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Monday, 23 August 2010

Shetland sketch dump

I found some more pictures but had a problem inserting them into the post I'd already created. So here's a sketch dump. Below is the broch of Mousa. Brochs are pretty cool. Archaelogists used to think they were the Northern Isles equivalent of castles, then they thought they were cool defensive structures that you could build without scaffolding (clever, as there's no trees on Shetland) Now the explanation is edging towards "ritual and ceremonial" which is archaeologist speak for "damned if I know"

Inside the Broch of Mousa

These two drawings are at Eshaness. The cliffs there are hardcore
Another broch, this time at Cillikimin (may have spelt that wrong) near Lerwick. I got a bit obsessed with archeology on this holiday. Entertainment is limited in Shetland, and I like old stuff that's remote and deserted and isn't fenced off. In fact, one of the tombs I went down was entered by an exact replica of the hatch from Lost. If I had broken my ankle down there I'd probably still be waiting to be rescued by a random hiker.

Shetland holiday

I've just spent two weeks in Shetland and Orkney, staying in camping barns, drawing, walking and generally slobbing around. The sketch below is the first place I stayed in- the Windhouse Lodge, the gatehouse to a haunted ruin.

These sketches are just me hanging around the harbour. I like drawing boats.
Staying in youth hostels was good for drawing, because I'd come in in the evening and get settled and usually someone else would turn up. So I'd go outside to give them room to get their stuff sorted, then I'd come back in and have a chat later. I met some really nice people.

Shetland holiday 2

I then went down to another bod, the Sail Loft ( red house) There was a little house in the voe. I thought it was a fishing shack but after listening to the locals I think two hippies were living there. It looked fun, but I bet they don't do it in winter.

Shetland holiday 3

I was in Lerwick during the annual Fiddle Frenzy. I ran into a lot of the performers in the youth hostel and ended up going to their last concert. I love drawing people performing but I'm honestly not a folkie- however those that are should check out Maggie and Brian on Myspace

Shetland holiday 4

I forked out for a boat trip to draw some birds at one point but the best animal spot was a minke whale which popped up when I was drawing some cormorants on Mousa.

Shetland holiday 5

This is Orkney, where I went next. It's the first time I've been back since my first backpacking trip at age 17 with my sister. It seemed pretty remote then- I was surprised at how gentle and well-farmed it seemed after Shetland.

These two drawings are the Stones of Stenness.
Stromness in the rain. I hung around for a while getting wet and eventually had to seek shelter in a tapestry artist's studio. She was pretty inspirational- she emigrated from Yorkshire two years ago, set up a tiny house cum studio cum gallery and makes a living teaching art and selling sculpture and tapestries.
This is Tomb of the Eagles. This made a big impression on me at age 17 because it was the only museum I'd ever been in which allowed you to handle 3000 year old artefacts. These were made by Neolithic people, but they were pretty much exactly the same as people today. They weren't daft. The average woman back then was taller than me. I'm a midget*.

The hill from Finstown. The mound in front is another tomb. They're pretty common on Orkney.

*You were likely to be crippled by arthritis and die aged 35 but that's wonderful modern medicine for you