I stayed with friends in a lodge in Cropton Forest. One of the days we set off for a visit to Staithes. A sunny day and it was a pleasant drive over the North York Moors and out towards the coast.
I've visited many of the towns and villages on the East Coast on childhood holidays and with my own family when our boys were young and our preferred trips were English beach holidays. Scarborough, Whitby, Filey, Robin Hood's Bay and Sandsend were all familiar places but I'd never been to Staithes. I knew of it of course as a much photographed and painted picturesque village.
Staithes was once one of the largest fishing ports in the North East, with an industrial past in the production of alum. Clinging to the hillside, Staithes is now best known for the winding cobbled streets, some of the narrowest streets in the UK and the charming 18th century cottages full of character that tourists love to rent.
We parked our car at the top of the hill and strolled down the steep incline.
I took lots of photographs, immediately excited to paint the houses and streets. I wanted to paint them in my style, so different to the usual artistic representations.
Church Street with Captain Cook's cottage, where he once lived.
The streets were busy with tourists and it was very pleasant in the sunshine. The perfect weather for an ice cream from Cobbles. I can recommend the black cherry.
The tables in the beer garden of the Cod and Lobster were full of people eating and drinking.
The tide was out and children were playing on the sand. Lobster pots were piled up all along the harbourside.
Out on the outer harbour wall I looked back and photographed the seafront. I'm very pleased with the detailed painting I completed of the houses rising up the hillside.
I'm looking forward to returning this year to look for a gallery to sell my paintings.