It happened to be low tide when I went out with my sketchbook yesterday, extra low as it’s spring tide. Even more of those enticing rocks to sketch, but which viewpoint would I choose, where would I sit? I wandered out a bit, further than ‘normal’, awkwardly as the rocks were rather slippery, getting distracted by pattern and colour.
This slab of black rock has become a favourite, and against the sun I was mesmerized once again. But beautiful as this was, I can’t sit with my back to the sea, even when I know it’s hours until high tide.
These are not fossilized dinosaur brains:
This is not where I spilt yellow paint:
Justification/evidence for adding lines of colour amongst my rock drawings:
There’s something about a pile of old rope:
Nature vs built environment. This is my favourite photo from the day but it also makes me wonder why I’ never noticed this juxtaposition before; perhaps because I usually sit on the wall rather than stand looking up at it:
Eventually I did pick a sketching spot, against a big stone that broke the breeze:
Then a rain shower snuck up behind me. Suffice to say, watercolour isn’t a wet-weather medium.
It’s only taken me 10 years to go up the path in the bit of the Uig woodland that follows the River Rha rather than the River Conon. Why I haven’t been before is hard to put into words: I knew there was a waterfall there, but I wasn’t ready for it yet, I was still busy looking at what I’d already been in. It’s not that I think I’ve finished looking at this, more that I felt able to add to it. If you’re thinking “what is she going on about”, I’ll throw in the concept of “slow looking” and stop there.
I had it all to myself. It felt so familiar, like two kloofs I grew up with, Disa Gorge and Koffie Kloof n the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Though the water was even colder.
The Woodland Trust have built a sturdy path, with steps for long-legs.
Looking down river:
This contrast between broad and green / twiggy and brown could be interesting to explore as an abstracted, textured painting.
Enjoying the big boulders I was reminded of a workshop participant who said “I think you’ve cured me of my fear of rocks” and wondered how she’d respond to these moss-draped monsters.
My first drawing was a semi-continuous line looking at the rocks and trees, in pencil. Sketchbook is A3 size. The drawing ultimately covered both pages.
Sitting in the same spot as above, but turned to the right.
My fourth drawing, in ink. I messed up the drawn lines when I dabbed at some ink with a piece of paper towel (that “turn it to a clean piece so you don’t inadvertently stamp on ink” error) and then tried to rescue it with some darker ink on the lower waterfall rocks. I’m okay with the result, but liked the earlier version more.
When the in-house art critic first saw the drawing he was looking at it sideways, generating a cautious “uh-huh, urm, what?” response until I turned the sketchbook ninety degrees. Think I need to add a “this way up” arrow to the page!
Photos taken on the journey to drop off my paintings for the Lochalsh Art Fair which is on until Wednesday.
First stop was the classic view towards the Cuillin. A visitor who was parked here, looking on her phone when I stopped, got out and asked me what the speed limit was because everyone seemed to be wanting to go really fast. I later saw her pull into a parking spot to let cars past.
Second stop the most-photographed-waterfall-on-Skye:
Though it’s more the view in the opposite direction I still want to paint:
Obligatory Eilean Donan Castle shot:
What caught my eye far more were the patterns by the road bridge:
Went into Balmacara for the “dark wood”:
And stopped near Kyle for hillside colours (last of the purple heather and bracken turning autumnal) :
Obligatory shot from the bridge at Sligachan (it wasn’t really this dark, I had the exposure set for the bright cloud):
Plus moody clouds:
Abstract minimalism with Glamaig:
Reflection of the sun:
And the usually ignored beautiful little bridge:
Stopped at Aros (outskirts of Portree) for a photo of the house across the bay with its becoming-autumnal trees:
And headed into the pine plantation (thanks for the reminder of how rich a location that is Izzy!):
And a final stop for moody cloudsand sea near home:
PS: I think I’ve got my websites all moved to the new webhost, but if you see anything strange or missing, let me know! I’ve seen some quotation marks changed to question marks!
Sitting in the sunshine listening to the tinkling of the river at Sligachan today (I mean sketching), I looked left towards the Bundt-cake peak (I mean Glamaig) and noticed a triangle of cloud that you could impossibly put in a painting as it’ll just look wrong.
Yesterday I caught the ferry from Uig to Tarbert to deliver a painting, being met at the terminal because the ferry turns around rapidly, 20 minutes between scheduled arrival and departure. It was a nary-a-cloud-in-the-sky day with glorious sunshine, albeit wish-I’d-remembered-my-gloves cold.
Yesterday for the first time I was at Coral Beach with the tide low (and still going out) and thus able to walk across to Lampay Island. Found myself contemplating compositions featuring Coral Beach that don’t involve its characteristic curve but include the hill, and wondering if the location would still be clear without it being in the painting’s title.