The Ness of Brodgar is Open in 2021!

On Wednesday, 30 June, the Ness of Brodgar opened! What a joy it was to see those stones get uncovered and see the light of day after two years of quiet under black plastic held down by tires! Once again I have been lucky enough to be invited back to paint. THANK YOU so much for this opportunity! I also assist at the entrance area and am a meeter and greeter who helps folks sponsor a square of the dig site. For a 10GBP donation, they pick a square mapped out on a HUGE photo of the site and hope something interesting gets discovered there. Around October, all will be revealed!

On the days when the weather will permit, I plan to be somewhere around the dig setting up to paint. There is no Art Hut this year to scurry into when wind and rain prevails.

In 2018 with the help of a Scottish Visual Artists Award, I painted a 15 foot long image of various bits of the site that took my interest. Having an extra large portacabin made this possible! Along the bottom, visiting diggers and volunteers added their favourite words. Some of this years’ archaeolgists fondly remember that season and their addition to the painting as pictured below. The predominate stone structures I painted here are from Structure 12 that will start being worked this near as soon as the structure leader arrives this week.

You can purchase a certified copy of this long image at The proceeds of your purchase are donated back to the Ness.

This year, I will be on site when the weather is good. Luckily, the second and third days of last week were suitable. I have started off with oil paints and small canvases. Both days, I was drawn to sit on the edge of Structure 10 with its curved wall and paved walkway.

My persistence seems to have paid off as I sat on what now seems to be another and more grander entrance to the walkway around the structure.

I have simply let the brush and the breeze direct my thoughts and worked on making marks that matched my feelings as I looked around and across and heard the chat of the diggers. I made marks with colours to create banks of images that felt right at that moment. I am always trying to capture more of a feeling than the precise detail that, frankly, I leave to the archaeologists. And always there is a sky and a view of the island of Hoy.

The last painting is 30 x 30 cm and collapses the view over Structure 10. I have used hints of its central hearth, the tyres covering the rest of the site, the walkway over Structure 12 in the south. I hope the viewer feels the curve of the wall of Structure 10 . Here is where I was sitting looking from the other side.

I was sitting and painting just about where that black collecting tray is placed. The suspected entrance to Structure Ten’s outer passageway, flanked by two upright stones. The paving around the building runs under the trench section. (Sigurd Towrie)

This upcoming week, the weather looks a bit worrying for outdoor painting, so I may work on something inspired by the photos I have taken this week. Watch this space for more is to come!

NOTE: all the paintings made at the Ness are for sale. You will find paintings from 2020 available here on my website. Until I catch up with the technology, please email me if you are interested in purchasing any of my recent works.