Thursday, 6 October 2011

Lochcarron Days

We've been up in Lochcarron for the last week.  A mixture of hillwalking, catching up with friends, and a little bit of sketching.  I was hoping to use this week to get some good source material, but the weather has been atrocious since Sunday (altho' Sunday was exceptionally beautiful).

I was looking forward to seeing the colour in the hills - the oranges of the bracken and the sedge-grasses, and true enough, we drove through Torridon yesterday (far too wet to even think about getting out of the car!) and the orange slopes shone through the gloom.  They were offset by the navy-blue of the tops.  Sitting in the car,  rocked by wind,I did a colour study of Beinn Alligin.
View north to Alligin copyright Aileen Grant
This was just an attempt to capture the colour - that gradation from orange to navy blue which is the essence of these hills in these conditions, and the boiling dirty turquoise sea.  So moody!
Today, I was down in my favorite place, Kishorn Bay, and the colours were similar.  However, I was sitting on the shore and so the sea was not turquoise, but was more inky black.
View towards the Bealach copyright Aileen Grant
But I had only a limited amount of time to do this sketch before the next rain storm imposed itself.  It was another attemt to capture the colours. Done again in pastel for sheer speed and getting intensity of colour.
But to be honest, I had come up north thinking about trees, wanting to sketch trees. But the only trees I've sketched are those within Lochcarron itself rather than out in the wilds. Is this sad? Or just inevitable because of the weather.
Seafront Tree, Lochcarron copyright Aileen Grant
Every time I come here, I have to sketch this tree (it's outside the door - I can see it through the window).  It seems to me that it is quite vulnerable in this exposed position, but a great survivor. It's a cherry tree.  I was hoping it would have turned an interesting colour, but no, it's just managing to survive.  The other tree I love is the Lochcarron Larch.
Larch Sketch copyright Aileen Grant
This sketch is OK as a sketch, but is not a good representation of this tree which is a far more interesting shape.  I did it in pencil, sitting down on the shore and looking up at it, snatching a few moments in between rain showers.  Then I finished it off at home.  I think that's why I've lost the distintive shape.  But I quite like the feel of the tree, the featheryness of the branches, and that is what I was trying to capture, along with the windsweptness......everything is windswept here!
Anyway - enough - tomorrow is another day and the weather forecast is better!

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