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Summerhill force

The Story

 Summerhill Force is situated just a little half a mile behind Bowlees visitor centre. The water fall can be seen in the distance in this painting with some of the little falls that tumble down after the main water fall. What cant be seen but might be if I work on another of this beautiful place is the falls in detail with the dark reses behind it. This cave like feature has a legend all of its own.


The story goes that this cave like structure with the water providing a curtain in front of it was the hiding place of an outlaw in the sixteenth century.  The local man William Gibson was on the run from authorities in Barnard Castle.


Despite being on the run William was a well liked man. While he hid in the cold damp cave local people brought him food and clothes. I hope some of them were brave enough to take the poor man home in the winter time when the temperatures on the dale drop terribly and I really cant see how he could have survived. We will never know if the legend is true but its nice to think of the community coming together to help a good man fallen on bad times.


The painting evokes a feel of folk law in itself. It suggest a Tolkien type woodland where you might meet an elf  or a hobbit. I was so aware that the beauty of the place derived from the sharp contrast between light and dark. and at times I was shocked by how dark the shadows needed to be in order to reveal the beauty of the water and sun light just coming through the trees. It has few moments of detail but I feel it is the contrast that provides the beauty of the piece. The movement of the water is central, in fact this is a painting about moving water.  



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