Sir William Gillies

Skye Hills from near Morar (About 1931)

About this artwork

Travelling around the Scottish Highlands on painting trips in the 1930s, Gillies found watercolour to be the ideal medium for producing quick and atmospheric paintings. Much influenced by organising an exhibition of Edvard Munch’s paintings in Edinburgh in 1931, his landscapes of this period contain an emotional response to the subject matter not previously present in his work. Here, the distinctive rugged outline of the Cullin Hills in the background is set against a patchwork of luminous blues and greens of the sea and sky to suggest changing weather and shifting light conditions. Using the slightest of brushstrokes to suggest waves, ripples and rocks, Gillies was able to painting quickly to capture the essence of the scene and could produce several paintings each day.