Work of the Week: ‘Winter morning, above Glen Shee’

'Winter morning, above Glen Shee', Acrylic & Pastel, 2010, 60 x 30 cm

'Winter morning, above Glen Shee'

‘Winter morning, above Glen Shee’

A very early start from Irvine a few years ago, found us in Glen Shee on a cold December morning. The plan was to walk three Munros; The Cairnwell, Carn Aosda & Carn a’ Gheoidh. As anyone who goes skiing in Glen Shee will know, the first two are really just part of the ski area and only a relatively short walk from the top of the pass. The latter though is a little more off the beaten track being as it is out to the west somewhat.

The plan was to walk up to The Cairnwell, then out and over to Carn a’ Gheoidh. We’d then retrace out steps to the edge of the ski area and finally head up to Carn Aosda. As we climbed up the slopes towards the summit of the Cairnwell, everything looked stunning. Early morning mists clearing from the glen and sun picking up the colours of the snow and grass.

This painting (finished recently) is one of several I’ve done based on this early morning scene. But things never quite stay the same and within half hour of leaving The Cairnwell, thick low cloud had enveloped us. The route out to our second hill was fairly straight forward but the snow cover was complete here and the mist thick enough to make everything rather white! As we reached the second summit though, the sun broke through above our heads and we found ourselves atop a sea of bright white mist …then everything was gone again. The walk back should have been fairly simple but in ever thickening mist and fading afternoon light we suddenly found ourselves …well, if not lost, then definitely ‘geographically embarrassed’!

It suddenly turned into a rather challenging walk back, stopping constantly to check the map, compass and GPS. When we finally got back to the point above the ski centre it was too late to head for the final hill …we were just relieved to hear the sound of the ski tow generator grumbling in the glen below. A memorable day although after the first hour we saw next to nothing.

This painting is to be exhibited with Scotlandart.com shortly.

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