Skip to main content

Sunshine in Coigach

The Coigach area of Sutherland was looking spectacular last weekend. I took advantage of the good weather to do some hill-walking before the winter weather really sets in.

My destination for the day was Cul Mor. It's not one of the highest hills in the area, nor is it as interesting as some, but it has good views over the surrounding mountains and out over The Minch to the Western Isles on the horizon.

Views from the summit: -

Stac Pollaidh


Ben More Assynt

On the way down I came across an area of glacial erratics - loose rocks left behind when the glaciers melted after the last Ice Age. As I looked at them a thought occurred to me. Most of them probably hadn't moved in all that time. The smaller ones might get nudged by passing deer and the snow and strong wind in winter might have some effect, but the larger ones were probably too heavy for that. I had an urge to turn one over and reveal a surface that might not have seen the sun for 10,000 years, but then I decided to leave no evidence of my passing by. This was an example of how this landscape always reminds me of my place in the vast scale of the Universe.

Glacial Erratics

Sunset is towards the end of the afternoon at this time of year and the mountains were lit up with an orange glow. I just had time to do a quick painting of Stac Pollaidh, or Stac Polly as it's better-known.

Sunset on Stac Pollaidh
7 x 10 inches (18 x 25.5 cm)


  1. Wow! I love this Keith. I recognise the late winter glow, and 'Stac Polly' never looked better!

  2. Wonderful scenes Keith. I particularly like the view from Suilven.

  3. Hello Ingrid. The 'glow' hasn't photographed very well, it's a bit warmer in the painting.

    Stac Pollaidh is a very nice subject to paint. I like the way its distinctive profile keeps appearing between the other mountains.

  4. Thanks Steven. Some people think it's barren, but I only see beauty.

  5. wonderful,both the scenes and painting,you really live that landscape keith

  6. Keith it's the barreness that appeals to me. It reminds me of Monument Valley. I love views that disappear into the horizon as though you're on Mars or somewhere. I'd love to walk among those sentinels.

  7. HI Keith!...Once again I have enjoyed the combination of photos along with the painting! It gives "Me" a feeling of almost being with "You" on your foray. "I" too... marvel at the vast sense of Time as the "Universe" manifests itself in its myriads of varied physical costumes.

    I agree... that the wild,barren nature of these trekking sites really does create a kind of beauty... absent in many other parts of the world... including my own immediate surroundings."You" present it so both forms! Thanks!

    Good Painting!

  8. Thanks Bruce. One of the good things about the internet is the way it lets us see the world through other artists eyes.

  9. Thanks Diane. A bit of sunshine makes all the difference. :-)

  10. It's no surprise that Nova Scotia (New Scotland) and Scotland are so similar and glacial. I have some roots in both places. Fascinating

  11. Keith Tilley said...
    "Hello Ingrid. The 'glow' hasn't photographed very well, it's a bit warmer in the painting".

    It was the 'glow' in your painting I was meaning Keith. Same when I said Stac Polly never looked better. ;-)

  12. Hello Mary. I hope you enjoy your trips to Nova Scotia as much as I enjoy visiting Sutherland.

  13. Keith, I absolutely feel like I'm in another world when I'm inn Parrsboro, NS. It sits on the Bay of Fundy and Minas Basin. Dramatic landscape everywhere you look. Lots of dinosauer history there.
    I like your paintings, too. Thanks for your visits to my blog.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

North Coast 500

In 2015 the North Highland Initiative started a project to boost tourism in the northern counties of Scotland. The idea was to publicise a 500 mile route through Inverness-shire, Ross & Cromarty, Sutherland and my home county of Caithness, and promote it as a superb road trip. I don't know how successful they expected it to be, but it has quickly become very popular and has been called one of the top five coastal routes in the World. In fact its popularity is becoming a problem for the local residents: some of the roads are single-track, with bays at intervals to allow two vehicles to pass each other, but there is an etiquette for their use that strangers are not always aware of. The result is that local people going about their business find themselves held up by slow-moving tourist vehicles, so if you use the route please pull over and allow other vehicles to pass. The amount of traffic will probably also cause damage to the roads, which were not intended for heavy use. Desp…

Old Broubster Village

Throughout the Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, tenant farmers were evicted from their homes, or 'crofts', during the notorious Highland Clearances. Landowners, in a drive for efficiency and more profitable land use, wanted to replace the old system of small-holdings with large sheep ranches. The crofters were forced out of their scattered homes, often in a brutal manner, and re-housed in new communities. The land that they were given was often of poor quality and they had to work hard to maintain even a subsistence level of life. During this period many people took up the offer of a new life overseas, emigrating to Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where their descendants still have strong links with Scotland.

In 1839 tenants from the estates of Broubster and Shurrery, in Caithness, were resettled in a new village. Land was provided for them, but they probably had to build their own houses. The dwellings were in the form of long-houses, which consisted of a …

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