Glen Clova - Easter Weekend


Much as I enjoy the city life that comes with the MSc I'm currently undertaking, I sure do miss the countryside. Over the past few weeks of university I was really craving a trip where I could be immersed in nature once again so after finishing my final assignments, I had a great day in Glen Clova at weekend. A lovely way to spend part of Easter Weekend. I had hoped to hike up to Loch Brandy while there but I hadn't envisaged the temperatures would be so low for April so didn't have my warm jacket up from Edinburgh. The 'feels like' temperature was below 0C and it felt like that at ground level, let alone at the summit! (Even after having lived in this country most of my life, I still fail to understand it's weather.) In absence of the hike, I had more time to paint which suited me fine. I hadn't painted for around two weeks and was feeling art withdrawal symptoms! 

Here are some of my photos and sketches from the trip. Since it was so cold, and raining at some points, all sketching and painting was done from the comfort of inside the car but I eagerly await warmer summer days when I can go again and paint outside. 

This was done by a lay by en route to Glen Clova, with the Glen seen in the distance. Just while parked here, the light on the hills changed so dramatically a number of times. The changing light in landscapes is always a challenge to capture and adds to the enjoyment of painting. Nothing ever stays the same, it's always changing. 

I tried to capture the hills while the sun was illuminating the heather growing on them. 
Met this wee fella while I was painting. It's a pheasant which is quite a popular bird in these areas. I don't think I've seen as many in one day as I did at the weekend, there was a lot. Maybe they were all out looking for Easter eggs early?! Here's a closer up picture but I only had my phone on me so you'll have to put up with a low-res digital zoom. 
They're quite stately birds. It's sad they're hunted for game. 

It's ironic that I took two paint sets with me thinking it'd mean I'd have a cerulean blue somewhere but my plan was to no avail as there was practically every shade but the one I wanted! This is why most of my paintings are lacking in sky...

Here's some evidence of the changeability of the weather... Heavy rain then sun, then thick fog, then sun again, then clouds, then rain... Aah Scotland, the country that just won't make up it's mind!

Taking a little wander...

I love the silhouettes made by sun shining through trees. 

Daffodils are such great symbols of Spring, new life, and Easter. Just look at how vibrantly yellow they are. 

This burger was definitely called for, I usually have it after working up an appetite from the hike up to Loch Brandy but this time I found I could polish it off just as well. It's all made with local produce and is delicious every time. 

After refueling, my stomach(!), I did one final painting before the sun disappeared behind the mountains.  

End of the day and the end of my sketchbook as no blank pages remained. 

Here's one final photo

Oh, and I should say that I still have four exams and a dissertation to go, so by no means am I free from academic stress yet! The trip to Glen Clova and Easter Sunday with family was a welcome break but revising and dissertation-ing will fill a lot of my time from now on so I'll post when I can but can't promise it'll be very regular.

If you'd like to see what I'm up to in the interim, you can follow me on Twitter: @HCRart, Instagram: @HCRart, and on Facebook, at, you've guessed it, @HCRart! 

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