Rain, Rannoch Moor.

 

 

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Charcoal and watercolour on paper – 140 x 60 cm.

I apologise for the quality of the picture, I’m waiting for the day to brighten and I can take the piece outside and photograph it. I’ll replace it with a better photograph as soon as I can. Anyway I wanted to show you the first large work I have made about the moor. This landscape covers fifty square miles bounded to the north by Rannoch station and to the south by the A82 which travels along into Glencoe. It’s this vast expanse I want to try and articulate and its apparent emptiness ( although of course it teems with life). I am beginning to understand how to talk about here. Exciting !

Land of thieves.

 

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The wind swings around to the north, pulling waves against the lochan shore. Rain splatters the paper, clouds nest in their eyries, cloaking this waterlogged land where thieves hide in waiting. I have nothing to give but my willingness to join their league. I too traipse this moor looking for opportunites. I watch.

 

This was one of the drawings I made yesterday on Rannoch moor. It was the first time I had gone on my own – a long drive of over three hours to get there . I stepped out onto the moor alone. It felt exhilirating. The colours were wonderful – indigo blues, purples, greys and burnt oranges and ochre. All changing with the constant shift of light across the moor, watching as rain came despite the forecast, but then this place seems to have its own laws. When I returned last night I came across a poem from the poet Mark Goodwin –  @kramawoodgin on Twitter with whom I am collaborating currently on a project of moor amd mountain. It made me think of Rannoch so I returned the poem to him with the piece I wrote above. Here is Mark’s piece – beautiful, sparse and gentle –

 

Time of Thieves.

 

a figure on

a far shore

 

pulls

 

the lake’s slick ripples

 

as a cloth of sorts

towards their

 

distance

 

i cannot grip

water’s sheet

 

i can only watch

 

as a figure

ravels up

 

all

 

that reflects our sky.