This etching is of a beach called Sielebost in late-Autumn. The sea is unusually calm, with just a few rippling waves pushing crystal clear water into small inlets between the rocks. The sky is smudged with a few white clouds. In the foreground, the machair leans slightly in the breeze while the mountains stand strong in the background.
The initial image was drawn with a very small etching needle and the first proof was a simple line drawing. Additional detail, texture and shading were then added using aquatint, to give the image more depth and atmosphere.
Image size: 205mm x 190mm
The beaches on the Isle of Harris, in the Outer Hebrides, are some of the most stunning I have ever seen. The almost-white sands and crystal clear water could be part of a tropical paradise – only the howling winds and thunderous skies reveal the fact that you are on the outermost edge of Northern Scotland. Somehow, the inimitable Hebridean climate only serves to make the wild beaches on Harris even more romantic.
Sudden, extreme changes in weather mean rainbows are commonplace. The quality of light is constantly in flux; dramatic alterations that are hard to capture even on camera. Late in the evenings you have a chance of glimpsing aurora borealis. In April the rough machair bursts into bloom creating a colourful wildflower frame around the beaches. The views are like looking through a kaleidoscope.