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Showing posts from 2019

Frozen Landscape

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Frozen Landscape, watercolour, 16 x 26 cm Available - £140 I often think that the Flow Country can look like an Arctic landscape at times. Especially in freezing temperatures, this kind of scene reminds me of images I have seen of places like Svalbard. www.keithtilley.co.uk

Snow at Dirlot

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Snow at Dirlot, watercolour, 16 x 26 cm Available - £140 We haven't had this much snow yet - this was painted from a sketch - but it's turned much colder, so it could happen at any time. www.keithtilley.co.uk

Autumn Tree in Dunbeath Strath

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Autumn Tree in Dunbeath Strath, watercolour, 16 x26 cm Available - £140 A sunny autumn day in a woodland landscape; could there be a better subject for an artist! www.keithtilley.co.uk

Feeding Time

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Feeding Time - watercolour, 16 x 26 cm Available - £140 One way to get your models in a nice composition, and not moving around - catch them at feeding time! www.keithtilley.co.uk

Calm Anchorage at Morar

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Calm Anchorage at Morar, watercolour, 25 x 36 cm Available, £240 The area of western Scotland known as Morar is part of a National Scenic Area, and famous for its white sandy beaches. It was featured in the film "Local Hero". www.keithtilley.co.uk

Kilchurn Castle

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Kilchurn Castle, Loch Awe, watercolour, 25 x 36 cm Available for £240 Kilchurn Castle was built in the 15th Century, and was one of the strongholds of the Clan Campbell. It stands at the head of Loch awe, in the shadow of the mountain, Ben Cruachan. Location - https://goo.gl/maps/T4PnBxYXPh3RyJih7 www.keithtilley.co.uk

The Monument at Glenfinnan

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The Monument at Glenfinnan, watercolour, 15 x 25 cm. Available  £140 In 1745, Prince Charles Edward Stuart raised his standard at Glenfinnan, and began his attempt to reclaim the throne for his father, James Stuart. This was the start of the 1745 Jacobite Rising, which ultimately ended in failure at the Battle of Culloden. The Glenfinnan Monument was erected in 1815, in tribute to the clansmen who died for the cause. Location - https://goo.gl/maps/CjYJJWEMiGhrZzkN6 www.keithtilley.co.uk  

Old Fishing Station at Forse

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Old Fishing Station at Forse, watercolour, 16 x 26 cm. Sold. I came across these old buildings, tucked into the cliffs, on a walk along the coast. They are hidden away and forgotten now, but they were probably connected with the herring fishing industry, like many other shoreline ruins. www.keithtilley.co.uk

Loch More and the Flow Country

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Loch More and the Flow Country, watercolour, 25 x 36 cm. Available. www.keithtilley.co.uk

Loch Calder Moorings

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Loch Calder Moorings, watercolour, 16 x 26 cm Sold www.keithtilley.co.uk

MeyGen Tidal Energy Project

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Engineering Work off Stroma - Watercolour, 16 x 26 cm The sea between the island of Stroma and the Mainland has very strong tidal currents, where the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea meet. This has made it an ideal site for the first commercial tidal power generation project in Scotland, and currently the largest in the World. The turbines are in the form of large propellers, similar to wind turbines. It's good to see a World-leading project based here in Scotland, and the Country is well on the way to having most of its energy from renewable sources. I am concerned about the effect on marine life, particularly the whales and dolphins which are often seen in these waters, but I hope the environmental impact is being monitored and taken into account. The ship in the painting was in the process of servicing one of the turbines. Location - https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@58.6786532,-3.1498628,12z www.keithtilley.co.uk

Limekiln

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"Limekiln at Reay", watercolour, 16 x 26 cm Limekilns are found in limestone country, where the soils are thin, and they were used to produce fertiliser. The limestone was burnt at high temperature to produce lime, which was then mixed with water to produce quicklime. When it was spread on fields, it reduced the acidity and improved the fertility. www.keithtilley.co.uk

Broubster Clearance Village

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Broubster Clearance Village - Watercolour, 25 x 36 cm 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 dwe

Balnakeil Beach

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Balnakeil Beach - Watercolour, 16 x 26 cm The community of Balnakeil lies at the furthest North-westerly point on the British mainland. It is well-known for its Craft Village, an experiment begun in the 1970's to turn disused military buildings into an artistic centre. The project was a success and the site now has various businesses, including a bookshop and restaurant, and a popular chocolate shop! Below the village lies Balnakeil Beach , a long stretch of sand around one side of a narrow bay, with turquoise water and backed by towering sand-dunes. The beach leads to the end of a promontory at Faraid Head , where the Ministery of Defence still has a presence in the form of a small radar station. This is used to monitor military excercises which take place every year at nearby Cape Wrath . Location - https://goo.gl/maps/ao9DhgfPLtj

