Sunday, March 16, 2014

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.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Impressions of the Pentland Firth

"Showers Over Hoy" - watercolour - 16 x 26 cm


This is a series of paintings I made recently of the Pentland Firth; the stretch of sea that separates the Orkney Islands from mainland Scotland. It is a treacherous channel, full of strong currents and tidal races. The islands are often shrouded in cloud, giving them an air of mystery. Most of them are fairly low-lying, but the island of Hoy has some mountains and dramatic sea cliffs, and the famous rock stack known as the Old Man of Hoy*.