Skip to main content

Heading for the Hills

Although it is part of Highland Region, Caithness is actually a low-lying, predominantly agricultural area. However the southern part of the county does have a small range of mountains, so when I feel the need for a more vertical landscape this is where I often go.
The main mountain in the range is Morven, and getting to it involves a long walk from the end of the public road. An estate track leads to an abandoned farmstead and from there an indistinct path leads across the moor to the foot of the mountain.
Although I love hill-walking, as an artist I often find that the best subjects are to be found in the valleys, where the mountains make a dramatic backdrop. This subject is a good example: The old building with Morven towering over it made a wonderful composition.


At the Foot of Morven
Watercolour, 10 x 14 inches

Comments

  1. love the threatening sky keith
    it really suits this desolate scene
    that lonely farm against the big mountain,it all works for me

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Rob. I seem to be drawn to wild and desolate scenery. I often overlook the sort of intimate subjects that you find.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You manage to get a great atmosphere in your paintings, Keith. There is a beautiful sense of 'aloneness' in this last painting.

    ReplyDelete
  4. It was exactly that sense of 'aloneness' which attracted me to the subject Diane.
    I am constantly drawn to places where people are absent, particularly where there is a feeling of a primordial landscape.
    Ironically, it is often a man-made object which provides the centre of interest. However since these are usually ruined, or in decay, I feel they point to the transience of our existence compared to the age of the landscape.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Moorland Fire

Moorland Fire Watercolour 25 x 36 cm
There is a definite feeling of approaching autumn now, with some cooler days and more unsettled weather. It hardly seems any time at all since the spring, when there was a long spell of dry weather and the moors were tinder-dry. There were a number of serious fires at the time and several nature reserves were badly damaged. I think they were mostly caused by accident or carelessness this time, but unfortunately there are people who seem to get satisfaction from starting fires deliberately.

The fire in this painting is of a different kind. Every year between, autumn and spring, shooting estates burn off small patches of moorland to leave a patchwork of heather. This encourages the breeding of grouse, with the old growth providing cover and the new shoots providing food. The operation has to be done very carefully, because fires can easily get out of control, and once the underlying peat starts to burn it can burn for days and is very difficult to p…

Christmas Wishes

A couple of my latest watercolours and -

Best Wishes to all for Christmas

"The Fuel Bowser", Watercolour, 24 x 18 cm

"View at Skelbo", Watercolour, 16 x 26 cm

www.keithtilley.co.uk

Trying Out a Pochade Box

I had an old box for storing photographic transparencies that wasn't being used any more. It was just the right size to make a good pochade box, so I thought I would see what I could do with it. I fitted out the lid to hold two 8 x 10 inch panels, with the base holding the paints and brushes and a palette holding everything in place.

For its first trial I took it out to the same location as the previous post. This time it was raining, so it was an ideal opportunity to see how I would get on painting with the pochade inside my vehicle. It worked very well in the cramped conditions and was very easy to use.

When I had finished I just closed the lid and went home. Later, when I opened the box again, I found a blob of Pthalo Green right in the middle of the painting! I think the wood that I used for the palette was too flexible, so it had got pushed up into the lid. I was using acrylics, so normally it would have been easy to wash the green off. Unfortunately, I was trying out Atelie…