Heading South: Glencoe, Glasgow and Penrith

July 19, 2016 | 6 Comments

All good things must come to an end and sadly I had to leave Scotland this afternoon. But the good news is that I am now focusing my journey (both physically and mentally) on getting to Manchester! Tonight I am in England and it is warm and sunny – a real shock to the system.

But before I start discussing England, it is time to wrap up the Scottish leg of my trip so I’ll start with a 10 minute sketch of perhaps the most famous castle in the Highlands – Eilean Donan.

Here are photos of the last 3 days in my sketchbook:


My big driving day from Skye to Glasgow – 5 hours of windy roads and beautiful scenery.

The halfway point wass the dramatic valley of Glencoe and amazingly it was also the halfway point for my brother and family who were heading north to meet up with my sister.

So I was able to have lunch with them… and I let my nephew draw in my book.

Here I am with my brother Sandy (a Scottish nickname!) and his two boys.

After such a big driving day you would think I would have a quiet evening when I arrive in Glasgow? Hmm, no I didn’t. I walked 2km into town and roamed the streets in the rain.

I have spent quite a bit of time here on previous trips so it was nice just to walk around again.

But I did have one place I just HAD to visit. Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s masterpiece -The Glasgow School of Art – was damaged by fire a few years ago.

The tragedy really hit me when I did this sketch of the entrance showing how much of the building was damaged: half of it, including the library! Sigh!

I then walked to the other end of the building and did this sketch in the rain. I really love the masterful asymmetrical design of the lesser photographed part of the building.

But it is not just CRM buildings that I love in Glasgow, it is the general abundance of grand Victorian architecture that makes this city so special. Here is a quick sketch of the Town Hall on George Square.

I met a few interesting Glaswegians while sketching this including a well dressed, extremely polite drunk who kept saying “Miss, your work is so beautiful”

Note: I am also a big fan of Greek Thomson’s work but sadly didn’t have time to visit any this trip.

I also love the rows of tenements in the city – either in pale or red sandstone. The hotel where I was staying was in this strret and my room was in the attic. Lots of stairs to climb!

I had lovely Sunday at a local church and dinner with great friends who I haven’t been in contact with since last trip 6 years old. Don’t you love ‘long term low maintenance’ friends? – in this case its ‘zero maintenance’!

Monday (today):

I was meeting a friend at Kelvingrove art gallery so as per my usual practice, I arrived early for a sketch. First from the University grounds of the back of the building.

And I then found a cafe with this view of the front – happy girl!

Here is the finished sketch!

It was very very special to meet long time online friend Bridget Hunter – an amazing Scottish landscape painter. Check out here work here.

We talked art for 4 hours and it was wonderful to look through her working sketchbook – quick notes, sketches and studies that she can then paint from. Lots of inspiration from hearing Bridget talk about her recent directions in more abstract work and the importance of colour and marks.

Thanks Bridget for a great morning – definitely one of the highlights of my trip!!!

It was then time to head south and leave Scotland. Here is a map of where I have been in the last two weeks.

Tonight I am in Penrith (2 hours south of Glasgow). It is simply a ‘break-a-long-drive’ type of overnight stop and not a must-see destination. But it is a lovely town, so after arriving at 5pm this afternoon I went out for dinner and did a few sketches! Are you surprised?

Tomorrow I have an exciting day on my own visiting a location that is in my top 10 favourite UK places/buildings. Any guesses?

I think this will be the last totally solo day. In my 8 week trip I have only had one other day when I was totally on my own (Thursday just past). My solo travel these days is always very social!

I ‘ve had a wonderful time with family and church friends over the last fortnight, but now it is sketching friends for a few weeks.


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  • Annie Fortenberry says:

    I am so loving your Scottish trip, Liz. I am drinking up the atmosphere. Thanks for sharing all of this.

  • Gordon Acott says:

    Love your sketches of Glasgow, I know these places so well! Today on Tiree we are having a real heatwave – almost too hot to go outside. Hope the weather is nice wherever you are today.

  • Meredith Davies says:

    I’m really enjoying your sketches Liz, you are such an inspiration. When you get time, will you share with us how you mix the teal blue/cobalt blue/emerald used in windows and also the deep greens of the landscapes please ? They are so rich and attractive. Keep up the good work. Meredith

  • Jane Jackson says:

    I went to school in Penrith. Your sketch brings back lovely memories of the red sandstone buildings and the clocktower. Thank you.

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