Ardmair 2010

Just up the coast to the north of Ullapool is a place called Ardmair. So far as I can see it's just a row of five or six small houses, a camping and caravan site and what appears to be the original croft cottage. But it's been to the forefront of my mind this past week or so (and for a few months before that in the back of my mind) because it's the subject of my latest painting in progress. As tentatively planned it will feature as October in our 2010 calendar.
In October 2008 we parked by the campsite, walked the dogs along the tideline overlooked by the row of houses, took some photos. It would seem simple enough to copy the photos in large format on to the customary ground cork faced board - even to print out one of the photos. Why bother to construct a picture in paint of Ardmair at all?
Answer: because I want to say something about this place, to make a statement about it. I want to have the few houses say something about why they stand there, spectators at the twice daily rise and fall drama of the tides that lap the bank on which stones and timbers were put together by the hand and the sweat of men. I want the hot evening sky, which I am importing from a different place at a different time, to crown the beauty that the builders of these houses felt and saw. I want the restless water to have you feel the wind and indeed the movement of the planet within the unknowable vastness of its universe. I want your eyes to take in the height and the weight and the aged rock hardness of a background escarpment that has stood here since before the foot of Man or of any other living thing walked this beach.
That's what I want. Will I succeed in getting it? Not a chance. I am not J M W Turner. But I will get it as close as I am able, however long that takes me. Judge for yourself in October 2010.

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