Saturday, 8 November 2014

Far out - a Scottish Landscape

Sandwood Bay+Scottish Far North+Seascape+Vibrant+Colour+Acrylic+Nicola McLean
'Far Out' - acrylic on canvas 5x5 inch inspired by Sandwood Bay, Scotland

I've just finished another pet portrait commission but I can't show it yet as it's a surprise birthday present for later this month so in the meantime, here's another vibrant Scottish landscape.

I used to only ever work on one piece at a time thinking it was best to get one finished before starting the next in case I ended up with a heap of never quite completed works in progress, but I've discovered it's far more enjoyable to work on at least two if not three or four pieces at the same time.

For one thing, it stops you from going on to auto pilot and, as in the case of my pet portraits, when there is a lot of small detail that take many painting sessions to build up layer upon layer, it also stops the process becoming tedious - you wouldn't want to always eat the same food for dinner, do the same kind of exercise or read the same book over and over, no matter how much you loved it, so I guess it's a similar sort of thing - I get to mix up small, fine details with tiny paint brushes on one canvas with big blobs of paint practically flung from a palette knife at another canvas. Different types of mark making keep it fresh and interesting for me and it's also a great way to make use of excess paint on my palette that I might otherwise have wasted (I only recently realised I could cover unused acrylic paint with cling film to keep it from drying out overnight so needless to say a lot of paint had been going to waste in Craggis Cottage!)

Sandwood Bay+Impressionism+Vibrant Acrylics+Nicola McLean
'Far Out' - 5x5 inch box canvas - ready to hang

Anyway, this is my interpretation of one of our favourite places along the far north coast. I've mentioned it before and I've painted it before - Sandwood Bay, the most remote beach in the UK. I came up with the title in part because of the sunset is a little trippy and surreal and in part because Sandwood Bay is so far out quite literally - a 4.5 mile walk from where you park the car, to be exact!

We last went there about a year ago - unfortunately we couldn't go this year as we can't walk Skye that far until she's over a year old so It'll be next summer probably before we get back there but it'll be worth the wait as it's probably the most beautiful and unspoilt beach along this coast and there's plenty of stiff competition for that title!

Do you have a favourite spot where you live or somewhere you visited and would like to return to? For me it's always by the coast no matter where in the world I go - the sea both scares and fascinates me - nature at it's most wild and impressive I think and always a source of inspiration especially when coupled with dramatic skies!


  1. I love the sea too, although I have lived inland I always miss it when I am away, love your landscape like you I work on several bits at the same time, it does stop creative block.

  2. It is just beautiful, color and texture, lovely!

  3. Fabulous textures... And the name is perfect. I like to mix up what I am working on also to keep things fresh. It does help enormously... Though for me the changes aren't as dramatic between the detail of your portraits and the textures of the landscapes... It amazes me you don't lose your touch on the detailed work...xx

  4. oh my gosh, this is stunning, wow I love this, what an inspiration!

  5. Great painting lots of drama.

  6. I saw this on Facebook already and I love it. The texture goes so wel with the image and gives it a kind of wild nature look. Love the colours too. Great work. I love working on more than one piece at the same time. It always depends on my mood which one I'll continue with, and I love having the choice.

  7. another gorgeous seascape Nic! I do hope you get there again next year. I love being anywhere that's by the sea-it has always kept me in awe of it's power and expansiveness, and it's magical feel.

  8. This is probably my favorite piece of yours now, Nicola. It's beautiful and full of life and magic! Well done! :)

  9. Such a beautiful painting! I am with you - for me the sea is THE place, and I'm so lucky to live close to the ocean. Yes, it's dangerous - especially the Pacific Ocean here at the North Coast -, but as you said, it also fascinates a lot.

  10. This is gorgeous! Really lovely! If you weren't selling them so quickly, you would have a whole body of work to take to a gallery by now - Still, that's not a bad problem to have :0)
    My goal next year is to have at least two or three things on the go at once. Hmm... We'll see! :0)

  11. This is a beautiful painting of a now familiar place. Isn't this the same spot that is represented on my refrigerator magnet?


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