hike – camp – paint

Of course this describes what this blog is all about, but it also neatly sums up my evolution from a stressed financial services project manager who didn’t take enough exercise through to professional artist and general work-avoider.

Nowadays I still work in the city, but interspersed with long bouts of walking and painting. During these times I’ll usually be found on Dartmoor, in the Lakes or Wales, with occasional forays into the Peak District and Scotland. Scandinavia and the Northern Lands are regular haunts too.

I’m a keen wildcamper and backpacker, completed the Wainwrights (without using a car) in 2015 and my first TGO Challenge in 2017.

Here you will find a journal of my exploits in the outdoors, and the inspiration for my art.

In terms of the art itself, I work in various media – watercolour and ink for working in the landscape; acrylic and mixed media in the studio. My current work focuses on the use of texture and abstract approaches to landscape.

My art can be viewed at the dedicated site matthewkingarts.com which showcases my latest work. I exhibit primarily in Essex and London, but selected works are also available on etsy and on my Facebook page. My @matthewkingarts twitter account is mainly concerned with my art, everything else including walking and general chit chat will be at @backpackartist.

Instagram: @backpackartist 
Mastodon: @backpackartist
Twitter: @backpackartist
YouTube: @backpackartist
Facebook: @backpackartist 

5 thoughts on “About

  1. I’ve been reading your blog for some time now and I’m hoping to ask a couple of questions…can’t find an email add so this space will have to do…please delete if inappropriate. I’ll be walking the Wainwright Way with Ramblers Holidays in May and I’m wondering if you’d set me straight on the clothes to bring. Any thoughts on what the weather across England in May should be? Always raining? Cold, warm or hot? Layers, of course, but I’m wondering whether I should expect rain or cold continuously in that area. Thanks…and Happy New Year!


    1. NW England weather in May can be anything from warm sunny days to rain, gales, hail and even snow. I’ve had all of these in the Lake District at that time of year. So the clothes you should bring should reflect the uncertain nature of the likely weather, and reflect the fact that the route of the Wainwright Way does go up high where it will be colder and more exposed to wind. There may be some snow underfoot in places on the tops – I’ve encountered snow on Glaramara in May, which is close to your route. However, I’d expect the “average” weather to be rain showers and day time temperatures of 9C to 15C. I think it’s quite likely that on a walk of that length you’ll get some days of heavy rain or strong wind. Personally I would work on it being cold and wet rather than hot, but use your layers so that you can walk in anything from just a base layer through to full wet weather gear. Assuming the holiday involves luggage transfer (?) then I’d simply cover all of the bases if I were you, with as many spares as you find works for you. If I were doing it I’d pack: 200 weight merino base layer, a softshell jacket, a decent waterproof jacket that fits over the softshell, and an emergency warm layer of some kind in case it’s really cold – that may be an insulated jacket (definitely if I was camping, probably not if I was staying under a proper roof at night), or a windshirt type thing. I tend to wear softshell trousers as well, which then covers rain showers but not heavy prolonged rain, so I’d throw in a pair of overtrousers too. This combination works well for me as I get quite hot when walking, so I rarely feel the need for a fleece. So packing for cold and wet but with the ability to take stuff off if it’s warm is the way to go.


      1. Thank you…this is hugely helpful. I also get pretty warm while walking, so it’s a challenge to figure out the best combination to wear/pack. Thank you for the head’s up re May weather and for the point of it getting colder as we climb. I’ve just picked up a Patagonia down “sweater” (really a jacket) and a Marmot Minimalist rain jacket, but it sounds like I’ve got plenty of reasons left to head to our outdoor gear stores! Much appreciated. Happy 2016!


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