Vintage 2006

I last visited Coire Gabhail (The Lost Valley) on a tranquil day in May 2006.  Following directions my brother had scribbled on a scrap of paper, we arrived at a deserted car park as the mist silently lifted from the Glen.

Looking towards A’Chailleach

Up to that point, drawing was just something I did to pass time when I visited my parents at Christmas.  I had a small, slightly weird collection of pencil ‘still lives’ – odd shoes, misshapen candles, a Swedish Christmas gnome etc.  Sometimes I’d bring a sketch pad and pencil on holiday, but it generally stayed unused in my bag.  However, this time, it was so quiet that I plucked up courage, pulled out my pad and captured the view.

Eleven years later, I’ve overcome my shyness of sketching in public and discovered the joy of pen, watercolour and properly bound sketchbooks.  So, armed with Google maps, I was desperate to recreate this special moment.

Sadly, the first attempt had to be aborted, as all the car parks were full of tour buses, tripods and people flying drones.  The Lost Valley, it appeared, was no longer quite so lost.  Not a wasted journey though, we parked further up the pass and walked the path to Buachaille Etive Beag.  Time for a quick sketch looking towards A’Chailleach, shrouded in shadow, whilst we basked in the sunshine.

Castle Campbell, previously know as Castle Gloom

Oban

That evening, seduced by fish and chips in Oban, I persuaded my ever patient partner that it would be worth making a second attempt the next day.  With an early start from Dollar, a belly full of coffee and gorgeous weather, the mission was accomplished before lunch, I even managed a bracing dip in the icy stream below the valley.

The Lost Valley

 

Glenfinnan Viaduct

I found out later, that there is a grim irony in setting out from the shadows of Castle Campbell in Dollar to The Lost Valley.  In February 1692, this idyllic place provided one of the escape routes for the MacDonald clan during the brutal massacre of Glencoe by the Campbell soldiers, under the orders of William of Orange.

Finally (and slightly inappropriately after that serious note) in a blatant attempt to get more hits on my blog, the evening ended at the Glennfinnan viaduct, made famous in the Harry Potter films and now featured on the Scottish £10 note.

The Wallace Monument

To make up for that, I also sketched the Wallace monument.

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Number 1 –  Arthurs Seat

Arthurs Seat was damp and so was mine, after sitting in a puddle sketching this.

Dunsapie Loch and Portobello. It may look peaceful, but Arthurs Seat behind me was so busy there was even a busker entertaining the crowds.

Number 2 – Calton Hill

Evening view from Calton Hill

Calton Hill from near St Anthony’s Chapel ruins

Calton Hill from the Iron Duke

Number 3 – Waterstones Cafe Princes street

In Waterstones, I looked on with envy at the people languishing in the premium, bay window tables. Still, I did manage to wedge myself between a smaller window, the staircase and a discretely placed rodent trap to sketch the castle.

That view was wasted on him

Edinburgh castle

Wedged in the window sill

Number 4 – National Museum of Scotland

Great museum with loads to see, including the Millenium clock. When it strikes the hour, Bach blares through hidden speakers and this 20th Century dedication to human suffering becomes a strange technicolour, rotating beast. 

Edinburgh university from the roof

The Millennium clock – when death started swinging gleefully on the pendulum, I just had to sketch it!

Number 5 – The Royal Mile

Sunny and *not* raining at the same time

Bonus view

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art ‘2’, currently showing the ‘True to life’ exhibition. Well worth a visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All images © Claire Moore and cmoorelife, 2017

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Washington services on the A1(M) is a bleak, lonely place. I made the six hour drive from Brighton to enjoy a junk food dinner and fulfill a personal dream of sketching the motorway from a creepy footbridge. Both lived up to expectations.

Goumet dinning at the Washington Travelodge

7:30am on the A1(M)

 

 

 

 

 

Coincidentally, just up the road is Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North. It may be of the most viewed pieces of art in the world, but on this sunny Sunday morning, there was just me, and a man releasing his pigeons for their first flight home.

A satnav haunting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My next stop was Lindisfarne Castle, but the satnav led me astray, so I overshot the view I was looking for, ending up on the causeway to Holy Island. Time for a sketch in the drizzle, with one eye nervously on the tide, listening to Sue Perkins on Desert Island Discs. I assume this is the hut you have to break into when the sea covers the road.

