Must Paint Scot

4 Paintings around Spey Bay – wild scenes by the estuary

Simply one of our favourite places in all of Scotland, paintings around Spey Bay offer a menu of wide skies and storm beaches, ospreys and otters, distant views of northern hills and an all-season spectacle of winds, weather and tides. There, that sums it up nicely. 

Oh, and you should see ospreys in the summer at several places along the riverbank. Unless you are familiar with them you may mistake them, distantly, at least, for just another gull – so keep a sharp lookout.

Osprey and the River Spey

Spey Bay, summer

Paintings around Spey Bay when it isn’t always sunny

The River Spey is Scotland’s fastest-flowing major river and brings down from the woodlands of upper Speyside a never ending flow of branches, trunks and roots from winter storms and floods. Many of these are cast up on the pebbly storm beaches that run out on either side, eastwards towards Portgordon and west, beyond Kingston-upon-Spey.

Paintings around Spey Bay, this time looking upstream in winter.
Paintings around Spey Bay, this time looking upstream in winter.

In fact, Scotland’s largest shingle-bank, The Lien, lies westwards of the Spey estuary. Upstream and visible through the extensive woodland on the river banks, the main span of the old viaduct of the Great North of Scotland is visible – and well worth the walk upstream for a closer view. Just follow the track southwards from Spey Bay – it’s part of the official long-distance footpath, the Speyside Way.

Paintings around Spey Bay, this time looking towards the estuary
Spey Bay, towards the estuary
Painting of the River Spey with winter goldeneye.
Mouth of the River Spey (and a couple of male goldeneye).

Painting at Spey Bay

Between October and April. Wear a woolly hat if you are sketching out of doors. 

That’s all the advice that’s needed, except to remark that giving an impression of the girders of the viaduct mentioned above, if you decide to choose that angle, isn’t easy. A water-soluble crayon might be used, or anything with a fine point. Take care if you use inks that have a sheen when dry. Sometimes they don’t play well with matt acrylic.

Spey Bay is a great place for seeing birds in Scotland – especially ospreys