I stood on the road a few hundred yards inland from St Abbs head, leaning against a gate. The land rolled downhill in front of me. The line of trees marked the position of Mire Loch, a thin strip of water sitting on the fault line between the ancient layered soft rocks and the buttress of volcanic rock that now protects them against the sea’s battering. At the very left of this sketch is the little bay of Pettico Wick from where the road ascends again up the headland.
What I wanted to convey is the irregular lumpiness of the far landscape, built on petrified lava.
Incidentally, my activities were of great interest to a herd of bullocks who wandered over to try to lick the paints, belch gently through the barred gate and generally obscure my view.
This second sketch was executed a few days earlier at the opposite end of Mire Loch to Pettico Wick. There is a conscious change of technique between the two paintings. For the second one, I used a waterproof Indian Ink marker to better define the masses and demarcations. This freed me up to construct with areas of unpainted white paper. Unlike a careful pencil drawing, which carries the option of erasing over and again, the pen still requires commitment to the marks once they are made.
By the way, Maxine Dodd is using currently fast drawn lines and watercolour to capture images of the Tour de France, an approach I much admire.