The Meadows in Snow – Watercolour
Edinburgh’s Meadows under a blanket of snow last month.
A quiet end to the year – Watercolour
One of my favourite views in the local woods. It strikes me that the calendar changes, tonight, but the trees remain much as they always have done over the past 35 years we have stayed here. Nice and comforting. Happy New Year everyone and all the best of everything in 2013.
Aberlady Church, East Lothian from Craigielaw Golf Course – Watercolour
I have driven past this old church many times but have always viewed it from the road which passes on the far side of this scene. During a round of golf, on Wednesday, I was delighted to get a different perspective of the structure which prompted this quick painting.
Autumn Colours – Watercolour
Although our trees are not as spectacular, in their Autumn colours, as in other places (e.g. the “Fall” in USA) we can sometimes get a decent show. This is part of the shoreline of Loch Tay in Perthshire near the village of Killin. There are not many bright reds and oranges in our Autumn trees but this particular area can boast quite a variety of native hard-woods as well as the ubiquitous conifers. The further north one travels, the more the conifers take over so this is a kind of boundary country. Well work visiting – when its not too wet.
Falls of Glomach – Inktense
The Falls of Glomach, literally the “Gloomy Falls”, are situated in Wester Ross, north of The Kintail Mountain Range. This is on the Scottish Mainland and opposite the Isle of Skye.
Being a mountainous and wet part of the country its no surprise that there are many waterfalls and the Glomach Falls are probably the highest in the UK, although some debate this. They have a vertical height of 375 feet and surge down through a narrow cleft, through a “horseshoe, at the edge of a plateau. Not many people have actually visited this place as it requires a long hike across rugged ground to get here. Like other falls they are at their best after heavy rain but this has a downside in this case. The bottom section is contained in a narrow gorge and heavy rain explodes into a cloudy mist obscuring the bottom half. In fact my sketch shows the top section only – the first 140 or so feet.
The whole scene reinforces good advice, for mountaineers, about following streams and rivers down slopes. Many used to think this guaranteed a route off the mountain but there have been many fatalities when walkers got trapped in places like this. Believe it or not, there is an old, Victorian guide book which suggests that the long hike can be avoided by taking a quicker route to the foot of the falls then climbing up the steep slope to get a better view.
Bakehouse Close – Ink
This charming wee place is one of the many closes off Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, in this case its in the Cannongate section of the thoroughfare. The buildings are used, today, as part of the Royal Museum of Scotland and there is I fine collection of silverware in the eastern section. Not so long ago these were run-down and dilapidated buildings – my sketch is from an old print circa 1860. Although closes seem to suggest that the buildings are close together the name actually comes from the fact that the courtyard, where the viewpoint of this scene is taken from, could be “closed” at night, probably by an iron gate thus protecting the properties inside.
Fleshmarket Close, Edinburgh – Ink
This view of one of the old “Closes” is from an old print dated 1845. The closes, so named after the passageways formed by high buildings close to each other, were used for general passageways as well as for trading. Although there are no traders and people in this scene Fleshmarket Close would have been teeming with butchers plying their trade. It must have been a pretty insanitary place in the old days. In bygone many, many people were crammed into these buildings but today, Its interesting to note that the properties are much sought after. One tiny building, with one bedroom, is currently up for rent of around £1,000 per month. Fleshmarket Close has one of the smallest pubs in the city halfway down the steep street. It is called, appropriately, the Halfway House.
Damaged Beech Tree – Study in Ink
Been in a bit of a rut recently so, when all else fails, go back to Almondell Park.
Workmen are still clearing up after last winter’s storm
and it looks as if this old favourite will be next for the chop. The top 30% was torn away and its only now that the foresters can get near it as masses of debris had to be cleared first.
South Queensferry Shoreline – Watercolour
I started this a few months ago then forgot about it. Looking for something to get me going again I decided to finish it. Its meant to show the rocky shoreline near the Forth Railway Bridge at South Queensferry. It was originally an experiment to see if I could pain the large group of rocks in the foreground which are about the size of a person each.
Ben Lomond – Watercolour
A good friend has a notion to drive to Loch Lomond when next he visits Scotland. Although its possible to drive around this stretch of water, the largest in terms of area in the UK, the best views of the surrounding hills and mountains are from the loch itself. This scene is of Ben Lomond taken from the “Maid of the Loch” a recently restored paddle steamer the last of its kind here. If you are reading this, Kris, make notes to book a place on this vessel. At 3196 feet, Ben Lomond is the most southerly of Scotland’s Munro’s (peaks over 3000 ft) and is a popular target for hill walkers. The Ben is seen here in the Autumn with the first covering of snow near the top.