Tag Archives: River Tweed paintings

Borders Country – Day 2

‘Tweed River near Peebles 2′. Acrylic on 5×5″ wood

‘Tweed River near Peebles 2′. Acrylic on 5×5″ wood

‘Water Reflections (River Tweed) 2’. Acrylic on 5×5″ wood

‘Water Reflections (River Tweed) 2’. Acrylic on 5×5″ wood

Today’s paintings – two studies of the River Tweed.

As mentioned in last Sunday’s post this year I’ll be painting the Borders landscapes of Scotland and England.

There’s no particular topical reason for this (Scottish independence for example) – I just decided to paint the Borders because it’s such a familiar landscape and I’ve been visiting the area since I was a girl.

In summer we usually spend quite a lot of time at the River Tweed – building fires, canoeing, or just sitting around enjoying a picnic.

Borders countryside is quite gentle compared to the Scottish Highlands, or even the Yorkshire Dales farther south, but there’s definitely a distinct Borders look and feel; characteristic rolling hills, the patchwork of farmland, tree plantations, un-tended areas of wilderness that are variously verdant and lush, or stark and bleak.

There are numerous lochs, reservoirs, castles, Peel towers and rivers. Dry-stone dykes, sheep – loads of them, and horses (an excuse for me to paint horses, which I love to do!) And of course there are the west and east coastlines in Dumfries and at Berwick.

It’s very varied, which is why I’m looking forward to painting this series so much. As always, I’ll blog about the places I paint since that’s all part of the fun. People, the arts, places to visit and so on. Also, the Borders country has a very dramatic history – due partly to wars between Scotland and England.

Engraving, showing Borders Reivers raid on Gilnockie Tower

Engraving, showing Borders Reivers raid on Gilnockie Tower

‘Reiving’ (raiding cattle and other resources across the borders) became a way of life for many in the Borders.

In the first place this was through necessity – as a side effect of war and its devastating impact on the land, but then even in peace time Border Reivers chose to live this way, and they didn’t take kindly to being monitored  by the authorities of the time!

I’ve been doing quite a bit of research and in tomorrow’s blog, I’ll explore more about the Border Reivers. You’ve maybe read or heard of Sir Walter Scott’s famous stories about the Borders, and though factual in terms of names and some events, these were highly romanticised.

Statue of Borders Reiver, Galashiels

Statue of Borders Reiver, Galashiels

In fact, the more I read about Border Reivers history (Charles MacDonald Fraser’s ‘Steel Bonnets’ among other books) the more it sounds like a cross between cowboys, guerilla warfare and the Mafiosi (but more anarchic!)

Nowadays the Borders are as calm and safe as it gets – sleepy villages with antiques shops and small art galleries, sheep farmers, baroque hotels. You’d never guess its dark and difficult history, the only clues to the past in the landscape are the occasional Peel Towers (defensive look-out towers) dotted around the countryside, and of course there’s a wealth of literature and history to be explored in the numerous books on the subject, also castles, abbeys, ancient houses and museums

So how did this area change so radically after the Union of the Crowns in 1707? I suspect that this may reveal yet more grim history. It’s not all gloom though – there are Borders Ballads and poems, not to mention the beautiful landscape of which I have many happy memories, and there’s another reason I want to explore Borders history; one of the most notorious Borders Clans or families were the Kerrs, and as my Grandmother was a Kerr, I definitely have ancestors from the Borders!

So this year’s blog will be a combo of painting forays and ‘Who do you think you are’ minus the celebrity angle!

Today’s paintings again, from different angles, showing texture/size etc. (All paintings at 5×5 inches are available to buy at £57 each, or £100 for two)

P1220144 P1220151 P1220139

 

 

 

Borders Country

P1210135

‘River Tweed near Peebles 1’. Acrylic on 5×5″ wood

'River Tweed near Peebles 2'. Acrylic on 5x5" wood

‘Water Reflections (River Tweed)’. Acrylic on 5×5″ wood

The two small paintings above and right show views of the River Tweed in the Borders of Scotland, a favourite family picnic spot for as long as I can remember.

These are the very first in a new series for my 2015 project which explores the dramatic landscapes of Borders country, from Dumfries in the West to Berwick in the East.

Each month I’ll be painting  landscape and exploring the history and culture of each area, then blogging the new paintings and experiences here.

 

The project will take me on a journey from the West coast of Scotland then through the densely forested river valleys and hills near the ancient towns of Jedburgh, Melrose and Kelso, following the course of the River Tweed then on to the East-coast seascape, ending at Lindisfarne (Holy Island) in the English Borders.

P1210074

Flaubert Gallery, St Stephen’s St, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

The paintings (on wood and canvas) will range from small to large with every size in between, and they’ll be available to buy here online, and as part of exhibitions throughout the year.  

Exhibitions for 2015 in Edinburgh include the Whitespace Gallery, Howe Street  in July, and the Flaubert Gallery in early Autumn

For the Flaubert I’ll be showing a series of twenty five 4×4 ft paintings (exclusive to the gallery) on wood panels, capturing the beautiful Borders landscape from coast to coast.

If you’re interested in buying the smaller works throughout the year, such as those below, email me at rose.strang@gmail.com and I’ll post the painting to you within the week. 5×5 inch paintings are £57 each (or two for £100). They’re ready to hang, or can be propped on a shelf.

P1210162 P1210165