Skip to main content

Sea Caves

"Sea Cave at Holborn Head" - watercolour - 24 x 36 cm

I think most people probably find caves interesting: a primordial fascination with the feeling of a portal to an unseen world. If this applies to a cave on land, it must be even more the case for the kind of sea cave which can only be reached by boat. There is no way of knowing, from dry land, what lies beyond the entrance: how far it extends or whether it leads to a vast cavern. We can watch the waves wash in and disappear into the depths, maybe listen to the crashing sounds from within, and then see the resulting surf wash out again. Sea birds also, come and go from their roosts high up in the cave, inhabiting a world we can never be part of; a world we can only try to imagine.
Perhaps the greatest attraction of caves is the way that they allow our imaginations to play.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks René, it's not a typical subject in your part of the world, but maybe you saw something like it in Ireland.

  2. Hi there Keith!... You have once again successfully translated the mood and distrinct character of the subject before you... both in paint and in words!

    The austere and threatening presence of this seaside underworld is made more palatable through the warmth of your palette and the presence no matter how fragile... of the soaring and exploring gulls!

    Loved your thoughtful commentary regarding our inability to enter the domains of some creatures. That is a good thing perhaps... given how our presence often forever sullies what is naturally wild and beautiful before our arrival on the scene.

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

    1. Hi Bruce, I hadn't thought of the idea of caves as a wildlife refuge, but you're certainly right. How ironic that caves were once a shelter for Mankind, but now they protect against him.

      All the best,

  3. That is so beautiful... I also enjoyed your description, and I wonder whether or not I would dare brave those waters to find answers to what cannot be seen. Perhaps it is sufficient simply to look and to imagine. Thank you, Keith.

    1. Yes Diane, sometimes the mystery is the most important thing.


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

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…