Skip to main content

In the Shadow of Foinaven

"Loch Dionard, below Foinaven, watercolour, 24 x 36 cm

For lovers of wild landscapes, there can be few places in Scotland better than North-West Sutherland. The rocks here have been dated to 3 billion years old, and whenever I visit this area I am aware of a sense of both great age and timelessness. A human lifespan is tiny compared with geological time, and so the landscape seems to be unchanging. And yet we can see how the rocks have been thrust up and folded, and then worn away by glaciers, in a process that seems almost incomprehensible. It's a place for allowing the mind to wander and wonder.


  1. Good morning Keith!... This watercolour indeed captures the raw power of the natural forces that shape this towering fold of solid rock. We are small in the face this power... it is humbling indeed to mull over.

    Your rich greens further echo the timelessness and the ongoing changes that take millennia to bring about... and that our presence too... is but a small part of this ongoing process of change. So "wee"... are "We" HA HA!

    A grand watercolour piece Keith!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

    1. Good morning Bruce. We certainly are 'wee' in such a landscape! I'm glad you like the greens. I deliberately made them more saturated, to give an impression of wetness, and to show up the rock face.

      All the best,

  2. Such places are very special, Keith. You have captured the enormity and the timelessness. A wonderful painting that folds around you and takes you in many directions at the same time. Thank you, Diane

    1. Thank you Diane, it certainly is a special place.

  3. I very much like the combination of grey and green together in this fine watercolour painting of a rock formation in Sutherland.

    1. Thank you Caroline, I was pleased with the colours in this one.

  4. It's been a while since I lasted visited Keith but your watercolours are just as fresh and natural as ever. I agree with Bruce about the greens in this one and there seems to be so many different hues. As always, your palette leaves a lasting impression on me. Great work.

    1. Hello John, thanks for visiting. I'm glad you like the colours; I'm always trying to get more out of them.


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…

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

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…