Caught by the River

Brighter Later

Brian David Stevens | 16th March 2012

2. Aberdeenshire

Brighter Later is a journey around the British Isles looking outward from the coastline of each county

I’m on top of a cliff in Aberdeenshire, about halfway between Stonehaven and Catterline. It’s freezing.

Catterline is where Joan Eardley produced many of her famous works, she would ride a motorcycle from her home in Glasgow to The Watchie (The Watchman’s Cottage) to paint. At Catterline she produced seascapes, often showing the same view but in different light and weather conditions, often working outdoors and often in poor weather. Eardley became the focus of the “Catterline School” of artists, a group who were increasingly drawn to the village during the 1950s and who included Annette Soper, Angus Neil and Lil Neilson. If you ever find yourself there I recommend the Creel Inn also perched on the cliff top.

Stonehaven was the birthplace of Robert William Thomson, inventor of the pneumatic tyre and the fountain pen, of journalist James Murdoch and Lord Reith of Stonehaven, first Director-General of the BBC and was also a holiday retreat of the poet, Robert Burns.

Stonehaven is also the home of the great Scottish cliche the deep fried mars bar invented in 1995 in the Haven Chip Bar, don’t look for it it’s not there anymore (well it is but it’s called the Carron now).

Brian David Stevens