Walking On Colour

136 'Autumn grass, Beinn Inverveigh', Acrylic & Pastel, 2009, 30 x 30 cm

I’ve just completed a small painting (30 x 30 cm) that I’ve called ‘Autumn grass, Beinn Inverviegh’*.  It’s based on a day a few weeks ago when a friend and I headed for a day in the hills.  The day though, was grim, but as it was the only day the two of us could get off we felt we had to get out somewhere despite the dreadful conditions.

The mountain forecast was very poor with winds predicted to gust to 80mph on the summits and prolonged heavy rain.   It was certainly not a day for the high tops, or one that involved any kind of stream crossing either.  In the end my friend suggested we could walk a section of the West Highland Way.  It would be low level on a good path and no navigational problems but we’d at least be out.  We decided to drive up to Bridge of Orchy and walk the WHW north for a few miles.  This at first climbs gradually up over the shoulder of Beinn Inverveigh before dropping back down to near Victoria Bridge and then on up onto Rannoch Moor.  We could go as far as we wanted and then just retrace our steps.

When we arrived at Bridge of Orchy the weather was pretty bad with rain, low cloud and high winds ..but, not as bad as forecast.

We donned the waterproofs and headed off and although it was dull and grey it was good to be out.  As we gained a little height and emerged onto the hill above the trees we realised that the cloud had risen a bit and was now just off the top of Beinn Inverveigh at around 650m.  The wind too, wasn’t any where near as strong as expected and so after a quick rethink we decided to leave the WHW and instead head up Beinn Inverveigh.

It’s a long heathery broad ridge stretching for several kilometres.  The views around to the bigger hills were still limited and very grey, but as soon as we gained a bit more height we realised that much closer to hand, indeed foot, everything was much brighter.  In fact the colours of the numerous grasses were quite astonishing, all kinds of yellow, red, ochre and umber, scattered still with occasional patches of bright green and speckled with small late flowers of yellow and white.  The textures were impressive too; the grass all matted and woven together by the heavy rain as it fell and drained away.

We reached the small pile of rocks marking the summit and it was a lonely place indeed on that day.  By this time the light was already poor and the weather after its brief improvement was filling in again.  We didn’t hang around too long and made back along the ridge in increasingly heavy rain and with the cloud now scudding across the top again.  But what a day, you go out expecting to see nothing and instead come back with a head full of colours!

136 'Autumn grass, Beinn Inverveigh', Acrylic & Pastel, 2009, 30 x 30 cm   * This painting is currently being exhibited at:Gallery 23

23 Parnie St

Glasgow G1 5RJ

Tel: 0141 552 6325

Email: artgallery23@btinternet.com

www.artists-scotland.co.uk

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