It's amazing what you come across when you're least expecting it. Although these waterfalls are only 10 miles from my home, I had never heard of them. I had dropped my wife off for a meeting at work and thought I'd spend the time I had to wait for her walking my dog in some nearby woods. After about ten minutes walking, I heard the unmistakable sound of fast-running water and suddenly there they were. As soon as I saw this view, I just knew I'd have to paint it!
This is 'Spring Dawn, Falls of Tarnash, Keith', watercolour, 24 x 34 cm. In this painting I wanted to do more than just paint the waterfall. I wanted to convey the contrasts I saw between the massive solidity of the rock and the gentle glow of the ephemeral woods. I wanted to convey the contrast between the stillness of the damp trees and the constantly flowing water. And most of all I wanted to make you feel intimate with the landscape, that you could reach out and touch the tree, hear the water and feel the crisp morning air.
I hope you enjoy experiencing my surprising find!
I don't normally take on pet 'portraits', as it's really not my 'thing', but this one was a bit irresistible! The customer has walked along this section of beach with her dog on lots of occasions and wanted a painting of him in his element - carrying sticks from the water of the beach below Covesea in northern Scotland. It's a beach I know well, and have painted before, and I was attracted to the possibilities of splashing in the bright,clean water. So the dog is tearing out of the surf with a big stick, making plenty of splash. I hope I've caught the essence of him, if not the detail, and I enjoyed the unusual angle of placing the viewer in the sea with him! hopefully you can feel the surf and the sunshine in 'Blue Skies and Happy Days!'
Sometimes detail is not required. In fact, sometimes detail would undermine a painting. This is 'Randolph's Leap', watercolour, 35 x 25 cm. It is at a point where the River Findhorn is at its narrowest, and the rock formations get quite close together. Its name comes from a chase, where one group of men were chasing another during Scotland's tribal past. The man knew that if he didn't get across he would be killed by his pursuers. So, with little to lose, he leapt, and got away. Perhaps the most surprising element of all this was that the man's name that made the leap was not called Randolph. In fact, Randolph was doing the chasing, and this is just another example of how history is written by the victors!
In any case, it's a beautiful area and a wonderful spot to spend the day. Located in Moray, in northern Scotland, it's not a busy spot, despite its beauty. When I returned there to paint recently, I spent most of the day there with my wife and dogs who played in the water. In all that time we only saw a couple of families: the children playing on the rocks came as an idea from one of them.
It's a spot which unfortunately would put off many painters - the scene is very complex, with hundreds of trees, lots of scrub and many, many rocks. But this is where watercolour comes into its own! By allowing the sunlight to simplify the undergrowth into a glowing haze of leaves, the scene has been simplified. Hopefully, the detail which might have been seen on the rock formations has been pleasantly replaced by another sunlit glow. It was an exercise in simplification, but also one in letting the light and atmosphere replace anything which might have detracted from the simple, luminous appearance.
I hope you like it!
A professional artist living and working in the beautiful north of Scotland. My work is realistic and quite traditional, though strongly interpretational in nature. My inspiration is the beauty of Nature, and the wonderful colours and moods she shows everywhere.