So I’ve returned home to New Zealand after an extended 3 month trip around Europe and specifically for art inspiration: – a tour of the Scottish Highlands and islands. I’ve returned with hundreds of photos and lot of memories and so the painting commences. I was looking for moody misty scenery and rugged coasts, and I found them. I also discovered that even in the relative mildness of August it was too windy, wet and cool to sit outside and contemplate painting, even getting the camera out to capture a scene in time was a challenge. Some of the live shots show huge differences in light over the few seconds it takes.
The Orkney Islands were a highlight for me, surprising in their gentleness (in August) but with no trees or mountains, it clearly gets it’s share of wind and weather. The Brough of Birsay situated on the western side mainland is a promontory turning into an island. You can cross for a few hours around the low tide across the flats that join it to the mainland. It is the inspiration for a series of paintings I am starting and some of which are now online for sale on my Saatchi Art page (www.saatchiart.com/chrisodonnell)
When I was there there were also workers doing maintenance on the lighthouse – that’s a short work day for them. In a couple of photos walkers helpfully gave scale and tension to the scene. No puffins remained but a few seabirds were still sitting on nests or swooping around on the currents.