganised but arguably more artistic way.

I'm quite pleased with the results. Let me know what you think in the comments.

As always, more of my work can be seen/bought/commissioned at