3oo miles apart

In Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire

In Carding Mill Valley, Shropshire

We have just returned from a great little walk…in the Shropshire Hills, not far from the Welsh border. We’re visiting family and as it has been a beautiful day, we decided we might as well make the most of it.

Shropshire is a lovely county and seems to me to be a great mix of the best of England and Wales. The Shropshire Hills are not huge, but offer wonderful views all around. We didn’t actually walk up any of these hills today, instead, just took a gentle amble through Carding Mill Valley… one of the beauty spots of Shropshire that lies on the edge of the Long Mynd. In bright sunshine the rough hillsides of grass, rocky outcrops and gorse were looking particularly good, the early spring colours looking particularly vibrant under a deep blue, clear sky. Having lived in Shropshire for a number of years, I have explored this area on a good few occasions and it is one place I will always enjoy returning.

In the Ochills, near Stirling

In the Ochills, near Stirling

Strangely, this area of low, steep sided hills, intersected by deep, stream filled valleys is rather similar to the Ochill hills, near Stirling, where we were walking just last Saturday. On this occasion we did a bigger walk than today’s… completing a lovely circular walk over Ben Ever, Ben Cleuch, Ben Buck and a final steep but short haul up and over the rather wonderfully named hill, The Nebbit. We had travelled to these hills in an attempt to avoid low cloud and rather grey, damp conditions that were forecast for the west and found ourselves in bright sunshine, with just the occasional dark, heavy shower.

Forth Plain

Forth Plain

These hills rise abruptly to the north of the Forth Plain and on days like this, when the weather is fine and the air cold and clear, the views south from any of the tops are quite impressive. The river reflected the bright sun and with my monocular, I could even make out the Forth road and rail bridges. The plain is a wonderful patchwork of fields and buildings…one that has already been the subject for one of my smaller paintings…’Forth fields’.

We are back home to Scotland in a couple of days and I am already looking forward to getting back to my new big paintings…an image of the latest one can now be seen on my face book  page: Keith Salmon, Scottish landscape artist. I have had a very good response to this picture and it will be good to try and get it finished and to start a fourth and possibly fifth, large piece. I will be bringing work back to the studio after my exhibition in Crieff closes on the 12th, so not long to get these done!

 

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