Regular readers will know that I enjoy working on slightly larger paper sizes. Sometimes, though, it's fun to go smaller, and this painting is truly tiny, at just a little over 9 x 5" (24 x 14 cm) or so. It shows the Poll Domhain Bay in Wester Ross but is at least a little bit a work of the imagination because when I saw it the tide was out and it was actually a large area of mud and rocks! I thought it would be fun to bring the tide in in my imagination! I like painting small occasionally because it is a good exercise in brushwork. This entire painting was painted with my size 12 kolinsky sable round brush, which I normally use for larger work. Thank goodness for its excellent pointing ability! Using a large brush for a small painting produces a fresh, loose and 'sketchy' feel to the painting, which I find liberating after more complex pieces. There are also only 3 paint colours in this composition, with a tiny splash of a fourth, transparent yellow, to give foreground brightness where the sun is shining. Using a limited palette is a useful way of maintaining harmony in the work: you can see this in the rocks, which are mainly painted with light red, the same colour I have used to grey the ultramarine for the clouds and which I have used to suggest heather throughout the composition. My next work will be a return to larger work - but I've enjoyed the break!
Well, it's not often the weather is like this on the West Coast of Scotland. This is another view I sketched on my recent trip, now worked up into a full-scale painting: 'The Shores of Loch Maree'. I wanted to convey brilliant sunshine on the far mountain and the loch, while focussing attention on the central headland. This painting gave me the opportunity to use colours I rarely use: pthalo blue, together with cobalt blue for the sky and reflection, and indigo. Indigo was one of no less than 6 washes used to get the deep colour of the foreground water! I like the feeling of stillness the painting has, which reflects pretty accurately the location: on a calm day this part of the world is silent, with only the occasional animal call to break the stillness. I hope you enjoy the serenity too!
I'm sticking with my West Coast theme at the moment, because I'm still buzzing from our little holiday there. I need a West Coast fix every year! This is 'The Cuillin from the Applecross Peninsula'. The land on the left of the image is mainland Scotland, while the land on the right and in the distance is the Isle of Ske. The Cuillin is the distant mountain range which form incredible ridges and peaks for climbing and scrambling but here form a subtle and impressive distant backdrop. I love the way the myriad of little islands appear different against the sea in different weathers: here the mood s tranquil and bright and the islands stand out clearly, contrasting strongly with the bright, still water. This painting is all about the feeling of stillness, grandeur and ancient beauty under a limitless sky - that's how it made me feel sitting on those rocks. I like to think this couple would share my thoughts as they gaze at the view together.
There will be more West Coast paintings to follow - I'm still buzzing with the memories of our holiday there and have some beautiful projects under way!
I am delighted that my work has now been selected for representation at another art gallery. Several pieces of my work are now exhibited at Logie Steading Art Gallery near Forres, Moray. The Gallery has just re-opened after substantial expansion work and is beautiful - well worth a visit if you haven't already! This is really good news for me as it adds another busy and prestigious outlet for my work across my local area. My work is also still available at the Elgin Gallery, in South Street, Elgin and nationally through www.artgallery.co.uk.
Just got back from a week's holiday in the western Highlands around Torridon on the west coast of Scotland! It was a great family holiday, and lovely to get away from it all in a starkly beautiful area. In 6 days we've covered something like 35 hilly miles of walking but there was still time for a bit of en plein air' work, as well as a fair bit of sketching. Some people have asked me what I mean by sketches, so I might just publish an example in a future post. For the time being here's a small but fully developed painting: 'Slioch', 11 x 7.25". It shows the mountain 'Slioch' towering balefully above Loch Maree just west of Kinlochewe. This mountain is 700,000 years old and was formed when the stresses of the collisions between continental plates pushed older rock over the top of younger rock - in depths of thousands of feet! Now that's power... This area feels ancient, and Slioch has an imposing dark colour which adds to the majesty. This was painted by the loch shore near Torridon with a bubbly and rapidly changing sky which seemed to highlight the mountain. The sun kept highlighting the far shore which I hope forms a bright centre to the painting and a striking highlight against the monolithic grandeur of the mountain. I just love the west coast! 'Slioch' is in my new 'Highland Gallery'. I'll show you one of my sketches as soon as I get it photographed! All the best, Rob.
Welcome to the beautiful Glen Affric, in my humble opinion the most beautiful of the glens in the Scottish Highlands! This painting shows the River Affric shortly after it has passed through Loch Affric on its eastward journey. It will shortly pass into Loch Beinn A Mheadhoin. I've been visiting this lovely spot for the last 20 years and, although I've been fairly head-down with commission work lately, I finally found time to sketch and paint it on a few days' break away in the Highlands. It's early morning and the pristine, ancient and original Caledonian Forest is emerging from the morning mist. The rocks here are ancient too and reflect the pastel colours of the sky as the bright, lively water thunders by. It's easy to paint places you love, and this painting just flowed like the water! I'm really pleased that I feel I have been able to do justice to another of my favourite places on the planet. I love 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.