Friday, 24 February 2012

A Flavour of Applecross

Spent yesterday gathering some sketches of Applecross.  I was keen to try and do some coloured sketches - I think sketching in colour helps me to think in colour and therefore to handle colour back in the studio (was thinking about Van Gogh describing what he sees in paint colours - his prussian blue skies etc).    It was pretty windy, so on the exposed Applecross coast I decided not to get out of the car.  I went to my favorite viewpoint at the windiest point on Applecross, and did this sketch in chalk pastels.    

Applecross viewpoint sketch copyright Aileen Grant
I was concentrating on the colour shapes (that triangle of brown), the angle of the road and the storminess of the sea.  The islands (Skye, Raasay and Rona) were barely visible, floating in and out of the cloud.  Meanwhile the car was rocking in the wind.  I wondered if it might be possible to get blown over.  But luckily that didn't happen.
Another stormy sea attracted my attention, close to Callekillie.
Sketch of Stormy Sea, Rona and Cottage copyright Aileen Grant
I think I was concentrating on the sky and the sea so much, that I was not paying enough attention to the colour patterns in the foreground.  But it's a good enough study or future work (I hope).

My next stop was Fearnmore.  Usually I go further and don't stop until Fearnbeg, but I was thinking I should visit all these Applecross villages (in time) and do some sketching in each, so Fearnmore beckoned.  As this part of Applecross was in the lee of the stormy wind, I decided I could get out and sketch.  Went down to the natural harbour, and was excited by this lovely corrugated iron fishing hut.  I got out the graphite stick and some oil crayons.
Fearnbeg Beach Hut 1 copyright Aileen Grant
Fearnbeg Beach Hut 2 copyright Aileen Grant
 It's a lovely little structure - really quirky - and looking at these sketches now, I think I'd like to do a painting of the hut.  I think the elevation with the door is more interesting for a painting, but we'll see.  The hut lies within a small cove and I scrambled around the black rocks, taking a few photos of the village and views towards Torridon.  It felt very old and weathered. 

It is interesting how these old corrugated iron buildings are almost the same colour as their context - I did this sketch of an old fishing shed in the south of Applecross on Wednesday.  I'm sorry I didn't do this sketch in colour to capture the colour relationship between the corrugated iron, the stonework and the bracken, but hey ho, I used graphite stick instead....and I took some photos to capture the colour.

Applecross Fishing Shed graphite sketch copyright Aileen Grant.
As always, I've been inspired by Applecross.  I hope I have gathered enough material over the last couple of days to sustain me back in the studio in the days to come. Watch this space.

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