Hills tell stories. Cliffs
are poets with harps
verse from Rackwick: A Child’s Scrapbook. George Mackay Brown
Scarsa, 2016. Acrylic, oil on canvas.
Scarsa was painted after a walk from Rackwick to the Old Man of Hoy. Starting from a stone on the beach I reimagined each time I had walked it, and the people I have walked with over the years. One of my favourite times to date is the first time I took my children. I remember the first time I walked to the Old Man of Hoy as a child – it seemed never ending with my peedie legs. I imagined it as different lands – lush grass, spongy heather, jungles of ferns, giant rocks, and the top of the world.
Each time I walk it I think of how I felt as a child. It is magical.
I hope my kids felt the same.
Scarsa took a long time to paint, I was 36 when I finished it. Layer after layer of paint covering marks beneath, always changing until it felt as it was supposed to. It hangs in our sitting room and is my gift to myself.