This is 'Bow Fiddle Rock', 18.5 x 12", watercolour. Bow Fiddle Rock is located on the south side of the Moray Firth and is made of quartzite, or metamorphosed sandstone. The rock is very old. Now it provides a home for many seabirds, a few of which I have included in the painting. I really wanted this painting to have movement, so that it didn't look just like a photograph. The sky is therefore lively, as is the water, with a few splashes bouncing off the seaward facing part of the rocks. With a million cracks and fissures visible, I really wanted to avoid getting tied into detail so it is painted in a loose style, with a minimum of detail added. I think it really works, and the loose treatment of the rocks matches the similar treatment of the sky and water. I was really pleased with this one, which made the tricky climb down to the water's edge from the cliffs above worthwhile! At least I found it tricky!
This is 'Stormy Moonrise', in watercolour and gouache, 20 x 10.5" (50 x 27 cm) approximately. It's a work of the imagination and is based on my very fond childhood memories of sitting at my bedroom window, watching storms light up the clouds in the distance. I've always found the night sky beautiful and I'm always fascinated by the colours in it, from the deep, dark blue-black of a clear sky to the warm tints produced by the yellow moonlight. In this painting I wanted to capture the whole lot together, and I had a lot of fun creating it. I quite deliberately aimed to get completely carried away in this world I was creating, paying less attention to style than to creating drama and contrast at every turn. The clouds are warm and luminous, which contrasts against the deep blues of their darkened areas and the sky, where a few stars show. The moon itself is full and bright, lighting up the clouds silver edges with brilliant flares and dominating the centre of the image. The storm shows several simultaneous lightning flashes and illuminates the clouds and the surrounding driving rain with an eerie red light. You might have expected the sea to be rough; instead, it is flat calm because I wanted to convey my sense of childhood wonder that a storm so powerful could be silent in the distance, giving a light show but no sound. I really enjoyed getting carried away with this painting, and I think it shows!
On its 200th Anniversary, it was time to paint Thomas Telford's famous bridge over the River Spey at Craigellachie. I've been meaning to get round to this for ages! The bridge was built between 1812 and 1814 at a point where the Spey is particularly deep, hence the use of a metal arch rather than masonry, which is more usual in this area. It was built of particularly high tensile steel from Wales because, under load, the design is unusually not under compression for its whole length. It was replaced, in 1972, by the predictably utilitarian concrete bridge which now carries the main A941 in a much straighter line but I'm glad it still exists in good condition. It serves as a beautiful reminder of an age where beauty, finesse, grace and design were as important as functionality: something we seem to have sadly lost in the modern age. Now I'm starting to sound like Prince Charles!!
One of the wonders of early summer is the beauty of the sky in the early morning and late in the evening. This is a little lochan close to where I live on a beautiful, slightly misty morning at a painfully early hour! The sun shone a bright, vivid yellow and was surrounded by a halo of pink and red which suffused the whole scene with a beautiful light. I just had to paint it! You don't get long for these paintings as the light is constantly changing, but I think this has produced a painting with spontaneity, life and verve. It has a tranquil, peaceful theme which reflects the silence of this beautiful morning.
Well, I've just got back from a few days away along the Moray Firth and down the Great Glen. This was a family holiday, so I didn't do a great deal of painting but did a lot of walking instead - up to 10 miles a day! This didn't leave a lot of time for art but after a walk one afternoon I painted the mouth of Nairn Harbour - the Maggot. It's just a little painting at 10.5 x 7" and it was painted on a very crowded harbour wall with tourists everywhere! As usual, quite a lot of people were interested in the painting, from passing judgement (when it was half done!) to telling me all about their own painting experiences. It was great fun, and I actually spent more time chatting than painting. Even a group of teenagers who were playing in the water and diving off the harbour walls came over for a look and a chat. I think a lot of people are put off open-air painting because they're worried about other people thinking their work isn't good. My advice is just have a go - it's great fun, relaxing, and I've never had anyone comment negatively - even years ago when I was just starting out. Oh, and if you're wondering why this crowded harbour has been shown with only a single person in it, please have a look at the painting's page for the reason why.
This is a sister painting to 'The Shores of Loch Maree' and is the same size, so would look great hanging alongside it! Once again, the calm waters of the beautiful loch reflect the sunlit mountains. This time, though, a passing shower has produced a segment of a rainbow which is also subtly reflected. The view is from the same vantage point as the Shores of Loch Maree but this time looking towards the west. Once again, I'm really pleased with this painting which says everything about this lovely place that I wanted it to. As I've had some interest already, I took photographs of this painting as I did it and might turn this into a demonstration for my blog at www.robwighamwatercolours.blogspot.co.uk if people would like - let me know! I'll be going offline in a couple of days' time as I'm off painting and sketching again - this time in the area around the Great Glen!
Just to let you know I've started a new blog! It's at www.robwighamwatercolours.blogspot.co.uk. I'm often asked what techniques I use for my paintings, what colours were involved and in what order. This new blog talks about those aspects, while this one will continue to focus on the painting itself and its subjects. I've featured these paintings so far. Please have a look - and don't forget to tell me what you think! If you have any questions, or ideas for future posts, please let me know by leaving a comment on the blog - it's linked to my Google+ account. Thanks!
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.