The outer beauty of the St Kilda is secretly matched on a microscopic scale. For all the monumental drama of the ancient archipelago, there is a corresponding unseen dance of crystalline minerals, beautifully frozen in time by the fiery labours of the Eocene period.

This is a little painting, built up in tonal values, then details, and finished with a lick of gloss varnish in homage to the XPL thin section which revealed the gabbro’s inner splendour.

Olivine Gabbro

Kildan Olivine Gabbro

Acrylic on canvas, 220x135mm (2014)  PRIVATE COLLECTION

 

With grateful thanks to Oxford Earth Sciences for publishing the image of the original specimen. Please consider donating to their field teaching fund.

For an overview of the geology of St Kilda, visit this chapter in the revised nomination for World Heritage Site List.