The Lakes Project was intended to be two weeks of en plein air painting in the beautiful county of Cumbria. Unfortunately, it was brought to a standstill by the arrival of Storm Doris, bringing with it a storm warning and predictions of 60mph winds, driving rain and snow and ice on high ground.
Several years ago I had watched a film called 'The Eagle', which followed the journey of a young roman officer up to north shores of Scotland to retrieve the standard of his father's legion. The terrain in the film had left and impression on me and had sowed the seeds of curiosity.
After two days of waiting for the bad weather to pass, I reach the limit of my patience and took the decision to head north to Scotland. I had spent a great deal of time in my childhood on the west coast, but had never been further north than Kinlochewe. This was an opportunity I wasn't going to pass, especially as this was an opporunity to accumulate a series of photographs that I could paint on my return to the studio.
Winter in the highlands can be stunning and made all the more enjoyable by the absence of the midges. Each bend in the road holds the promise of yet another incredible view, and the further north you go, the more remote and wilder the landscapes becomes.
One of the greatest impressions it left me with was how different the light became the further north you headed and I hope that I'm able to capture it in the work I produce on my return.
The whole trip took several weeks and gave me a valuable insight into the diversity of Scottish terrain. I plan to return next winter, and when I do, I'll be more prepared and know exactly where I want to go.
Click HERE to see a gallery of panoramic photos from the trip.