For a great start to 2015 I went on an artist’s residency on the Isle of Skye staying in a beautiful cottage at the north end of the island near Kilmalaug, Trotternish. It was one of the great things that has happened after doing the coffee spots calendar last year. During the Glasgow Coffee Festival I met up with Lorraine who owns Willie Mcleod’s House and Indi from the Single Track in Skye (the shop features on the calendar) and they kindly offered me a place to stay on the island to do some artwork.
A scenic drive past Glencoe then past Fort William it started to snow really heavily that I took a corner and put the car into a tail spin. Luckily I was going pretty slowly and came to a halt in the middle of the road then face to face with some other drivers patiently waiting for me to stop. After a shaky wave to get past me I continued on…even slower. Then suddenly getting close to the Kyle of Lochalsh the weather totally changed, snow and ice to no snow at all. Then it was a breeze for the final leg to Skye with a quick obligatory stop to check out the castle, Eileen Donan. One day I’ll get round to drawing it if I can figure a way to bring something new to it, its such a Scottish icon it would make a difficult painting, like sunsets.
Being on the road for so long, it was nice to slow down for a moment and have a break at The Granary at Portree. I didn’t get one of the coveted window seats but was happy to draw the window views and the customers.
After settling at the cottage the next day I went for an exploration around Trotternish. The weather was pretty dramatic and I’d get short windows of sunlight interspersed with hail and snow so I took to just drawing from my car. Here I stopped by the road and drew the Storr for a while then carried on driving then thought oh this view is also good. I loved the change in weather it made for some really stunning scenes.
At the top of Skye sits the castle Duntulm (Fort on the Cliff), the road up to it has some beautiful wind twisted trees on either side.
A little further on with a different view of the castle, its in the background to the right.
Just pass Duntulm. I had initially planned to travel around more of Skye but had really underestimated how large the island is. Drawing somewhere new its difficult to get a balance of exploring and finding new places that will make a good picture to actually drawing. So I rather than trying to see “everything” and do less drawing I decided to stick with the north part, Trotternish for the full week. This meant it was much easier to stop whenever something good or come back to it later without worrying I had to get somewhere. So I ended up doing a loop around the north part of Skye maybe 4 times each time getting to know the place a bit better.