Thursday, 31 March 2011

Great Gable Lakeland painting by Rob Miller

Great Gable
Watercolour pen and ink

Great Gable 2
Watercolour pen and ink

This is the first in a series of watercolours with pen and ink of my favourite Lakeland fells..a kind of revisit that matches the work I'm building up on the West Highlands and Hebrides. The watercolour series will be matched with a series in oils and acrylics which I'm very much, looking forward to painting..As for Great Gable the references for these two views are awalk that I did from Buttermere and the top image coming across the Gables view from Seathwaite,  I've had many pleasant walks and some climbs up and around this fell, its a special place from all the angles you view it from, whether that's up from Ennerdale or from Wasdale the most daunting views are Great End or Kirk Fell when your doing the Wasdale round. This is a less tiring viewpoint from Seathwaite Fell which for the painter or poet offers solitude, good rocks to rest your back against and nice turf on which to sit and draw all the great views of the wonderful peaks all around.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Moorland Mist, Lancashire Painting by Rob Miller RSA

Moorland Mist
Mixed media on linen board
Moorland mist rising in wriaths high above the moorland between Belthorne and Edgeworth

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Grime Hill Quarry Lancashire, Painting by Rob Miller RSA

Grime Hill Interior

Grime Hill Quarry railway incline abandoned

Grime Hill I went to the place because of the captivating name and spent some time exploring its empty atmosphere.The incline and interior is large with a number of ruins the whole place was built to provide stone and gravel for the building of the Bolton to Blackburn railway line.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Last Summer, A painting of Lancashire by Rob Miller RSA

Last Summer on Thirteen Stone Hill
Acrylic on Canvas
There are parts of Lancashire that have their own light, golden high pastures, lush grasses and trees creating images which almost paint themselves and cause no disturbance to the retina. Last summer saw me below Thirteen Stone Hill above Oswaldtwistle on a day of good sunshine with some rain. I started this work late September and it  has rested on the wall waiting for the spring sunshine, to be finished.  I am quite happy with its loose nature and balance.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Knoydart Scottish Highlands, Paintings by Rob Miller RSA

Luinne Bheinne Knoydart
Mixed media

Coire Dhorrcail Knoydart
Mixed media

I first came across Knoydart when I did a solo trip for the log book of my Mountain Leadership Certificate way back in the1980's. Its a large, wild and wonderful place to explore, be mindfull of the becks they quickly become  raging Rivers when its rains up stream.

  "This area is renowned on the west coast for the dramatic and remote mountain scenery. The region is a peninsula opposite the southern end of Skye formed by the long sea lochs of Loch Hourn to the north and Loch Nevis to the south. The region is truely remote with no road access at all into the central or western areas - quite unique on the entire Scottish coastline. There are excellant paths across the region and with three Munros nestling in the centre, Knoydart is a major attraction for those after some peace and quiet, and dramatic sceneryThe nearest road access is to Kinloch Hourn, along the shores of Loch Quoich, or along Loch Arkaig to Strathan. Both are long drives in and then require lengthy walks to gain the central regions - although the paths are generally very good. The only significant village in the region is Inverie on the shores of Loch Nevis. A ferry service runs here three days a week from Mallaig offering a most rewarding means of entry to the region. Link this service with a walk across the mountain valleys to a pre-arranged pick up at one of the road ends, or even over to the railway and you have one of the most spectacular mountain treks in Scotland. It has an unrivalled reputation. The only facilities are at Inverie - including pub, guest house, small camp site, shop. Bothies are available at Sourlies (Camusrory, head of Glen Nevis) and Barrisdale (Loch Hourn). The latter is near the approach paths to the areas Munros and is therefore very popular and often full. Good paths link key points in the region making use of the various passes and glens:"  Excellent info on this and on other areas of Scotland by a family site Barbar SASA site  

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Belmont and Belthorn Lancashire Paintings by Rob Miller RSA

St Peter and Blue Lagoon, Belmont
Ink, Pastel and watercolour

Belthorn from acrioss the Grane
Ink, pastel and watercolour
Two moorland villages which owe their existence to the Cotton industry, in Belmont the lake was installed to provide water for the bleach mill, and the church was installed to provide a path way to heaven, over the moor in Belthorn the village sits high above the valley in fact its one of the highest lancashire villages. "In this era there was a thriving handloom industry evident by the style of the older cottages in the village. With the industrial revolution the main industry became coal and fire clay mining with many small drift mines being established at the foot of the escarpment and later, much larger and deeper shaft workings linking mines as far away as Oswaldtwistle. Despite this grim sounding industrial heritage there is little to see with most of the mine surface workings overgrown or  leveled and returned to a natural state, grazed by sheep and cattle." Belthorn History society see Belthorn Village Society  and cotten town history of mining in Blackburn

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Trees and buildings 2 studies by Rob Miller RSA

The trees by the chapel
charcoal on sandpaper

Two trees hugging a barn
Charcoal on sandpaper

Holcombe, Lancashire Winter Painting by Rob Miller RSA

Holcombe Lancashire Winter
Acrylic on canvas
Holcombe Lancashire Winter, Walking damply down back from Hill End Farm below the Peel Tower, dark by 5.00pm, wet damp greys and blues, traffic calming, an owl hooting, an end to the rain, and now, the moons silver, slithering across the trees,

Painting notes

The greys in this Lancashire, mid winter painting were difficult to get to; I started the painting last winter and it had hung on the studio wall for months; a bit to blue in tone and to vibrant for a wild Lancashire winter night; Today I was working on a new painting, it was a painting that focused on an coal mine high above the East Lancashire valley a dark brooding scene; I had the steel grey earth colour I wanted fixed in my minds eye, but had a mental block about the mix I should use, to jog my mind on the grey I had to resort to my old sketch book where I faithfully mark down all  my colour mixes; Eureka, out jumped the right grey and associated notes, not for the coal mine painting but for Lancashire Winter;  In this case the colour mix was close to the one I had done when I had reproduced parts of  the impressionists Edouard Manet painting and pont neuf by Maquet they were both Paris night scenes; Eureka the sketch books are out of the closet and by the easel...

Friday, 4 March 2011

An Teallach, Stac Pollaidh Scottish Highlands; Mixed media painting by Rob Miller RSA

Stac Pollaidh
Pen and wash

Heavy Rain aproaching An Teallach
Pen and Wash
I'm never sure why but everytime I see a painting or drawing of a Highland Hill top I like to pict over it with a drink in my hand.*(maybe a hang up from my old school trips)  Anyhow, here is the poem Heather Ale by the beloved Scot Robert Loius Stevenson,

From the bonny bells of heather
They brewed a drink long-syne,
Was sweeter far than honey,
Was stronger far than wine.
They brewed it and they drank it,
And lay in a blessed swound
For days and days together
In their dwellings underground.

There rose a King in Scotland,
A fell man to his foes,
He smote the Picts in battle,
He hunted them like roes.
Over miles of the red mountain
He hunted as they fled,
And strewed the dwarfish bodies
Of the dying and the dead.

Summer came in the country,
Red was the heather bell,
But the manner of the brewing,
Was none alive to tell.
In graves that were like children's
On many a mountain's head,
The Brewsters of the Heather
Lay numbered with the dead.

The king in the red moorland
Rode on a summer's day;
And the bees hummed, and the curlews
Cried beside the way.
The king rode, and was angry,
Black was his brow and pale,
To rule in a land of heather
And lack the Heather Ale.

R.L.Stevenson's Heather Ale