Tag Archives: Tantallon Castle

The Beach

Bass Rock with beach rocks in foreground

the Bass Rock sails past whorls of rocky lava

On the beach inspiration for painters lurked round every corner, from ancient castles to crazy rock piles that had their own personalities. The light bounced madly from sea to sky to hidden harbour pool and the Bass Rock prowled across the horizon, pausing only to create striking compositions in combination with other elements of the scene.

As we walked, what appeared to be a black-cloaked figure perched on a distant rock suddenly became something else altogether and, in the spirit of painting, nothing was quite what it seemed. Colours and shapes can be deceptive. It was the kind of beach that fills the mind with odd ideas.

Tantallon castle, cliff view

when we rounded the corner the castle was there

photo of man lying by the sea

Andi and the tide

image showing strange rocks and forms resembling figures on a beach

rock figure and distant phantom

harbour on Seacliff beach

secret rock harbour and the ‘phantom’, now turned into a harmless wheel

rocks resembling a figure on Seacliff beach

the rock figure seems to have turned its back on the phantom in a rather snooty way

rock figure on Seacliff beach

rock figure stealing sea memorial

man and dog on Seacliff beach

a meeting on the beach

man with sea and Bass Rock

practising looking craggy

Finding peace in Scottish fields, composition and light, and a friendly Rock

Tantallon castle and Bass Rock

the Bass Rock seems to have sneaked past the castle

In a field near the sea in Scotland I found the breathtaking clear blue light that only ever seems to exist in the east. As I was staying there, in a small wooden house, there was plenty of opportunity to take in the sunlit views all around. In the flat landscape everything became a simple composition. Every ploughed field added texture and a ruddy brown colour, while the clouds contributed movement as they whipped past. The Bass Rock, an enormous sculpture created by Nature, and Tantallon, an ancient weathered castle which seemed to be halfway back to its life as mere rock, jutted up from the horizon, moving as we moved and seeming to follow us on our walks, even swapping places from time to time.

view of Bass Rock through window

the Bass Rock, faithful companion, seen through the window

From first thing in the morning the Bass Rock greeted us through the window. It then insisted on accompanying us when we went to the beach.

Bass Rock photo

silvery light on the Bass Rock

It would always start the day on the left of the castle, forming an important part of the balanced picture made up of rock, castle, sky, sea and crumbled earth.

view of Bass Rock and castle across fields

the view: fields, sea, Bass Rock and castle

The castle always started the day on the right of the Rock, watching us grandly from its position across the fields.

distant castle seen beyond field and hedge

hedge, cloud, castle, field and rock: a composition in browns and blues

The fields seemed to create their own artworks as they laid out furrows, stone walls and splashes of colour in pleasing arrangements.

photo of field, tree and distant red roof

red roof composition

Maybe because I spend all my time in the hills I found the flat landscape extremely restful and enjoyed the way something small, such as a single cloud moving into place, or walking a few steps along a lane could change the view so dramatically, framing a different picture.

ghostly view of Tantallon castle

the castle looking ghostly

Bass Rock and beach rock composition

Bass Rock and shore rock