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A Flow Country Ruin

One of the things I love about where I live is that it is right on the edge of The Flow Country, the largest area of blanket bog in Europe. On one side I have agricultural land, with fields full of lambs at the moment, but on the other I look out over miles of empty wilderness.
The landscape is mostly uninhabited now, but in the past there were small crofts scattered throughout the area. They usually consisted of a small cottage, with maybe only two or three rooms, a few stone outbuildings and a small area of fields, which had been cleared and maintained through hard labour. Life must have been tough for the inhabitants of these places, where the nearest community of any size might be several hours away, if they had a horse, and much more on foot.

On a recent walk out over the moors I passed several ruined farmsteads. The only inhabitants now are birds of prey and a few sheep. On a day when the weather is good they are nice places to stop and listen to the silence and experience the calmness. I didn't want to carry all my painting equipment with me, so I made some pencil sketches instead. This picture was painted later from one of them.

A Flow Country Ruin
Watercolour, 10 x 14 inches


  1. hi keith,another nice one!
    although painted in the studio,it still has got that out door sure caught the emptyness of the place.
    i suppose every location has got its charm,at least you don't have to deal with the endless greens of summer...

  2. Thanks Rob.
    When I'm painting indoors I try to paint quickly so that I get the same freshness.
    Your right about the greens of summer, I hadn't looked at it like that.

  3. yes that is what i do,try to keep it fresh,besides my attention span only lasts 2 hours anyway


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