I was born and bred on the outskirts of Birmingham providing me with easy access to the countryside south-west of the city. When I was a boy my parents would often take my sister and I on walks into the local landscape. As I grew older the local landscape became a “playground” for me and my friends: we would often disappear all day and return just after darkness fell. During my undergraduate years at Sheffield friends and I would walk through local parkland until we reached the rugged Derbyshire landscape. My love of landscape can also be attributed to hours of mountain biking, road biking and walking through the north-west Pennines. On a recent visit to Scotland I came across Coldingham Priory where I learnt that the monks regarded working the land as a form of worship. For them farming  was not merely a physical task but formed a spiritual experience. I can empathise with this as painting nature can also involve something of a spiritual element.