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The Northumbria castles project

Northumberland, where fairy tales began
Julia Odell Acrylic paintings of Northumberland Castles

I decided I’d take a trip north during summer 2014 to take a look at the Northumberland Heritage Coast. It was one of the most inspiring trips I have ever made.
The coastline between Warkworth and Berwick Upon Tweed contains numerous castles, four conservation areas and three national nature reserves. It was so awe inspiring that, at times, it was hard to believe this beauty really did exist right here in England. The sea was clear aqua blue and the miles of sands were blinding white. The wealth of history pervaded every rock whether part of a castle wall or shore boulder. This is where the castles in our dreams came from. Myths and legends were made here. Turner knew this. He painted almost every castle repeatedly. Hogwarts was filmed at Alnwick Castle. I will almost certainly be going back to the ‘desolate north.’

While I photographed nearly every castle Lindesfarne and Dunstanburgh appealed most. Possibly because they are almost chateau like in there fairy tale nature and they perched so dominantly over the sea. Dunstanburgh seemed a sunny and forgiving place whereas Lindesfarne mists could engulf you without much notice. The Lindesfarne paintings show the mist a approaching.

I have done a series of four paintings (The last one will be added shortly) and several sketches. The paintings are all acrylic and between 60 – 80cm. Three of the charcoal sketches have been framed although other drawings are available.


Northumberland castles framed sketches by Julia Odell


Please visit my Painting Gallery or Drawing Gallery to view images and find out more.