"Do not be afraid of applying strong colour; gradually refine your work. Do not follow rules and principles, but paint what you see and feel. And do not be shy of nature! … There is only one teacher: nature …" Camille Pissarro (to Paul Cézanne)

Sometimes when you are painting you can become tied up with rules and constraints which can hinder your natural flow. The words of Pissarro above are very wise; to me art is about allowing the deep beauty of the landscape you are in to take control of your feelings, leading to a magical flow of paint onto the canvas.

Living within the boundaries of Dartmoor National Park it is not difficult to be inspired to paint. I love to paint landscapes that capture the unique atmosphere of Dartmoor and the natural beauty of the Chagford area. Dartmoor's weather is unique; the cloud formations are captivating. I aim to capture the vast skies, expressing the sense of freedom you get when walking on the open moors.

Most of my paintings start as an outdoor charcoal and watercolour sketch. Then it's back to the studio to paint. I choose to paint in oils (and occasionally mixed media), using various methods. I get a feeling of how I want to paint the scene quite quickly – a gut reaction to the view and surrounding environment.

Dartmoor is a wondrous wilderness with countless stunning views and magical hidden places. So I hope you will enjoy looking at my paintings, and perhaps one day I'll bump into you on the moor whilst out with my easel and sketchbook!

If you would like to join me on my journey, follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Alex Atherton