Shelter Stone Crag

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Shelter Stone Crag - Watercolour, 25 x 36 cm The south-western end of Loch Avon , in the Cairngorm Mountains , is over-looked by the dramatic Shelter Stone Crag . It is named after a massive boulder that lies at its foot, at the bottom of the light area in the painting. The rock is positioned in such a way that there is a large cavity beneath it, which can be been used as an overnight shelter for travellers in this remote area. Location - https://goo.gl/maps/XWeFUfEyjVT2

Sail Gharbh, Quinag

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Sail Gharbh, Quinag - Watercolour, 25 x 36 cm The mountain known as Quinag , or "The Milking Pail" in English, has three peaks. The highest is Sail Gharbh meaning "The rough Heal". Quinag is managed by The John Muir Trust , a conservation charity dedicated to preserving wild places - https://www.johnmuirtrust.org/trust-land/quinag Location - https://goo.gl/maps/hxVpEZYdEHH2

Ben Stack

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Ben Stack - Watercolour, 25 x 36 cm When viewed from a North-westerly direction Ben Stack is a perfect mountain. If you asked a child to draw a mountian it would probably look like Ben Stack, a perfect cone in shape. From other directions it can be seen that it's really a long and narrow ridge. Several other mountains in Sutherland have the same sort of shape, which is a result of the geology and the action of glaciers. It's possible that during the last Ice Age Ben Stack may have been a Nunatak , a geological term for a mountain whose peak rises above the surrounding ice sheet. Location - https://goo.gl/maps/wvp6YCV5ZGn

The Lairig Ghru

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The Lairig Ghru - Watercolour, 25 x 36 cm One of the great mountain passes of Scotland, the Lairig Ghru runs for around 40 km or 25 miles through the Cairngorm Mountains . It has been used for centuries by people traveling from Deeside in the south, to Strathspey in the north. No roads have been built through it so it is still only a rough path. The origin of the name is unclear. The first part is the Scottish Gaelic for 'mountain pass', but the second part could have several different meanings. Location - https://goo.gl/maps/5Rzxn9J9QLM2

The Chalamain Gap

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The Chalamain Gap - Watercolour, 25 x 36 cm This is one of the classic walking routes in the Cairngorms . It's a narrow pass filled with large boulders which make progress difficult. The route leads from Glenmore through to the pass of the Lairig Ghru , and then to join the paths climbing Braeriach . Location - https://goo.gl/maps/5oSD5SqQqEt

Blog Comments

It has come to my attention that there has been a problem for some people when trying to leave comments. They seem to disappear when the 'Publish' button is clicked. I have now changed the commenting method to a pop-up window, and that seems to have solved the problem. If you are one of the people who have been affected by this, I hope you won't have any further problems, but please send me an email if you do. I have also changed the template, as I have seen some suggestions that they can sometimes cause problems. While I have been looking into the issue, I have discovered comments from some time ago that I haven't been notified about. If some of these were yours, I am sorry about that. I value all comments and try to reply to all of them.

Inspired by Sargent

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At Christmas I received a present of a book: 'John Singer Sargent Watercolors' by Erica E. Hirshler and Teresa A. Carbone. I've always admired Sargent's work in the medium, and this book is full of lots of wonderful, large illustrations. Looking at some of the enlarged details, I was struck by how boldly the paint was applied. Sometimes the marks seem almost abstract until they are viewed from a distance. Then they coalesce into a wonderfully vibrant impression of the subject. In some ways his way of working seems quite modern. Simplon Pass, Crags, 35.5 x 49.5 cm - Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Simplon Pass, Crags - detail It was interesting, as well, to see the variation in the thickness of the application. In some areas the paint is thin and transparent , while in others it is thick and opaque, so much so that sometimes cracking has occurred as the paint has dried. Look how effectively opaque paint has been used in the painting below, especially

Torrisdale

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Torrisdale - Watercolour, 25 x 36 cm Torrisdale is on beautiful Torrisdale Bay , at the mouth of the River Borgie , on the northern coast of Sutherland . It is a remote community of scattered crofts and houses, and is a place of timeless tranquillity. Location - https://goo.gl/DpqoTy

Ryvoan Bothy

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Ryvoan Bothy - Watercolour, 13 x 18 cm Throughout the Highlands of Scotland there are remote buildings, like the one below, which are available for people to stay in overnight. They have been given or lent by the landowners, and they are looked after by volunteer members of the Mountain Bothies Association . This one at Ryvoan , in Glenmore , is popular with people heading into the heart of the Cairngorm Mountains . Location - https://goo.gl/maps/7f8H89AmvbC2

