The Headrock, The Isle of Mull, Landscapes

Landscape painting hasn't always come easily to me, I've tended to think 'where do you start with a subject this huge?' 
When I'm painting I want a narrative to work with, a reason to do the work, a story to tell.

On the Isle of Mull I saw this weathered rock face, I call it the Headrock. This face is tens of millions of years old, part of the lava flow from a massive volcano it was born into a tropical landscape. Then as the tectonic plate moved northward the island was covered by ice. The Moon rises and sets the tides ebb and flow, it marks out time on Earth. From the action of the wind and rain the Headrock was formed.

Very recently the humans came to these isles. This face has seen them cut down the trees, it saw Columba arriving and building his monastery on Iona. It saw the Clansmen in their galleys and the Vikings in their longships. The remnants of the Spanish Armada sailed past here. During the Clearances, ships sailed from Mull, from the Ross, from Calgary, Ulva was cleared, Crackaig, Haunn, thousands of people. The lighthouse was built on Skerryvore.  W M Turner and Mendelssohn came to visit Staffa.  Tourists came by train and steamer to Iona. The wartime convoys and their escorts crossed the ocean back and forth. Fighters and bombers flew from Tiree.

More tourists come to look at Iona, Staffa, Lunga, whales, eagles, puffins and otters.

So, a huge subject indeed but to the Headrock all human history has been just the blink of an eye.


My paintings are in acrylic paint on board.

The larger ones are 3ftx4ft,(92x122cms) the smaller ones below are 2ftx3ft.(81x92cms)