I visited one of my favourite Orkney places today, The Brough of Birsay and the surrounding area. The last few days we have had one of the biggest storms for years as have many other parts of Britain. This morning the sea was relatively calm and snow covered most of the west mainland including The Hoy Hills which appeared like a huge iced cake peeping through the snow showers with just a glint of sunlight along it's left side. What I love about Orkney is the light and the immense feeling of space which surrounds us. This never fails to inspire me and I returned home from my drive with a new sense of why I live here, my Island home.
Recently my work has turned more abstract and I constantly look for new ways of expressing this new abstraction. My latest two small paintings were originally based on an interior but no matter what I do, the paintings become landscape be it in an abstract form.
And in amongst the landscape are the birds, many different species from lapwings to gulls and today, a huge heron landing in a ditch. Where there are birds, there is landscape and shoreline all around, the dark greys of the sky and bursts of sunlight bouncing off the fields. The gulls dip and glide along the coast.
Out at The Brough of Birsay I walk past the poet Edwin Rendalls small wooden house where he spent many hours writing his poetry. His poems along with the sea and brough provide me with inspiration and in these two paintings I have included a couple of excerpts from his work hidden amongst the waves or 'white horses' as we call them in Orkney.
As the winter moves on and Orkney becomes the unpredictable again, I will continue to seek inspiration from the landscape and nature around me and I hope you will travel with me into next year and all that it brings for me as an artist living and breathing my surroundings.