One of the first subjects I painted when I started painting was mountain scenery. At the time I was into climbing the Munros and the Marilyns (hills with at least a 150m drop all round). I've recently started revisiting those old paintings, and repainted one or two. I've also dug out some of my old photos from my hill walking past to turn into new paintings. Below are those I've done so far, with hopefully many more to follow.
Glen Feshie is a special place. It can be found in a less fashionable part of the Northern end of the Cairngorms national park. Surrounded by hills and mountains, its a wide valley with a classic braided river winding its way lazily through the long grass and stands of old Scots Pine - a remnant of the once extensive Caledonian Forest. Here in the early morning light of a Summer's day, with just enough breeze to keep the midges at bay, it couldn't be more perfect.
Just outside Crianlarich in the middle of the Scottish islands, you can find An Caisteal - a Munro peak with a pleasant meandering ascent along Twistin Hill. It was misty when I did it, only clearing at the summit, to reveal this hazy view of the Ben Lui / Ben Oss group of peaks across the glen. The snow capped peaks had a slight pink tinge in the atmospheric conditions.
If its British summits you are after, then what could be better than the view from Ben Nevis with peaks poking through the cloud layer beneath. This picture is of the day of the Ben Nevis race (in September each year), with just the race official at the summit, and none of the 200 strong crowd milling about - but then the summit plateau has plenty of room for everyone.
Some years back I walked Wainright's Coast to Coast, or rather a variation on it, with detours for things of interest, and the wrong way (East to West). I had spent a long day walking from Richmond to Keld, and was glad of a short stage over Nine Standards Rigg to Kirkby Stephen. However the ascent was boggy, culminating in trenches of liquid peat big enough to lose a house in, requiring a convoluted detour. Passing the summit, the path down was much easier - a gravel track, with a view down and across the Vale Of Eden. I stopped a while and watched the showers marching through, left to right, rainbows appearing and disappearing as they went. It looked like I was going to be running the Gauntlet of showers to reach my destination.
Just a little way down the road from the last picture (and a season apart), this ruin is Pendragon Castle in the vale of Eden. This view is based on a photo I took in March 1995 when I was first exploring the area. According to legend it was built by Uther Pendragon - King Arthur's father, but as far as we know it was actually built in the twelfth century, ruined in 1541, rebuilt and then ruined again, all a few hundred years ago.
Like Brigadoon, this idyllic little waterfall only appears like this when everything is just right. I was walking throuigh Knoydart the first time I came to it. I had packed away my tent and in the early light of a sunny May morning I started hiking through to Sourlies. Along the trail the sun grazed this scene casting the most perfect light across the green mosses and sparkling water. I returned a couple of years later, albeit a few weeks earlier in the season, and under grey skies, the yellowing old vegetation made it hard to believe it was the same spot.
In a quiet corner of Snowdonia lies the peak of Moel Siabod. I tackled it from the side, jumping off the train at a station in the middle of nowhere, and then descended to Capel Curig. About half way down I came across this derelict building nestled in the countryside. With time short, I stopped only for the photo I based this painting on.