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  • Writer's pictureDanny McShane

Look.. a Squirrel....!

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

or "The distractions of plein air painting".

I was planning to paint a quiet picture of the old Capstan at Skate's Nose jetty on the south side of Aberdeen Harbour entrance channel.

I'd just finished the foreground and the capstan itself when the orange Normand Falnes made me jump when she came silently up the channel behind me... and on the spur of the moment I tried to catch it in the pic. I can't paint this fast!! The orange messy boat on the left is where the Falnes got to by the time I'd sketched her from memory. Anyhoo, it became an exercise in trying to paint the rest of my scene more loosely! Lessons have been learned - I quite liked the foreground so might paint a boat here again :o)

Skate’s Nose Jetty & Capstan This roughly hewn granite rubble jetty dates from circa 1796. The rusty capstan is the only surviving of 10 said to have been in use. Before tugboats, sailing vessels had difficulty entering the harbour. The capstan is a form of winch with holes for long poles. Manned by teams of about a dozen labourers, who wound the capstan using ropes to pull ships into port. Once inside the harbour, which was then a much wider tidal basin, they could safely anchor or moor at quaysides.

The Plan...

The 'Squirrel"...

The result...

Bockingford 140lb CP in a block 16x12" ( I paint to the edges) #marine zxqxz

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