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)

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Brough of Birsay:

‘Finding the weakness’ available at 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.

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Brough of Birsay – last nesters

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Look at those clouds – don’t even think I’ll try painting them: they’ll look like a cliche

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Brough of Birsay, look at the clouds peeping over the hill – still to do this one

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Great colour in the water… and this was a calm day

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Painting: ‘Reaching out’ available at www.saatchiart.com/chrisodonnell

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From the original Photo ” on the causeway to Birsay looking towards Marwick Heads

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Another painting of Marwick Heads ‘Calm before the storm’ on www.saatchiart.com/chrisodonnell

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With the original photo

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Painting of the same area – but the weather has changed available on www.saatchiart.com/chrisodonnell

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Painting of Bough of Birsay at High Tide as an Island – with the lighthouse. Available at www.saatchiart.com/chrisodonnell

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