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Knapdale and Loch Sween

I have been very quiet on social media and my blog for just over a week, in fact “silent” would be a more accurate description! I have been in Argyll, Scotland on a week long landscape painting trip. We stayed in a lovely cottage overlooking Loch Sween where wi-fi connectivity was non-existent and mobile ‘phone connectivity was virtually non-existent…I am still undecided if this was a good or bad thing!

We experienced a wide variety of weather conditions including sleet, snow, hail, sunshine and gale force winds but most of the time we enjoyed dry conditions. I managed to do a little cycling, a lot of walking, en plein air drawing and painting and enjoyed the company of my friend and street artist, “ATMstreetart” and my wife, Mel.

Cycling in a gale force wind to the Knapdale Forest was tough but the return journey was a “breeze” (ahem). I entered the forest on my trusty Dave Yates and quickly found the loch that I had set out to sketch. I was very lucky in that I found a moss covered rock on which to sit, providing me with a comfortable vantage point for my en plein air drawing.

 

Sitting in the sunshine with only the sound of the wind rustling the trees and the occasional creak and squeak of branches rubbing together I worked with a ball-point pen on Fabriano paper. Other than the concentration needed to juggle tone, shape, form and line I found the setting incredibly tranquil. Eventually with the sketch complete I embarked on my ride “home”. I cycled the fire-road out of Knapdale Forest and with the forest on my left and Loch Sween on my right I rode with the gale-force tail wind to help me on my way. Just before I reached Achnamara I was startled by the sound of heavy footsteps from within the forest. I stopped to see two huge red deer staring over the fence at me. I had clearly startled them as I rode past…I wanted to photograph these magnificent beasts but in releasing the velcro strap on my glove the deer took fright and quickly disappeared into Knapdale Forest.

 

During our stay I worked en plein air..producing paintings on board and drawings on Fabriano paper. I am now looking forward to returning to my studio to explore the possibility of producing studio paintings and possibly a series of original prints in the form of lino-cuts, mono-prints, etchings or dry-points…..