Inspiration from the Landscape

An artist can take inspiration from a variety of sources but the landscape has always been high on the list. One of the strangest natural landscapes that I have come across is the coastal area known as the Rocks of Garheugh. It sits between Port William and Auchenmalg and it is well worth taking the time to stop and have a look around.


The first thing that strikes you is the strange alien landscape formed by a mixture of sharp edges and smooth surfaces. It is not difficult to imagine a science fiction film being set against this background. In amongst the various rocks there are occasional openings or shallow caves and these are said to have been inhabited by tramps seeking shelter in the not-so distant past. The stones are a mixture of greywacke crags and pinnacles. There are many deep cracks running through the formations, creating sharp outlines and edges that let the imagination run wild.


Over the years, the rocks have become popular with climbers who use them for practise purposes. Greywacke is a variety of sandstone that is notable for its hardness and dark colour. Geologists attribute its formation to submarine avalanches or strong turbidity currents. Although this particular rock formation is situated very close to the road, it is far enough away for you to feel remote and yet have easy access to the site. On the day of my most recent visit, the sun was shining and a clear blue sky was reflecting a deep grey into some areas of the rocks.


The sheer scale of these rocks is difficult to gauge from the photographs but they range from towering cliff faces to relatively small sculptured stones. You can see the erosion of the sea in some areas where a wave pattern has been formed and there is a distinct separation from the lowest rocks to those more protected from the elements. It really is a case of the more you look, the more you see.


One area of strewn rocks resembled a mass of broken sculptures with strange bore holes and smooth curves. Many of the rocks suggest facial features, although this is largely in our own imagination as we try to force some recognition on these weird and wonderful formations.


This is the sort of inspiration that will help me with my ecoarts project as I am attempting to create artworks that will reside comfortably in the landscape. Having spent recent weeks looking at ancient archaeological sites in the area, I realise how fortunate I am to have such a wonderful landscape on my doorstep. In this part of south west Scotland we have the hills, the lowland areas and superb coastal views. They all change dramatically with the seasons and can be visited over and over again, each time offering a new experience.

If you would like to see more of my landscape photography please visit my gallery on the Bigvyor website. The site is constantly updating with new features enabling the artist or art lover to set up their own galleries or rooms. If you have any comments regarding the site or my blog, please email me at

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