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Ben Stack

Ben Stack
Watercolour, 23 x 34 cm

I've been over to Sutherland for a couple of days to do some hill-walking, mainly to climb Foinaven. What an amazing landscape it is! The rocks are 3 billion years old and the area has been designated as a Geopark. I couldn't wait to do some paintings from the sketches I made as soon as I got back.

Foinaven is just out of view to the left of the painting. My route onto the mountain was up the rocky spur on the left. It was very steep and I was getting quite hot in the sun. I finally reached the summit ridge and the cloud immediately came down, completely blotting out the views. I waited for a while but it didn't look like clearing so I headed back down. No sooner had I reached the foot of the mountain than the cloud cleared! Oh well, at least I have an excuse to go back there.

North West Highlands Geopark


  1. Great sky on this piece, Keith.
    Does it for me..!

    All the best of summer painting to you..

  2. I agree - the sky is fantastic. It opens the whole painting up 'upwards', if you get what I mean.

  3. Sure "lost" I think everybody can see that. An awesome piece Keith, unbelievable. If you would flatten out all the mountains how large would the World be? ...

    (and how small the Netherlands) :-P

  4. Great work, that sky gives real depth and atmosphere to the piece.

  5. very dramatic keith
    the clouds add a lot of feeling to the place,too funny about the clouds teasing you on the mountain!

  6. The funny thing is that I always feel that watercolour skies almost paint themselves. You put the paint on in the right place, and at the right consistency, and then you stand back and watch the clouds form.

    Flat mountains - that would make hill-walking easier René! Perhaps that's missing the point though!

  7. Must have been fantastic amongst those hills Keith.

  8. Awesome painting Keith. I am heading to the Highlands next month for a few days, I may try this 'Plein Air' painting ... it certainly suits you.

  9. Yes, go for it Ingrid. It's great once you get used to it, but don't expect too much to start with.

  10. I love the muted greys in this, so characteristic of the landscape. As a photographer it can be all too easy to overdo the saturation, and hence loose the lovely graduations of tones.

  11. Thanks Jamie. I suppose those of us who don't know much about photography don't realise that. We tend to think that the photograph is a true representation, but really it has its limitations like any other medium.


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