Caves, Geos and Stacks

Sea-cave at Strathy
26 x 18 cm

Sea-caves are common along the coasts of Caithness and Sutherland. They are the first stage in a dramatic form of coastal erosion. With a straight line of cliffs, the cave gradually gets deeper and eventually the roof falls in. This leaves a deep chasm, which is called a geo in this area. When the cave is on a promontory, the sea eventually breaks through at the back to leave an arch. This then gets eroded until it collapses, leaving a sea stack. All of these features can be seen around the coastline here.


  1. HI Keith!...Another gem... created from a very verticalflat background too!

    Wonderful how the warm rock and surf interplay creates interest... and the use... as Rob noticed of the gulls... to "etch" some action into the darkness in that cave!

    Thanks for the geology lesson as well... very informative!

    Good painting!
    Warmest reagrds,

  2. Thanks Rob, seagulls seem to make a big difference to these cliff paintings: they look empty without them. It's a bit like a street scene without people.

  3. Hi Bruce, I put the warm colours into the foreground, at the end, for just that reason. It looked a bit uninteresting without them.

    All the best,

  4. I just discovered your blog and make a nice trip with your watercolors. I will come back here. Thank you
    It is true that the seagulls give full dimension to the cliffs

  5. Hello Lydie. Thanks for looking in and commenting.

  6. Your painting depicting cliffs and restless seas beneath, the colours used give us a feel that Spring time is here and with it brings the warmer weather and softer light.

  7. Yes Spring is here Caroline, even if it doesn't always feel like it.


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