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The Highlands

I am in the Highlands of Scotland, surrounded by the stunning scenery which I find so much more difficult to paint than a vase of flowers. For me, just painting the undulating shapes prettify it all too much. It is all so much, so varied and every corner presents new possibilities.


The way I dig in once I have been in the landscape a while and breathed its air is to consider, through sketching and writing, what is important to me in this landscape and work from there.


These are my visual and written musings:

Contours.

Big black scratchy marks

Soft mounds.

Birds

Ancient history

Pink rock and pink stones

Monumentality

Power

Land pushing up

Enormous skies.

Clouds dominant as they swirl around the mountain peaks.

Sun dancing across the land changing the colours to bright greeny yellow.

Bright yellow Gorse scattered.

Offerings of the sea: kelp, shells, sand; deep browns and pinks.

Gutsy.

Contrasts.

Stubborn survivors - deer, cattle and low trees and bushes.

Silver Birches by streams protecting dainty spring flowers by their feet.

Small houses sitting solidly along the roadside.

Water meandering over boulders then dropping 100s of metres to a mist.

Towns that are activated with people and boats.

Gentle seas

Constant newness - ever unfolding and giving. Layered. Deep.

Dark cold Lochs lapping gently.

Spring not so springy - it’s harder work here.

A confident land standing solidly - not inviting but offering. No bowing to accommodate softness but a hearty welcome to those that can see the magic.

I will refer to this as I make marks with various materials that reflect these adjectives and represent the landscape and reconnect me to it - and hopefully you!


Natalie

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