Updated: May 15, 2020
Jane Eyre. Wuthering Heights. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Each of these books, penned separately by the three Brontë sisters, touched, inspired and even terrified me -- eventually prompting a visit to their former home in Haworth, England, and the birth of my oil painting for others.
This painting, Heather on the Moors in Brontë Country, Yorkshire, England, is a tribute to the power and insight of the words penned by Charlotte, Emily and Anne, who lived much of their lives in the Haworth Parsonage in Yorkshire. I painted it for a friend who shares an appreciation of 19th century British literature. (She's actually the one who inadvertently steered me toward painting for others, after she asked if she could buy a different painting I made of Brontë Country -- a shocking surprise). It depicts the purple heather flowers, an old farmhouse, a traditional stone wall, and the distant hills and dales. It's a nostalgic, simple and serene.
I visited this beautiful moor country on a literary pilgrimage with my oldest daughter, then eight, a few years ago. Just arriving in the area gave me goosebumps and nearly brought me to tears. (I'm admittedly a bit sappy!) We toured the Brontë's home in Haworth, walked around the school where the sisters taught, ate a meal in the nearest pub (which was once a morgue!), and most nostalgic: We went for a walk amidst the heather on the moors. With my level of personal bliss, one would have thought I had met the authors themselves!
"We know that God is everywhere; but certainly we feel His presence most when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us ..." -- Charlotte Brontë in Jane Eyre, chapter XXVIII
Here are a few photos we captured from Brontë Country -- if you've read any of the Brontë's books or other literature that talks of the moors, you may particularly appreciate the heather in bloom under an overcast sky:
We took home a few souvenirs, including beautifully bound copies of the three mentioned books and an idea to replicate a display of hair locks from each family member. (The bottom left photo is my daughter looking at the Brontë family's hair locks, and the bottom right photo is our family's version hanging in our living room.)