Wednesday 3 February 2016

Inspirational Places 1

February already, a year on, and high time I brought you up to date with the highlights of 2015!

I had my wish to find snowy mountains in Scotland magnificently granted during a wonderful day on Cairngorm in February. Clear blue skies, lots of sparkling snow, gleaming ice and sunshine.

The wind was so high that it made drawing the Fiacaill Ridge quite a challenge, and blew the dog’s coat off her back! It was found by climbing friends a day or two later wrapped round the first aid post in Coire an t- sneachda. Velcro is a wonderful thing!

As Nan Shepherd observed in The Living Mountain (1977), ' I penetrate more deeply into the mountain's life, I penetrate also into my own. For an hour I am beyond desire....I am not out of myself, but in myself. I am.'

After the dazzling light of Aviemore, we headed to Sutherland and I found myself in the softer, moodier light of the West coast.

Here low cloud made for some beautifully atmospheric views but limited drawing opportunities.

After fortifying ourselves at the brilliant pie shop in Lochinver, I got to work making a couple of watercolours of the distinctive Assynt mountains Canisp, Suilven and Cul Mor from a nearby viewpoint.

Later in the month, I spent time immersed in memories of the snow in Scotland, making monotypes at Northern Print.

This is one of the Fiacaill Ridge. Currently on show at The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle upon Tyne until the end of February 2016.

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