Polly take two



Here's my latest completed oil on canvas painting: Stac Pollaidh ('Polly') 70 x 70 cms square. It's my second painting to feature this mountain, the first being a pastel executed some years ago.

Stac Pollaidh is the far mountain, not the closer one on the right. Some thirty kms north of Ullapool, it's not a particularly high Scottish mountain, nevertheless an iconic one for serious hill walkers - rather than mountaineers.

I particularly liked the Autumnal colours and the remains of an old gate and fence. Usually I keep all signs of man-made artifacts out of my Highlands landscapes. Yes, I know they are thought 'necessary' but for me they spoil the wilderness. (Not sure I like that much used word. 'Wilderness' sounds too much like 'useless'.) But good to see such artificial restrictions in process of being repossessed by mother nature! A reminder that what we see was here long before us and will be here long after we have gone. My little verse ...




Here is a mountain, unchanging, saw toothed,
reaching for an always changing Assynt sky;
a distant dare to those who would endure,
or may enjoy the hardships of this ‘wilderness’

She rises from her rain-soaked moorland bed
by day a curve of greens, rock-greys; by night
black bitch-face howling at the yellow moon:
carved by that last great icy age, it’s said
that scraped north Scotland down to lesser height
skyline dancing jagged to some piper's tune

From Polly’s crest you’ll see the silver sea
across whose puny waves lie Hebrides:
look down upon those many shining lochs
breathe purest air where all things rest in peace.

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