Monday, October 23, 2017

Scotland Workshop 2017

I led a group of 9 painters and their spouses, kids, etc., on a five-day plein air workshop to the Scottish Highlands in October, 2017. 

We stayed in Inveraray, a village lost in time on the shore of Loch Fyne, a saltwater inlet of the sea.

The town is known for its extraordinary castle, the home of the current duke and duchess of Argyll, which was featured in a special holiday episode of Downton Abbey. We annoyed people by painting on the grounds and later toured the castle and had lunch in the tea room.

My base camp was Stronshira House, owned by the folks with the castle.

 There were paintings in every direction from Stronshira House.

While the weather was damp, the accompanying clouds, mists, and fogs in the mountains made for spectacular, ever-changing subject matter.

'Rest and Be Thankful'

We painted the view down a glen in the area of Loch Lomand and the Trossachs (above). The spot is known by a wonderful name, Rest and Be Thankful, after the words on an old stone monument up there. One of my renderings of the place, done later, is below. The little white dots are cars (you can see them, barely visible, in the photo too).

At a Scotch whiskey tasting in Inveraray. We had to.

We painted this ruined castle, a favorite of landscape painters for almost two hundred years.

 Believing the weather "oracle," the day we decided to check into one of our rainy day options, St. Conan's church, nestled in the countryside, turned out to be one of the sunniest of the whole trip. 

A group of us made a pilgrimage to Bridge-of-Allan, a former Victorian spa town where the great American painter George Inness died.

On our final day, a few of us set up in Ardkinglas Gardens in Argyll, home to some of the largest trees in all of Britain.

Hard at it.