It's a dreich February day in North Idaho, and the fog was thick before noon. Lovely to observe, actually, with frost-covered tree branches looming out of the mist like the bowsprits of sailboats. My current residence is very pleasant, with wild turkeys and deer constantly parading the grounds and foraging beneath tall pines (and in my mother's flower beds). Still, there's an intangible something about being near salt water. Being away from it just feels as if there's something lacking! This could be attributed to one's background….who's to say….. All I know is, I'd be packed in an hour if the chance appeared to be seaside for a few days – even in winter!
Walking beaches during wild winter storms on the Pacific Coast was a highlight of my childhood Februarys: the drama of thundering seas pounding against land; storm-tossed 'flotsam and jetsam' being pushed up the beach with torpedo-like speed and force; and the fascinating piles of ocean detritus left on the beach to dig through in search of 'treasures.' I am deeply grateful to my parents for providing me with such opportunities. It is little wonder that Scottish marine subjects make up a large part of my work.
"Stonehaven Solitude" is one of several paintings based on the NE coast's lovely Stonehaven town harbour. I could spend several months harbourside and still find more subjects to paint! The water's beautiful colours under clear conditions, the myriad of 'artistic' boats, the entertaining comings-and-goings of both locals and tourists…..it's the 'bee's knees' for a painter!! This lovely wooden sailboat is a great subject – I wanted to emphasize the snug peace of the harbor in quiet times, thus the rather restful colours, water calm enough to hold cast reflections, and solid, stable, vertical lines of the pier's construction. I wonder where the boat has been, and what interesting trips it will log in the coming year? The imagination kicks in……..