Have you ever been to a place where you felt an energy shift in your body? I am not talking about the gradual letting go of everyday tensions. I am talking about something external entering through the soles of your feet and resonating with your very DNA.
Last Sunday, in a small corner of the picturesque, remote Highland village of Cannich, there was a hive of creative activity; a group of people making silver jewellery.
A couple of months earlier I had been admiring some beautiful, intricate, handmade jewellery at the stall of Earthgems Jewellery in a local fair. When they informed me that they hold workshops showing you how to make your own I signed up, despite never having done anything like this before.
My family and I have gone a lot further from home this time to Orkney, an archipelago off the north of Scotland.
One of the most striking features of Orkney is that it is alive with rich, mysterious stories, which thread their way through the whole psyche of the place. The Orcadian poet and storyteller George Mackay Brown wrote ‘The Orkney imagination is haunted by time.’ You certainly get a sense of this as you travel around the place, visiting well preserved neolithic sites, Viking remains and even rusty, half-sunken blockships from the world wars.
I am an avid fan of pinterest, last week I saw a pin which said:
‘ I love summer in Scotland, it’s my favourite day of the year.’
Looking out I the grey skies today this phrase rings true. Luckily I was out to witness our summery day, on Rosemarkie beach – at the start of my blog. It is a short walk from my house and is one of my favourite places, sometimes I go there just to remind myself that I live by the sea!
What can I say about Rosemarkie? It is a beautiful village on the south side of the Black Isle, on the Moray firth coast. The Groam House Museum on the High Street houses Pictish Stones found in the area, showing evidence of the Pict settlers here. There is a wooded burnside walk called Fairy Glen, full of wildlife and a couple of picturesque waterfalls; further down the beach is Chanonry Point, an excellent place for spotting the resident dolphins. Both these places will no doubt feature in future posts.
This blog is about my journey, not just a tour of the Highlands (although that is indeed where it is based), but my own personal journey to reconnect with my creative muse.
I live in the Scottish Highlands, an amazing place, perfect motivation for creating artwork you would think? I love it here, the mountains, the sea, the nature, the people.
So why do I find it hard to find the urge to paint, and instead allow myself to get distracted by all those little everyday tasks? When I paint I feel alive, and yet bringing myself to start a painting can sometimes feel like staring at a pile of ironing. What is going on? I am surrounded by the very things that are crying out to be captured onto my paper or canvas.