Near the Summit
This painting is based on a photo I took on a winter’s walk with our walking group.
As we got close to the summit of ‘Sugarloaf’, (a mountain near Abergavenny, South Wales, UK), we came across a dusting of snow.
Fortunately the sun was out, and we were able to eat our picnic lunch while enjoying the view and trying to keep warm.
For me, the composition of this picture works because the strong shadow and path lead the eye to the figures in the painting.
The Sugar Loaf is an interesting mountain, because when seen from the east it looks very much like an extinct volcano (which it is not). View it from other directions, however, and it just looks like a mountain with a topping of stones.
Like much of the Black Mountains, Sugar Loaf is made of mainly of Old Red Sandstone, with more mudstone in its lower slopes. The harder rock of the summit is sandstone with quartz congolmerate (sandstone with harder bits in it, to you and me).
The mountain is owned and managed by the National Trust – and is a popular place to walk. Sheep roam much of the mountain, but there is also woodland, and even a vineyard that produces, you’v guessed it, ‘Sugar Loaf wines’