Photos: Seen in Cumbria

I’m in the English Lakes for my “Expressive Skye” workshop. These are a few things that have caught my eye in the last few days. The tea bag notice feels like a short story prompt.

Photos: Out & About on Skye

Sligachan clouds

Lochalsf Art FairPhotos 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.
View towards Sligachan

Second stop the most-photographed-waterfall-on-Skye:
Most photographed waterfall on Skye

Though it’s more the view in the opposite direction I still want to paint:
stream to Loch Ainort

Obligatory Eilean Donan Castle shot:
Eilean Donan Castle

What caught my eye far more were the patterns by the road bridge:
Shore colours Dornie

Went into Balmacara for the “dark wood”:

And stopped near Kyle for hillside colours (last of the purple heather and bracken turning autumnal) :
Heather colours Kyle

Obligatory shot from the bridge at Sligachan (it wasn’t really this dark, I had the exposure set for the bright cloud):
Sligachan clouds

Plus moody clouds:
moody clouds

Abstract minimalism with Glamaig:
Glamaig Sligachan Skye

Reflection of the sun:
Reflections Sligachan Skye

And the usually ignored beautiful little bridge:
Bridge Sligachan Skye

Stopped at Aros (outskirts of Portree) for a photo of the house across the bay with its becoming-autumnal trees:
Across the Bay Portree

And headed into the pine plantation (thanks for the reminder of how rich a location that is Izzy!):
Forest fallen trunk Skye

Tree bark

Tree growth old man's beard

Moss on tree trunk Skye

And a final stop for moody cloudsand sea near home:
Skye cloudscape

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!

I Can’t Paint It Like That!

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.

Fake Cloud (or why you need to leave things out of a landscape painting)

Picturesque cloud stretching high above, a sea of calm grey-blue rhythms, and parts of the band of islands that is the Outer Hebrides. As paintable as it comes.

Except for one thing. And I don’t mean the patch of pines poking in on the left.

It’s that improbable bit of sun-light cloud on top of the island.

1. Leave it out if you know the shape of the island.
2. Omit the sunshine on it if you don’t.

Photos: On the Ferry on a Sunny Hebridean Spring Day

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.

This is the painting:

SOLD. “Neighbourhood Watch” 60x80cm

Photos: Sauntering to Coral Beach

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.

Looking from Lampay Island to Coral Beach.
Looking from Lampay Island to Coral Beach.
Coral Beach causeway to Lampay Island low tide, Skye
The natural causeway from Lampay Island to Coral Beach. Counted 14 oystercatchers on it.

Coral Beach, Skye

The "sand" at Coral Beach. (Despite the name it's not coral but a coraline seaweed known as ma?rl
The “sand” at Coral Beach. (Despite the name it’s not coral but a coraline seaweed known as ma?rl.

Coral Beach, Skye

Coral Beach, Skye
Don’t think that composition rule about adding a splash of red in a painting meant this.
There's no mistaking which is Coral Beach
There’s no mistaking which is Coral Beach. That’s Lampay Island on the left but the tide wasn’t yet low enough to expose the causeway.


Photos: Sauntering North

Skye Late Winter Colours Trotternish RidgeYesterday being one of those cold sunny(ish) late-winter days Skye does so beautifully, I motivated myself out for an early morning walk and shared the path up to Rubha Hunish to myself with only a few sheep and birds.The light over the Trotternish Ridge was magnificent, a reason to keep stopping and turning around.

Skye Late Winter Colours Trotternish Ridge

Skye Late Winter Colours Trotternish Ridge

Path Trotternish Rubha Hunish
Yes, you do want to head through those puddles


Skye Late Winter Colours
Late winter colours, with white sheep speckles

Skye Late Winter Colours Trotternish Ridge

Sheep on the path
Where do you think you’re going?
Heading to Coast Guard Hut Bothy Trotternish Skye
Just the other side of the old coastguard hut (now a bothy) there are huge cliffs, and the view to Skye’s northernmost tip.
Coast Guard Hut Bothy Trotternish Skye
At the hut, looking over the cliff edge (you see it, right?), to the northernmost tip of Skye.
Looking down Path Trotternish Rubha Hunish
At the gully to the west, looking at the cliffs the hut sits on.


Cool Colours

A few photos from a bright frosty morning last week.

Crisp, decidedly cool blues and blue-greens:


Frosty! Beach pebbles

Green sea:


Frozen abstracts (also a reminder to look down at the ground not only out over an inspiring view):