Archive for October, 2016

The Pagan of Scoughall

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

The Pagan of Scoughall

Oil on Canvas 30 x 20 inches. This painting is from the beach at Seacliff. Auldhame and Scoughall sit above on the cliffs. That’s the ruin of Tantallan Castle in the background.

This information is from the Wiki on Scoughall – “In 1919, John Robert Dale bought the estate of Seacliff, Scoughall and Auldhame after being tenant farmer of Scoughall since 1848, and Auldhame since 1834. The three estates remain to this day in the ownership of the Dale family. The novelist Robert Louis Stevenson was related to John Robert Dale and spent several boyhood holidays at Scoughall. It was here in front of the farmhouse fire that the young Stevenson first heard the story of how folks in these parts on dark stormy nights, when winds used to lash the coast, lured sailing ships onto the rocks by displaying misleading lantern lights.

The ‘Pagans of Scoughall’ had the worst of reputations. They were said to tie a horse’s neck to its knee and attach a lantern to the rope, then drive the horse slowly along the cliffs, so that a vessel out at sea would think it a ship riding at anchor, and come in, only to be wrecked on the rocky reef known as the Great Car and be plundered by the ghoulish people. These tales gave Stevenson the idea for his story ‘The Wreckers’. Stevenson also wrote in his novel ‘Catriona‘ (sequel to Kidnapped) of the ‘lights of Scoughall’ and purposely put ‘Tam Dale’ in charge of the prisoners on the Bass Rock.”

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The Pagan of Scoughall

Monday, October 17th, 2016

The Pagan of Scoughall - Head Study

This is a detail from my “Pagan of Scoughall” painting, Oil on Canvas 30 x 20 inches.

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