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Haymaking at Loch Calder
18 x 25 cm

It's that time of year again, when there is a sudden flurry of activity to get the hay in while the weather is good. I was talking to a farmer the other day and there seems to be a lot of skill and judgement involved in hay-making. Apparently, the grass has to lie in the field for a few days after it has been cut, in order to dry out. If it's left too long though it goes off. There is no problem when the weather is fine and settled, but when some days are wet the whole process becomes a gamble: Whether to bale up the hay today, even though it's still a bit damp, or wait until tomorrow and hope that it doesn't rain. Even a bit of fog overnight can spoil things, so in our changeable climate it must be very difficult.


  1. Hi there Keith!... Another bright summer gem! This beautiful summerscape... could well be found anywhere here in Canada right now as well!Our farmers are busy taking in the hay and harvesting grains everywhere you look.

    It's true for artists as well as farmers Keith. When the weather is sunny.. hot and favourable... one must "make hay"! HA HA!!

    Good Painting and Happy Summer Plein Airing!
    Warmest regards,

  2. Super painting - I love this time of year, but I am glad I am not a farmer, they are rushing around like bees at the moment, frantically trying to get it all done.

    I must get out there and paint some of these, myself, it is a few years since I did some bales!

  3. Hi Bruce,

    Yes I hadn't thought about our own gambling with the weather. The other day I had just set up my easel when it started raining. I could easily have given up before I had started, but I decided to carry on and see what I could do. The rain didn't come to anything in the end and I got a good painting done. The gamble paid off - this time!

    All the best,

  4. I wonder what it is about bales, Rolina. They just cry out to be painted don't they.

  5. I love your sun filled painting Keith the light is especially nice. Not much in the way of sunshine here it has rained all day.

  6. Thanks Caroline. It was raining here too today. It was very gentle though and warm, so not unpleasant really.

  7. This is so beautiful; so full of light and fresh air. I can smell it and feel that I am there. In fact I want to go there; I have a passion for Scotland.
    Sue xx

  8. Beautiful fresh watercolour and very evocative scene, Keith. A little bit of this rural activity going on where I live a week ago too!

  9. Thanks Michael. Hope you had a good holiday.

  10. Lovely Keith!!

    As Kevin Menck once said those hay stacks are very difficult to paint, or put it better to give them weight so to speak. You even maneged it in watercolour!! I knew about your story, but you didn't mentioned the risk to stack wet or moist hay, it could cause hay heats, and burns off your farm.

  11. Yes René, I'd been looking at some of Kevin's recent paintings, so when I saw these bales I just had to have a go at them.

    I haven't heard of many fires recently. The farmers around here seem to wrap them in plastic and keep them outdoors, so that's probably why.


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