Skip to main content

Grasping the Moment

"Rocks and Trees, Dunbeath Strath" - watercolour - 25 x 36 cm


When I made a sketch of this place, high up Dunbeath Strath, my main impression was one of wildness and tranquillity. Admittedly, there were sheep grazing nearby, and there was a man-made fishing pool in the river below, but these didn't impact much on the sense of isolation. Imagine my surprise on my next visit when I found that a large log cabin had been built there. It appears to be a shelter for fishing parties from the estate that owns the land.


I'm glad that I took the opportunity to make a few sketches of the area as it was when it still seemed wild and remote.

Bothy in Dunbeath Strath


Comments

  1. Good evening Keith!... Happy Easter to you and your family!

    Change seems always to be one step ahead of us these days. The cabin is a grand one... but unfortunately as the two photos clearly demonstrate... it dominates the solitude! A pity... for us!
    Fortunately your prior sketch records the memory of that lost wilderness space!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,
    Bruce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bruce, normally timber buildings seem fit quite well in the landscape, but this one just seems to be out of place somehow. I think it's because it is out in the open and next to a rocky element. Whatever the reason it's certainly changed the whole experience.

      All the best,
      Keith

      Delete
  2. Lovely painting the way it WAS ! I agree that now the cabin has taken the solitude of the space.
    So good that you captured it before man made his footprint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you BJ. These places of solitude are so important, in an ever busier world, aren't they.

      Delete
  3. That must have been a big surprise Keith to see this rather large timber cabin standing in this wonderful wild location! It does take away the remoteness doesn't it. Glad you got the chance to be there before it and paint your lovely watercolour painting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It certainly was a surprise, Caroline. I had visited this place a few times and it had always felt peaceful and unspoilt. It's still peaceful but the feeling of remoteness has gone.

      Delete
  4. The painting beautifully captures the sense of isolation and wilderness that you must have felt when you first visited the place. Perhaps it was a sixth sense that made you create it when you did because, had you waited, that moment would have been lost for ever. The idea of a painting 'capturing a moment' is interesting, isn't it? Moments sifted through the eyes of the artist and frozen in time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm happiest with the paintings that go beyond the topographical and convey something of a moment in time.

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

North Coast 500

In 2015 the North Highland Initiative started a project to boost tourism in the northern counties of Scotland. The idea was to publicise a 500 mile route through Inverness-shire, Ross & Cromarty, Sutherland and my home county of Caithness, and promote it as a superb road trip. I don't know how successful they expected it to be, but it has quickly become very popular and has been called one of the top five coastal routes in the World. In fact its popularity is becoming a problem for the local residents: some of the roads are single-track, with bays at intervals to allow two vehicles to pass each other, but there is an etiquette for their use that strangers are not always aware of. The result is that local people going about their business find themselves held up by slow-moving tourist vehicles, so if you use the route please pull over and allow other vehicles to pass. The amount of traffic will probably also cause damage to the roads, which were not intended for heavy use. Desp…

Old Broubster Village

Throughout the Highlands in the Nineteenth Century, tenant farmers were evicted from their homes, or 'crofts', during the notorious Highland Clearances. Landowners, in a drive for efficiency and more profitable land use, wanted to replace the old system of small-holdings with large sheep ranches. The crofters were forced out of their scattered homes, often in a brutal manner, and re-housed in new communities. The land that they were given was often of poor quality and they had to work hard to maintain even a subsistence level of life. During this period many people took up the offer of a new life overseas, emigrating to Canada, New Zealand and Australia, where their descendants still have strong links with Scotland.

In 1839 tenants from the estates of Broubster and Shurrery, in Caithness, were resettled in a new village. Land was provided for them, but they probably had to build their own houses. The dwellings were in the form of long-houses, which consisted of a …

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