The Ring of Brodgar

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The Ring of Brodgar - watercolour - 23 x 34 cm When I painted this view of the Ring of Brodgar , in 2009, it was part of a landscape that was already a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Heart of Neolithic Orkney - http://goo.gl/YrYaAq . Since then more discoveries have been made in the centre of the site, on a narrow strip of land called the Ness of Brodgar . Excavations have revealed a number of buildings, which seem to form what might be called a temple complex - http://goo.gl/eOkksi . I doubt whether we will ever really know what went on here, but a picture is beginning to emerge of a site with great importance on Orkney, and maybe even a place of pilgrimage from other parts of Europe. Location - https://goo.gl/maps/ZW3aXBUmzcw

Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge

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Heroes of the Grey Corries, watercolour, 25 x 36 cm The British Commandos were formed during World War II to take part in raids against occupied Europe. They had their depot at Achnacarry Castle , where they went through tough training in the surrounding mountains. Later, they were joined by US Rangers and commandos from other countries. The famous monument was set up in 1952. Location - https://goo.gl/maps/3QrCoYYgmT32

The Far North Line

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A Line-man's Hut, Kinbrace - watercolour - 16 x 26 cm An old line-man's hut, beside the track of the beautiful Far North Line , in the north of Scotland. The scenic route runs from Inverness to Thurso and Wick , in Caithness , and the journey takes three and a half hours. Some of the wonderful scenery along the way includes: The Kyle of Sutherland , the coastline at Brora , the Flow Country around Forsinard . Location - https://goo.gl/maps/D59MFt2xEo72

Ben Nevis

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Ben Nevis from the West, watercolour, 25 x 36 cm Ben Nevis has two distinct characters, making it seem very different depending on which way it is approached. The southern side has a rounded profile with steep slopes. Most visitors climb the mountain from this side by a zigzag path called the Pony Track . It was made at the end of the Nineteenth Century when a weather observatory was built at the summit. For a number of years men were stationed there permanently to make recordings. It must have been a tough assignment in bad weather. The building even had to be made taller so that it wasn't buried under the snow in winter. Although the Pony Track is steep in some places, it is a fairly easy route and makes the mountain seem deceptively benign. However the approach from the north reveals a different prospect. A glacier, like a gigantic ice-cream scoop, has carved away the side of the mountain, leaving 600 metre high cliffs. They are popular with climbers and in th

The Great Wood of Caledon

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The Northern Corries from Glenmore, watercolour, 25 x 36 cm At one time the Great Wood of Caledon covered most of the Highlands with a more-or-less continuous area of forest and mountains. Caledonian pine forest is a mixed woodland of Scots Pines and other native trees. It forms a unique habitat and home to some of Britain's rarest species, including the Capercaillie and the Scottish Crossbill . Over the centuries much of the forest has been cleared for grazing land and for shooting grouse and deer. A few areas survive and some of the largest are in the Cairngorms National Park , where efforts are being made to allow them to regenerate naturally. The main threat to these forest now is overgrazing by deer. There are no large predators in Scotland and the size of the deer population has become a problem, especially for the regeneration of forests. Any young trees that become established are browsed by the deer, resulting in a dying habitat that has only old trees. Whe

Brochs

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Dun Telve Broch, Glenelg, watercolour, 25 x 36 cm Throughout the Highlands and Islands of Scotland there are the remains of ancient round towers, called brochs. The best-preserved ones are in the Orkney Isles , but there are some impressive examples on the mainland in Glenelg , in Wester Ross . These mysterious towers were built during the Iron Age and experts disagree over what they were used for. They seem to be defensive structures, but they may been intended to show off the wealth or power of their owners. The most complete of the surviving brochs are around 25 metres tall, but they may originally have been higher than that. The walls were hollow with staircases ingeniously built into them to give access to upper levels. There were no windows and just a small, low doorway. They were built of stone and amazingly no mortar was used to hold them together. The fact that they have survived at all, after two thousand years, is a testament to the skills of their buil

Ben Loyal in Summer Haze

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"Ben Loyal in Summer Haze" - Watercolour, 16 x 26 cm www.keithtilley.co.uk

The Pentland Firth

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Stroma and Rough Water - watercolour - 25 x 36 cm The Pentland Firth is 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 . The island of Stroma , which is part of Caithness and lies just off the coast, had a thriving community at one time, but now it has been abandoned. It has a haunting quality, with the ruins of numerous cottages lining the skyline. Location - https://goo.gl/maps/crnMN7NTHbA2