Monday, 26 March 2012

Summer in The Cairngorms

With temperatures of 22 degrees, Scotland was even warmer than some Mediterranean countries yesterday. How lucky for us that we both had booked a weekend away, this time separately. Jaap went down to Fort Augustus for the Great Glen Fest and improve his canoeing skills. I went to Kingussie for a trip organised by the ski club. Although we weren't able to do any skiing at all, the weather couldn't have been better for a hike in the Cairngorms.

We started our walk to Ben Mheadhoin at Coire Cas carpark. After 8.5 hours and a total of almost 2,700 meters of ascending and descending we came back, tired but exhilarated by the magnificient views and great company!

Area map
Elevation map

After our first ascent

Descent to Loch Avon

I'm looking quite tired already after a very steep descent!

Fascinating rocks and tors

The landscape looked quite surreal!

Beautiful rock textures

Finally at the top of Ben Mheadhoin

The lightest person was able to ski down on his boots from the smallest patch of snow

After a good night sleep in the hostel Woodlands, I decided not to tag along for another hike, but instead go for a bike ride on my own. I started at the carpark along the river Spey in Aviemore and followed the Speyside Way through Boat of Garten, had a lunch break at Loch Garten and then cycled back. A total distance of 37 km. My blisters were fine, but at the end of the day my buttocks were the problem.
I finished a perfect weekend with a well-deserved soft ice cream in the village, aahh....Life's good!!

Area map

Derelict trainwagon
Sculpture in forest

The Speyside Way meanders through beautiful moorland
Me an my bike

Woman and horse enjoying a summer's day

Birch forest

Boat of Garten station

Tranquility at Loch Garten

Lunchbreak on the banks of Loch Garten

Path through Abernethy Nature Reserve

Views towards Cairngorm Mountains

Monday, 19 March 2012

Saatchi Online Abstract Showdown

Reflection ©Fenfolio2012

Recently I submitted one of my photographs in an online competition and I need your support to get through the next round. Could you please take a moment and cast your vote before the 27th of March? Click here to judge my photograph "Reflection". Thank you in advance for your help!

The 50 submissions with the most community votes move on to the second round alongside 250 submissions selected by Saatchi Online curators. The 1st and 2nd place works will go on to be shown in the Saatchi Gallery, London! Fingers crossed then...

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Kayak paradise on our doorstep

Spring has finally arrived and temperatures even sored to 16 degrees along the North East coast on Sunday. With hardly any wind or swell forecasted, it was time for us to do a local kayak trip again. This time we chose to start from Cove, south of Aberdeen, where I never had set off before. Lucy, our neighbour who introduced us to sea kayaking in 2008, joined us. It was a magnificent journey and it was hard to believe that this beauty was so easily accessible with just half an hour's drive away! We saw many razorbill, guillemot and gull pairs settling in on the cliffs, explored a few big caves and enjoyed practicing our rockhopping skills.

Here's a picture story of our adventure on the sea. I hope you now understand why I love sea kayaking so much!

Starting from Cove Harbour, lunch at Portlethen beach and then back again

Leaving Cove Harbour

Fabulous rock features

and inspirational textures for my new paintings!

We found some amazing caves

Exploring the inside of one of the caves

Easy in the afternoon with high tide (shown here), more challenging in the morning with low tide

Peaceful sea

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Artistic Explorations: Relief (1)

In my previous article about Layers & Lines I showed a portfolio of images inspired by the tide and dunes. During my holiday in Poolewe I selected four images to create a relief study in plaster as preparation for the commissioned painting for my friends.

Tide and Dune shapes ©Fenfolio2012

After receiving some useful feedback from the art teacher at Gray's School of Art, I was able to finish the relief study which will be exhibited at the school for a week as part of the short course exhibition. More details can be found under Exhibitions.

The Tide & Dune relief study was made on a 45 x 45 cm MDF board with B & Q powder filler, gesso, palette knife and shapers and then finally sandpapered. For the part on the bottom right real sand from the estuary has been used.

Tide & Dune relief study ©Fenfolio2012

The next and final step will be the real mixed media painting which I will start soon so watch this space!