The Clee Hills have been said to form a gateway from the West Midlands to the hills and rural landscape of Wales. Coming over the hill from Clows Top, the landscape opens up and the Clee Hills are laid out in a quite breathtaking vista. This was the view I had from my studio in Mamble and it’s etched into my mind’s eye. In sunshine it seems a gentle slope but when in shadow it seems to loom and grow and take on a greater presence.
Giclee on paper – Limited Edition of 100. Image size 11.5 x 11.5”, single mount
Giclee on Canvas – Limited Edition of 25. Image size 20 x 20”
Giclee on Canvas – Limited Edition of 25. Image size 38 x 38”
About the Collection
“The Hills and Skyscapes of Shropshire and Worcestershire” is Rod’s latest collection of work. It has taken a year to complete and involved many early morning and late afternoon visits to various locations around Shropshire and Worcestershire. Rod explained the process of putting together this collection.
Hill walking has always given me much inspiration and a great sense of awe. These are all places that I have painted at one time or another from varying angles but I wanted to put together a concise collection to celebrate and capture the character of the places and the perspectives that mean the most to me. Obviously the defining view is subjective-The Wrekin for example looks like a low lying hill from one angle and a solitary mountain from another, but I tried to capture the aspects from which I get my bearings and that make up the landscape that I feel is my home.
I worked from sketches and photographs and each hill involved different approaches and visits. I wanted to give all the places a feeling of grandeur and space. To complement this the skyscapes are sometimes manipulated, sometimes not Sometimes I got lucky by design or by accident, and other trips proved not so successful: I scrambled up the Stiperstones thinking I was out of time but at the top I was rewarded with a breathtaking view of the sun sloping away westwards; The view of Titterstone Clee is from my old studio and I feel I could almost paint it blindfolded; the Wrekin over Benthall I painted from the bedroom of our house and when I approached Clent I was ambushed by an unusually cold morning and lost the feeling in my hands, but any hardship is soon forgotten by the exhiliration of being in the right place at the right time.
I feel we are extremely fortunate in these two counties to have such a diversity of hills. Malvern for instance is one of the classic, almost genteel, English landscapes whereas the Clees with their quarrying past are more stark and brooding. They all bear their scars of habitation and industry and I feel it is humbling to stand on the vantage point where different people have gathered over the centuries, and where often it feels the present fuses with an ancient past. I would like to think people will look at these paintings and feel spurred on to explore them for themselves and not just take them for granted in a fleeting glimpse from a car window. It helps our general sense of well being and nurtures the soul to be in touch with these great