This was one of those subjects that turn up by chance sometimes. I had been out sketching this view and was walking back, when a post van passed me. I had seen him coming across the moor in the distance, and the striking colour of the vehicle in the vast, empty, landscape gave me the idea for an unusual painting. My own van happens to be the same make and model, so I was able to use that to get a drawing at the right angle. Then I just had to combine my sketches into one drawing to paint from.
The Royal Mail postal workers, or 'posties' as they are affectionately known, used to be a much-loved part of rural life. They still are, but they don't have the importance that they once did. In a time before electronic devices, when all communication was by written or spoken message, the postal service was a vital link to the outside world for remote communities. As well as carrying mail and messages, postmen and women would often deliver essential supplies and medicines. Unfortunately, with letters almost consigned to history, and business increasingly conducted on-line, I wonder how much longer a postal service can continue.
The van in the painting is on its way to the farmstead at Dalnawillan, and maybe to the Glutt beyond; a round trip of 12 or 20 miles on a rough stone track. I wonder whether a private company would provide that service for the same price as anywhere else!