Sunday, 29 November 2015
Icecolour drawings at Hollyburn
Watercolour drawings have to be done quickly in the mountains at this time of year. Frozen fingers I can deal with, but when your paint freezes, then your brush, then your painting water - well, you're done. You learn to be fast. I had about 15 minutes at First Lake at Hollyburn, then less than 10 minutes on the weir at the outflow of West Lake. First Lake had cheerful cross-country skiers and seemed a fairly benign place even though I was shaded from the low afternoon sun. West Lake sits in a cold air pocket, and its outflow drops into a dark canyon that makes you think of Coleridge's Kubla Khan: "that deep romantic chasm which slanted down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover! A savage place!..." So savage that I had to thaw my water cup in my slightly warmer hands to melt my brush free.