Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Windswept rhubarb

Yesterday's twilight brought the spectacle of a triple rainbow over the end of the loch.  Unfortunately my snap through the window captured only one strong one on the left, another  extremely faint on its right, and the third not at all.
The light rain travelled from the direction in which this picture was taken, up the loch past the boathouse where we are, barely spitting on the windows, and past to the wide loch.  The weather is so localised here, doubtless due to the extremes in terrain. 
So far we had had sunshine and showers.  Today we have had showers and sunshine, and WIND.  We drove to the peninsula to the west: Waternish, and then to Neist Point and lighthouse.
The view from the top is spectacular, if one can stay upright - which I did by leaning hard into a wall.  This is looking over Moonen Bay to Waterstein Head, which is the left-most rise.  Beyond that are the Western Isles.  When turning to examine the wall, I was fascinated not only by the rocks which made up the wall, but also the determined plants like this little succulent flourishing in the cracks.
Today was a day for indulgence.  We had lunch at the Three Chimneys restaurant.  It is a lovely place, with most pleasant service, and fabulous food.  In the diningroom we encountered the paintings of Diane Mackie (who also did the interior design).  Opposite me was an intriguing oil painting of rhubarb which I think looked windswept.  (My husband wasn't sure about whether it looked windswept or not.)  This led to much speculation on my part as to whether rhubarb would be windswept - but it does blow a gale around here, and especially up on the edge of the peninsula where the artist lives.
Anyway, after our splendid and satisfying lunch we walked a short distance up the road (at an angle of about 45 degrees against said wind - we are out of practice as we have not lived in Edinburgh for over 40 years) to the Raven Press gallery.  I am not one for tourist craft shops or galleries, but I had seen a leaflet about this one, and had liked what I saw.  Nick Carter's photographs are an interesting and pleasing abstracted aspect of realism, and Kathleen Lindsley's intricate wood engraved prints are in the style of Thomas Bewick - not a skill I could or would ever aspire to, but one which I admire.  I bought a small unframed print of oyster catchers as a souvenir of our visit to Skye.  And, as ever, a display of books caught my eye - in this case a beautiful volume entitled Wildlife in Printmaking, which contains some of Kathleen Lindsley's work as well as a wide range of other styles.  I justify the purchase (I always feel that I have to justify the purchase of books which are visually such a delight, although I am the first to say that input can of course be beautiful as well as informative) because of my desire to include animals as well as people in my printmaking attempts.
Our drive back on a wide southerly loop took us past an extraordinary variation of the same colours in different configurations, and in different lights as the wind moved the clouds, and the rain came and went.  I am hoping to try, try, try to capture some of those colours in pastel once I return.  What I'm attempting to fix in my memory is the colour of the winter heather - in some lights it looks just like the finer leafless twigs of birch, but in others it has more of a slight edge of orange, ....

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