Watercolour on Fabriano Artistico 300gsm Rough paper
25 x 36 cm
West of Tongue, in Sutherland, there is a large peat bog called The Moine, which stretches all the way over to the next valley. At more-or-less the highest point there is a ruined building, called Moine House, which I have always found very striking. It is a wild and lonely spot and it has a background of dramatic mountains. I assumed that it was an old drovers' inn, but a plaque* on the wall tells the story of how it was erected as a refuge for travellers.
Autumn Sunshine on Loch Naver, watercolour, 16 x 26 cm
Lovely Loch Naver lies in the heart of the vast emptiness of Sutherland. A narrow winding road follows the northern shore, fringed with birch trees and grassy meadows. On the southern side the loch is dominated by the mountain, Ben Klibreck, one of Scotlands 'Munros' (mountains over 3,000 ft or 910 m). On a sunny autumn day, with the glowing birch trees, the blue of the water and the backdrop of rich moorland colours, it is just perfect.
I have just finished a commissioned painting which was challenging, and different from my usual subject matter. Essentially, it was a portrait of a ship which the client had a family connection with. I was provided with an image of a 19th Century painting and given a free hand to create my own interpretation of it - http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/schooner-snaefell.
"A Defended Coast, Keiss", watercolour, 25 x 36 cm
This scene interested me because of the time-scale represented by the different buildings. The distant castle was built around the beginning of the Seventeenth Century, whereas the foreground structure is a pillbox gun emplacement from World War II. In fact there is even more history covered: although they don't appear in the view, two brochs*, take us back to before 100 AD.