Whether or not you travel out west to make an Ardnamurchan painting of you own, or just for the ambience of this westerly peninsula, you’ll enjoy the journey (especially if some else is doing the driving!)
I sometimes think that Ardnamurchan, that peninsula in the magical West Highlands, might as well be an island. I mean that in a good way – but it has that same sense of adventurous and beautiful isolation (from a tourist point of view) that you feel when you step off the ferry anywhere in the Hebrides.
Besides, unless you tear yourself away from The Road to the Isles and, instead of heading for Mallaig, go south at Lochailort, then your journey to Ardnamurchan will have taken in at least one ferry – most likely the Corran Ferry south of Fort William.
Time permitting, it’s worth including Ardnamurchan if visiting Mull – in which case the Tobermory to Kilchoan ferry will serve. But I suspect most will visit via Strontian, where the road become single-track, and roll along by glorious Loch Sunart. A mossy mix of Atlantic oakwoods, birches and the invasive rhododendron may impede the view en route but it’s all worthwhile.
The views from Ardnamurchan Lighthouse are also worth the drive and, of course, Sanna Beach, painted here, is understandably popular. (Other beaches are also available!)
Ardnamurchan Painting – Sanna Beach
For this Ardnamurchan painting, gouache was the choice, used pretty thinly, for once, to capture that hazy far-western light that is characteristic of settled Highland weather. The usual caveats apply: to ensure that distance lends, if not enchantment, at least a sense of the colours lightening and fading towards blue-grey out on the more distant islands.
The birds in this Ardnamurchan painting, are ‘comic’ terns, of course – that term being used by birdy folk when it is uncertain if Common or Arctic terns are flying by. Arctics are greyer below, so I think that must have been what I intended. Still, you can’t be sure – it might just be a shadow.
More information on the area of Ardnamurchan.