Ben Aketil

Diana Mackie

Diana Mackie is a painter who has recently made her first film combining her dramatic landscapes with music, dance and poetry. She joined one of the Step It Up Highland groups on the first of the twenty-five walks in the series.

A group of thirteen walkers met at the Fairy Bridge, the entrance to the Waternish peninsular. A car share was quickly organised to take us to the start of one of the forestry roads near Edinbane at the base of Ben Aketil.

A perfect walking day, light breeze and mild.

Artist and Step it Up Highland Walk Leader on the Fairy Bridge

The group’s walk leader Madeline Jones was accompanied by Rosie Somerville who introduced herself and the role ATLAS plays on Skye, she invited me to explain a little about my artistic background.

Having done that I suggested we should consider the phrase Take a closer look’ and its implications.

I gave the group a mount with an oval window for them to consider a more selected observation rather than walking in the landscape taking in everything.

Take a closer look”

We looked at the benefits of a composition using the mount as a portrait and landscape window. An infinity composition and then the striking contrast of placing the mount on the ground to study a group of stones and a clump of daises.

I encouraged the group to look closely at the seed heads of various grasses and the delicate structure and colours of the simple daisy.

I had collected a small bunch of grasses for closer examination with my magnifying glass. These were duly passed around among the group.

The walk concluded over a well deserved delicious selection of cakes scones teas and coffee at the Edinbane Inn.

CÒIG SGIATHAN | FIVE WINGS – is a series of 25 walks with artists. The programme runs from June to October.

It is part of Tha Seo Math Dhuibh | Good For You, in collaboration with the Aros Centre in Portree.