Loudon Hill: When I look at the photo again it doesn't scare me one bit but what you don't see is the steep hill down from where I stand, down, down, to the burn which I've got to leap across, then up, up, over the dyke, past the sheep, and up further to the tree line, legs screaming out in pain, and gasping for breath (I must be very unfit!) It's definitely not easy but I climb to a spot within the trees on the extreme right and set up my easel and start to draw while hanging on to an oak tree for stability and to stop myself from falling back down the slope! At this point I know you are thinking: "He's mad!" So what - I'd rather be mad and alive than sane and letting my life slip by without experiences like this. It would have been better if my drawings had been worth the effort, but then you can't have everything in this life! Here is my chosen view:
Now, I am still not going to show the drawings I did from this precarious position, for they are a complete embarassment, but I am happy to report that their bare bones led me to this pastel painting:
Neocolours on paper, 43x30cm: "Loudon Hillside"; I have made many attempts at this painting using watercolours and dry pastels but every time I have failed. It occurred to me today that the reason was in trying to paint it naturalistically when my heart was crying out for something else, something with MORE life in it. Art is surely about being selective and expressing something from the heart rather than dully re-stating what's already there. For me, a camera can do that. I want to go further, into the realms of the imagination expressing how I FEEL about the view. I try but don't know what I achieve. All I can say is this image satisfies me more, and that is enough.