An invitation by my friend Sir David Hempleman-Adams to be his Expedition Artist on his attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest by the North Face, was a great chance to fulfil an ambition to paint at high altitudes. Although David succeeded in reaching his goal, my trip was thwarted. Following an anti-Chinese demonstration, the borders were closed and all foreigners expelled.
David, determined that I should paint Everest, took me back later that year. We had brilliant light, with the summit set against clear blue skies. I drew urgently, to capture every ridge and crevice as I knew with such an iconic image I had to get the topography right. As the sun went down the glistening slopes were bathed in golden light, with the ridges casting deep blue shadows into the valleys. Several of the paintings include the prayer flags, colourful panels of cloth containing texts and prayers to be blown by the wind towards the mountain.