Day 9 Callanish and Bernera

The weather finally cleared and so we headed out to the Callanish stones on the west side of Lewis. A site of great historical importance this huge arrangement of neolithic standing stones makes a stark and impressive statement on the skyline as you approach the village of callanish. Planted deep into the earth on a ridge above the waters of Loch Roag the stones are belived to have been the focus of ritual activity during the bronze age and undoutedly since . Impressive as the main site is , it has now become a popular 'must see' on the islands tourist trail so i can't help but  find myself drawn more to the modest arrangements of Callanish two and three , set in allignment to the south east and just over a kilometer away the simple circular arrangments belie there unthinkable construction as the mighty slabs of Lewisian Gniess stand silently defient in the face of the hebridean climate. I took some time here to sketch the stones whilst avoiding upsetting the highland cattle mothers as they sheilded there calves during our unwelcome invasion. From here we take the road at Garryhahine , passing to our right another stone circle in the Callanish group , this one being named as number four. The road here is a favourite of mine as it twists and turns around the orange glowing edges of the seaweed strewn loch and towards Grimersta Lodge and the wide and gracefull river of the same name. The road to Bernera see's us squeezing cheekily into one of the many passing places so i can get a few sketches of the vast view  across the lochs and towards the stuningly beautiful mountain ranges beyond , i have this location in mind for an exhibition piece , although the more places i see the more difficult it is becoming to whittle this down to just ten paintings. Where do i start with lovely Bernera , our new home island is glorious , varied , historically important , welcoming and windy , there are so many places here for me to sketch that i could easily produce a second exhibition , just of the amazing locations here. We have Bosta beach , the iron age house , kirkibost harbour , Dun barraglom , Bernera bridge , our very own standing stones a norse mill , the lobster ponds , i have so much just here i can drawn on for inspiration. I spend a lot of time at the little beach here in Tobson and sketch the patterns and shapes of the bay regularly and it was here i found more pigment both soft rock from the exposed coastline and some harder which broke down into a beutiful strong yellow, choosing the location on which to base my painting that represents this area of Lewis is going to be a difficult decision indeed .