Sometimes I have what I call 'Sticky' subjects. These are paintings that I get stuck on and can't seem to get right, despite trying several times. If the subject is a good one, I keep coming back to it because I don't like to be beaten. This is one of those subjects, which I have used up quite a few sheets of paper on over a number of years. I nearly said 'wasted paper', but I don't think work is ever a waste of time if something can be learned in the process.
"Sunrise on Stac Pollaidh", watercolour, 16 x 26 cm
Stac Pollaidh, or Stack Polly in English, is one of the iconic mountains in Scotland. It's not very impressive in its height, but it's profile and location make it instantly recognisable to lovers of Scottish mountains. It lies in Assynt, which is an area in Sutherland, and also forms part of the North West Highlands Geopark. The rocks here are the oldest in Europe, and they contain some of the earliest evidence of life on Earth. It was in this area that some of the early pioneering work on geology was done by Benjamin Peach and John Horne. Assynt is truly one of the natural treasures of Scotland.
A public road runs out through Strathmore, as far as Loch More, but beyond that there are only estate and forestry tracks. One route leads through the Flow Country for 16 miles, to the next strath at Forsinard. Another route goes to the south, into the mountains around Braemore. In good weather, either route makes a great day out on foot or bicycle.