After all that lapping water, I needed a toilet stop, but the satnav struck again at the nearby Barn and Beal. “Slide right! Slide right!” She shouted from my pocket. One flush and several startled patrons later and I was on the road to Portobello, a lovely coastal suburb of Edinburgh.

You have arrived at your destination, all is forgiven

A damp and peaceful evening on Portobello beach

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After 45 hours sketching on the streets and 40 miles of walking, my sketchathon finally ended today with Rose, at the Amex stadium.

One sketchbook, one Snowdog per page, no pencil, no second chances and an awful lot of coffee.

I’ve sketched all the Snowdogs by the Sea to raise money for Martlets Hospice and the Brighton Housing Trust. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far. If you’ve enjoyed these sketches, you can still make a donation via my justgiving pages to Martlets Hospice or the Brighton Housing Trust.

Rose, Amex Stadium

12:20pm This one is for Stella

Not very good at selfies

A bit about the process…

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Trusty sketching kit

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Challenging line of sight

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Left out in the cold

 

Thanks to Stella, Amelie, Isabelle and Mary for your inspirational enthusiasm!

© Claire Moore and cmoorelife, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Claire Moore and cmoorelife with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Day five: 9 hours of sketching and stalking Snowdogs.

Fourty-four dogs sketched, only one to go! Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far.

If you’ve enjoyed these sketches, please do make a donation via my justgiving pages to Martlets Hospice or the Brighton Housing Trust.

8:15am An early start with Smart Vibes

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9:30am Beautiful Bobby

Brighton Belle, British Airways i360

11:15am True wonderment

Snowdowns dog, Old Steine Marine Parade

12:50pm Very excited to meet Judith Berrill, creator of the fabulous ‘Horatio’ and ‘Patch’, whilst sketching Southdowns dog!

Legal Beagle, Old Stieine Castle Square

2:15pm Amazingly intricate Legal Beagle

Snowman's nightmare, Brighton Library

3pm The Christmas Market huts are moved around me in a particular nightmarish way!

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4:05pm An early finish as the evening sun sets on Merry-go-round

Many thanks to all the artists who gave their time to create these fabulous dogs. Please donate now! One more dog to go!

My justgiving fund raising pages are: Martlets Hospice & the Brighton Housing Trust.

© Claire Moore and cmoorelife, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Claire Moore and cmoorelife with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

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Day four: 10 hours of sketching and stalking Snowdogs.

Additions to my kit: A tiny stool to sit on, more blue paint, new Aqua brushes.

I’m sketching the Snowdogs by the Sea to raise money for Martlets Hospice and the Brighton Housing Trust. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far.

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8:05am A stunning morning

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9:20am THE Snowdog

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10:30am Dudley you nearly broke me. Bitter winds blow my paints away.

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12:20pm Gizmo picks up some tricks at the skatepark.

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2:35pm Bella looks longingly at the fishing boats.

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3:35pm Process pup. The second time I’ve been filled with dread at the prospect of painting all those tiny shapes!

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5:30pm Glimpsed ‘Newshound’ between the commuters. Are we nearly there yet?

Many thanks to all the artists who gave their time to create these fabulous dogs. Please donate now! Only 8 dogs left …

My justgiving fund raising pages are: Martlets Hospice and the Brighton Housing Trust.

© Claire Moore and cmoorelife, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Claire Moore and cmoorelife with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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Day three: Nearly 10 hours of sketching and stalking Snowdogs.

Additions to my kit: An extra hat, another jumper and two pairs of gloves.

If you enjoy what you see, please make a donation through my Justgiving pages to Martlets Hospice or the Brighton Housing Trust.

 

Splashhound, Unitarian Church

8:10am Paint doesn’t dry when it’s this cold!

 

Frank, Gloucester Road

9:10am Frank looks a bit stressed, due to the man just out of view, shouting into his mobile phone for a very, very long time.

Blot the dog, Churchill Square

10:00am Terrifying!

Neon Camo Snowdog of hope, Brighton & Hove High School

11:35am A tranquil spot.

Clifton, Montpellier Crescent

12:30pm SNOWDOG! SNOWDOG!

Marty, Hove Park

13:40pm Surely there can’t be any more?

Mod dog, Churchill Square

3:30pm A popular meeting place, so lots of ducking and diving to see this one.

Disco dog, Duke street

5:00pm Half a shandy and a packet of crisps with Disco Dog at dusk.

Many thanks to all the artists who gave their time to create these fabulous dogs. Please donate now! More to follow…

© Claire Moore and cmoorelife, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Claire Moore and cmoorelife with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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