High on the hills above Todmorden is open moorland where the Bride Stones lie. They're an outcrop of gritstone rocks which have been weathered into weird shapes. Iíve walked up to them dozens of times in clement and cruel weathers, sun and snow. Many years ago I was up there and a pagan wedding had just taken place (not sure if theyíre legal.) A large tent erected near to the nearest pub beckoned of party of multi-coloured hippy-type guests. Many years later I got chatting someone in the town who told me the marriage lasted for less than two years as both were equally stubborn. Oh well.
Anyway I thought the oddly-shaped range of rocks would make a decent subject for oil paints and brushes and hereís the result. Iíve even put myself in this one though Iím turned away so as not to ruin it further. I sketched out the main shapes from a photograph Iíd taken and blocked in that unnerving white. I averted my attention from wondering where to start and slowly built up the greens, greys and blues. The cloud-scudded sky didnít take long (there's even a touch of purple up there.) Those distant fields didnít need much attention either but the Bride Stones did. I plastered on thicker paint and even used a palette knife to spread it. That shrinking fence was handy to lend some perspective. Lack of ability stopped me from getting any further and it was soon finished. I'm sure most residents of Todmorden could identify the rocks at the Bride Stones so perhaps it's a respectable attempt to catch a likeness.
Do you want to buy it? Perhaps you know someone in Todmorden very well but privately don't like them and you'd like to give them a painting to ruin the ambience of their lounge? You could buy this for them for £12,140 for their chimney breast wall. Normally it would be £140 but I was leaving The Mucky Duck pub and thought I saw a woman dressed as a penguin. I slapped her fine rump and found its owner was a nun with a hard punch. She clobbered my ear and decked me one. As I fell I grabbed for anything available - a woman's low-cut dress which came off in one swipe revealing some wonderfully wobbly love globes. She took me to court for assaulting her and the judge says I need to pay her £12,000 in compensation.