Saturday, April 28, 2007

Views from Rievaulx Terrace

View of the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey
11" x 11", pencil and coloured pencil in Daler Rowney A4 sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
"Everywhere peace, everywhere serenity, and a marvellous freedom from the tumult of the world."
St Aelred (1111-1167), the third abbot of Rievaulx Abbey
Rievaulx in Yorkshire has two major heritage sites - Rievaulx Terrace (looked after by the National Trust) and the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey (maintained by English Heritage) - the first Cistercian Abbey in the north of England, founded in 1132.

Rievaulx Terrace is really rather odd. It's an eighteenth century landscape garden in a serpentine curve. It comprises a very large flat area of well maintained fresh green grass - at the top of a very steep slope - with temples at either end. The Ionic Temple is designed for banquets and contains a dining table. What I'm not too sure about is why any of it is there as there is no large house just behind it. It's just there - facilities for banqueting in an Ionic Temple at one end of a big grass terrace - which looks down on the ruins of Rievaulx Abbey.

Anyway, it was a sunny afternoon and I sat at the very top of the slope (maybe more accurately described as a precipice!), just in front of the Ionic Temple and sketched the abbey ruins a very long, long way below. It was one of those sketches where you're continually trying to work out what is the colour of trees which are just about to come into leaf but not right now.

Rievaulx Terrace
11" x 16", pencil and coloured pencils in Daler Rowney A4 sketchbook

copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I then sat on the terrace of the Ionic Temple and sketched the view across Rievaulx Terrace. It reminded me very much of why the 'grass green' colour has that wonderful fresh colour associated with new grass in Spring and trees bursting into leaf.

The terrace is so big that the people look tiny but I decided to include them to get a bit of scale. I then did a very quick sketch of a lady and her dog when she sat where I'd been sitting earlier to do the sketch of the abbey ruins. Her protective arm reminds me of just how steep that slope really was - I totally understand why she wasn't taking any chances of her dog getting interested in exploring down the slope!

(My apologies for the short delay before this post finally appeared. For some reason, the last sketch gave PS Elements the heebie jeebies on three separate occasions! The stitched version has now been finally wrung out of the ghost in my computer - with some difficulty!)

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  1. Looks like a lovely spot. I especially like the second sketch. You've done a good job with those greens!

  2. AnonymousMay 04, 2007

    Wonderful sketches all! The color and strokes on that first one are so captivating.

  3. Your sketches are wonderful. I need to come back and see more..sandy


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