The Lights That Never Go Out – Ayrshire to The Mull of Galloway

Mull of Galloway lighthouse
Mull of Galloway, Scotland’s southernmost lighthouse

Last week I spent a fantastic 4 days travelling down to The Mull of Galloway via every lighthouse I could find en route. The sun was blazing and the sunsets were magnificent all the way! I also visited the towns of Girvan, Turnberry and lovely Portpatrick, and had a wander round Culzean Castle too.

In a snug wee Portpatrick pub last Friday evening, I had the very good fortune to find myself sitting next to a chap called Rab and his wife Kate. Rab just so happens to be the son of a lighthouse keeper, so we spent the whole evening getting acquainted over beer and whiskey and chatting about the various lighthouses he’d grown up in, including Corsewall Head which I’d spent that very afternoon visiting; as well as Tod Head and Kinnaird Head which I’d been at only the week before. His father also spent 5 years 12 miles out in the North Sea off Arbroath on one of the most famous and notorious reefs on the planet (and my own home lighthouse) The Bell Rock. It turned out to be one of those very serendipitous evenings. Rab now runs an engineering company that is contracted by the Northern Lighthouse Board to maintain some of Scotland’s more remote lighthouses, and he kindly offered me the chance some day to go along with him for the ride on one of his jobs. I will have to earn my keep though, maybe even getting a chance to fling some paint at a ‘real’ lighthouse instead of just at a painting of one!

So here are a few of the best photos from the many hundreds I took. It’s not all about lighthouses though. I got some shots of boats, harbours and birds too.

I will be attempting to translate some of these and the many others I’ve been taking into artworks for an exhibition at the end of this year. But, unfortunately, I won’t be doing any of that this week since I sprained my painting hand whilst attempting to show my daughter how not to use her new skateboard!

So today I’ll be heading north again to get my campervan’s gearbox fixed in Stonehaven. I might even have time to visit Scurdie Ness lighthouse near Ferryden, which just so happens to be up for sale (if you happen to have a spare £360K in your back pocket and always dreamed of owning your own lighthouse!).

If you’re interested, check it out here: Scurdie Ness Lighthouse

 

Ailsa Craig and Dredger
Sunset, Ailsa Craig
Turnberry Lighthouse and Arran from The Hotel
Turnberry Lighthouse and The Isle of Arran
Portpatrick Lighthouse at dusk
Portpatrick Harbour at Dusk
Killintringan Lighthouse 7
The Sun Sets beyond Killintringan Lighthouse and Northern Ireland

 

Corsewall Lighthouse 4 (b)
Corsewall Head Lighthouse
This beach ain't big enough for the 2 of us!
This beach ain’t big enough for the both of us!
Dazzling Cormorant
Dazzling Cormorant

Fife Council grant acknowledgement pic

 

 

 

 

    The Lights That Never Go Out

    Here are the first photos from my journey around Scotland’s amazing coastline (Ardnamurchan, Mull and part of the East Coast). I will be using some of these as the inspiration for new paintings and prints. Plenty more to come, so keep watching this space!

    photocrati gallery

    Fife Council grant acknowledgement pic

      The Lights That Never Go Out – A Map of Scotland’s Lighthouses

      Here’s a map of all the Scottish lighthouses that I found at Ardnamurchan Point. There’s a lot of them! Almost 100 and pretty much all built by the Stevenson family within 100 years from the first (the Bell Rock) which was finished in 1810. I hope to get to as many as possible over the next few months as part of my project, The Lights That Never Go Out, An Artistic Odyssey From Muckle Flugga To The Mull of Galloway.

      So after a day spent washing clothes and repacking the campervan after the Easter trip to the west coast, I’m off again to spend the next few days and nights sketching and photographing the lighthouses between Montrose and Fraserburgh. Tonight I’m hoping for a clear and starry sky (ie. no fog horn!) spent at the foot of Rattray Head.

      Scottish Lighthouses
      Scottish Lighthouses

        Dunfermline Printmakers Exhibition at Frames Gallery, Perth

        Come along and see some amazing prints from our very diverse cooperative of artists working across a huge range of printing methods and styles. You are welcome to join us at the preview this Friday evening, 6-8pm (details below). Hope to see you there!

        Here’s a link to my own page at Frames Gallery

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