Levers Water is a left-over from the last Ice Age, a ‘tarn’ in a land-locked, water-filled basin (a glacial ‘corrie’), gouged out of rock by ice action 10,000 years ago. It is situated at 1350 feet, under rugged crags in the Coniston Fells, above Coppermines Valley.
James Henry Crossland revels in the elemental windblown flurries of mist and lowering clouds, turning the water to burnished pewter, and admires the sunbeams turning the russet dead bracken and ochre mountain sedges to copper and gold – perhaps in tribute to Coniston’s mineral wealth. But the artist has cheated: it is impossible to see this panorama from one view-point. Features around Levers Water are combined into one composition. It is physically impossible to paint a canvas of this size out-of-doors. Crossland has worked from ‘notes’ – quick watercolour and/or oil sketches dashed off on the spot – the only way to capture transient atmospheric effects.
Where to see this painting?
The Ruskin Museum
Yewdale Road, Coniston, Cumbria, England, LA21 8DU
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.