Skip to main content

The Far North Line


"A Line-man's Hut, Kinbrace" - watercolour - 16 x 26 cm


The Far North Line must be one of the finest railway journeys in Great Britain, perhaps even in Europe. Parts of it travel along a beautiful coastline, while other sections have mountainous scenery and wooded valleys. Finally there is the Flow Country, with its big, open landscapes.
Because it isn't a fast, busy line, it hasn't had to be upgraded very much, so it still has a feel of former times. Many of the stations still have their 19th Century architecture, and there are other old structures beside the track, like the line-man’s hut in the painting above. It would have been used by the man who was responsible for checking and maintaining that section of the line.

Comments

  1. You have captured a wonderful sense of loneliness in your painting, Keith. By the way, have you recently changed your banner painting, or is it just that I had not noticed until now? Whatever the case, it is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Diane, yes the banner image is new.

      Delete
  2. Just imagine living in such a lonely location in so tiny a hut! they had such hard lives back then. I think it is nice the way your painting is telling a story of the past yet is placed in our time now. The colors in your painting are so natural looking and all is painted with fresh watercolor brush work very skillfully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes few people could live that kind of life now, I think.

      I think I'm going to explore this connection, between past and present, more in my work.

      Delete
  3. Hi again Keith!... Another crisp and wistful panoramic junction of past and present. You capture the vastness of space deftly and skillfully... evocatively portraying both the presence and absence of man simultaneously... if that makes any sense. We can live more compatibly with the natural landscape... and leave few traces that we were there. And that pleases me.

    You capture this all so beautifully and "fluidly" (pun intended... HA HA!!) Keith. Bravo!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,
    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bruce, your comment about "the presence and absence of man simultaneously" makes perfect sense, and neatly gets to the heart of the painting. It could equally apply to many of my other pieces. Thanks for the insight.

      I hope that Spring has gained a real foothold for you now.

      All the best,
      Keith

      Delete
  4. Yes Keith, my first thoughts were how lonely it must have been for the lineman working out there in an almost wilderness.
    I wonder if Michael Portilo travelled along that stretch of line, as we've watched him travel over so much of Britain and Europe in his TV program.
    Lovely painting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Frank. Yes I remember him going to John o' Groats, although the line ends at Wick, so he would have passed this hut.

      Delete

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

www.keithtilley.co.uk

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…