A 90 mile walk across the glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales
A Dales High Way Walk: a 90 mile walk across the glorious high country of the Yorkshire Dales

A Dales High Way

The Dales High Way Art Project

Paintings by David Starley

It's not often that you hear of a long distance walking trail with its own Artist in Residence, but for the last year that's exactly what the Dales High Way has had. Saltaire artist David Starley has spent 2011 painting pictures inspired by the landscapes of A Dales High Way. David works in oils, creating fabulous, textural paintings - great big canvasses with the paint layered on to create a sculptural surface which changes constantly as the light moves across the scene.

The technique perfectly suits the mood of David's preferred subjects, the architecture, archaeology and landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales. He'd already painted many of the buildings in Saltaire, the start of the walk, and scenes from the moorland above the village. Excited by the possibility of creating an exhibition themed around the route, David spent the year walking sections of the trail with his camera and sketchbook, returning home to create his paintings. Paintings inspired by the varied landscapes he experienced, from the bleak moorland of Rombald's Moor to the flower-filled meadows of Dentdale, the dramatic limestone scenery of Malhamdale to the richly wooded riverbanks of Hoff Beck. Paintings which transform the views into pieces of art.

David has thoroughly enjoyed his Dales High Way Art Project, saying "the painting has been both challenging and creatively stimulating, but with results that exceeded my expectation."

Over 30 pictures have been created and exhibited in galleries along the route from Saltaire to Penrith. Most of them have been sold and David's year as the Dales High Way's Artist in Residence is now over. The paintings however remain as a lasting legacy of the power of this landscape to inspire and to thrill.