In Celebration of Coasts


The Stone Wave
On this great beach a wild
Atlantic storm
Sculptures in stone its huge
and wavelike form.
Robert Rendall


2020 is Visit Scotland's Year of Coasts and Oceans which is being celebrated as the theme for Orkney International Science Festival . These are my favourite pictures which I feel capture the magnificent Orkney Coastline.

The coast forms an integral part of Orkney. There are 56 islands, all surrounded by the coastline. I have always been told to respect the sea, it can be beautifully calm and tranquil one day and wild and stormy the next. It is very unpredictable and can be dangerous. But, there is nothing like walking along the shoreline with the sand and the wind on your face and the roaring noise of the sea.

'Orkney abstract' is a picture of a really wild stormy day. I painted it from my imagination and the original was very large. I let the paint drip to create 'rain' and used acrylic paint to build up the waves in layers.

'North Ronaldsay, Orkney' shows the sandy beach which lines the coast past the house of Neven where the artist Wuillie o neven lived and painted his naive sailing ship pictures. Further up is the new lighthouse, the old beacon standing right at the tip. The island is famous for its seaweed eating sheep who live on the beach and are stopped from straying on to the farmland by a stone dyke made from beach stones which surrounds all of the coast around the island.

There is no better place than Rackwick in Hoy, the shore is lined by huge pink boulders draped in green weed. 'Wild sea, Rackwick' and 'Rackwick in Hoy' are just two of the pictures on this website that I have painted here. The valley sits between the high cliffs, there are just a few houses left now, most holiday homes but in the early part of the 20th century, 400 people made a living in Rackwick from the sea and the land. 

Papa Westray is also a special place to visit, see my picture 'Papa Westray, Orkney', this island is fairly remote and has a small community. One of the things I love about the outer isles are all the old ruins you can find. It makes you think about who once lived there and who were they?

I hope you enjoy this special selection of pictures, all available as limited edition print runs of 200 in various sizes on this website.