13. Blackwaterfoot / Bun na Dubh-Abhainn
Listen to Gaelic translation
Blackwaterfoot, in the South-West of Arran, is perhaps the best place on the island to view the long sweep of the Kintyre peninsula across the Kilbrannan sound. On a clear day the hills of Antrim in Northern Ireland can just be made out on the horizon.
The most prominent feature in the village is the imposing Iron Age Drumadoon Fort, the largest example of its kind on Arran. It is also from here that the coastal walk can be made to King's Cave, the largest of a series found at the base of sandstone cliffs.
King's Cave is famously associated with the story of Robert the Bruce, however it is worth visiting to view the walls which are covered with early medieval carvings, including inscriptions in Ogham, Norse artwork and depcitions of animals.
Mary Nicol Neill Armour, RSA (1902 - 2000) was a landscape and still life painter, Royal Scottish Academician, and Honorary President of the Glasgow School of Art. She was married to William Armour (1903-1979) principal of the drawing and painting department at the school. Together with her husband she would help found the Milngavie Art Club in 1927, teach still life painting at GSA, and become vice president of The Paisley Art Institute.
Armour was known for her vibrant, colourful depictions of flowers as well as her dramatic seascapes and it was the coastlines of Arran that she was most drawn to. In particular it is the work she made at the coast around Blackwaterfoot for which she wished to be remembered.
After her eyesight began to fail in later life, Armour continued to be a tireless supporter of emerging artists, setting up a series of awards and prizes which continue to benefit young painters today. Uncompromising, she was one of the first women elected to the Royal Scottish Academy. Armour once remarked that painting for her was ''an intellectual pursuit…the thinking takes far more time than the actual manipulation of the oil paint.'