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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


  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,

    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,

  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.

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

  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.

    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.

  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.

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


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