I used to live in Edinburgh and it was there I picked up painting again after a hiatus of a few years. I had never stopped carrying a sketch pad and it was sketching in Holyrood Park on Arthur’s Seat above the city that inspired me again.
Arthur’s Seat itself is a grassy volcanic hill that over looks Edinburgh and from which you can see the Highlands on a good day. It wasn’t the view that spoke to me but the looming craggy cliffs, the Salisbury Crags or The Crags as they are locally known, that line the steep path that runs between the city and the parklands.
In the rocky face I could see giants of ages past, frozen in massive struggle with the elements, trapped in their own earthbound-ness, impeded by their own mass, their powerful writhings emphasised by the uncomplicated blue of a clear sky. I suppose I felt some kind of affinity with these cracked and tortured monsters as a creature struggling with itself through the trials and tribulations of the earthbound life. With hindsight it was not only the tortured-ness that attracted me but the power, muscularity and staying power too.
In the event I painted and exhibited a number of pieces but here are some studies which I have just unearthed and which have some of the rawness the finished pieces don’t have.