We are taking a trip through the Hebrides in the fall. This is a location I have wanted to visit for a long long time. My aunt lived in Stornoway and my father’s stories of his visit there intrigued me. I’ve been to Scotland four times. The first time I was 2 1/2 and the last time was about 10 years ago when my sister and I walked the West Highland Way. But it is the northern islands that have always had a sense of magic for me. So I’ve been reading Peter May’s trilogy about Lewis; above is the second book in the series. These books are mysteries but they also beautifully evoke the landscape, the weather and the customs of this rugged land. The book on the right is a wonderful sketching tour of the Hebrides by Mairi Hedderwick. She travelled the islands alone in a van and sketched everyday for 195 days! The book is a chronicle of her late 1980’s trip accompanied by lots of her delightful sketches. I am enjoying reading of her experiences on the 40 islands she visited. And although our trip will not be as extensive, I am taking inspiration from her and plan to sketch as much as I can when I am there.
In the meantime, here are a couple of pages of my sketchbook from last week. The red house sketch was done standing beside my bicycle and the paint added later. The yellow house was done from the car. Neither position is ideal for getting proportion and line…but they do document the moment. You will see as I decided, I’m including more text and clippings.