(watercolour on panel)
This ongoing series of directly observed paintings records the sky and horizon on the Solway Firth from a fixed viewpoint. The composition is informed by the horizon line and the Robin Rigg wind farm off the coast of Dumfriesshire, which appears and disappears according to the weather. Since its formation, 7000 years ago this coastline has changed many times due to rising and falling sea levels. In addition the tidal range of over nine metres is one of the highest in the world and so what may be perceived as constant is actually in a state of constant change. Thus, within the rigidity of the composition, there is cotinual variety.
The origins of the Solway’s name may seem obvious to anyone who has had the pleasure of catching one of its frequent spectacular sunsets. Certainly ‘Way of the Sun’ has a poetic ring, but sadly the origins are far more mundane and probably derive from the Old Viking sol-vagr meaning ‘muddy bay’ or ‘ford’. (Sedgefield, 1915) However artists are allowed poetic licence and these contemporary paintings revive the two centuries old Romantic dialogue between Goethe’s observations of skies and Constable’s ‘Skyings’, his studies of ephemeral cloud formations.