Exhibition in Gairloch

GALE CENTRE, GAIRLOCH,  29 October - 3rd December 2013

1. ‘Good Morning’: 70 x 70cm unframed:                                              £550
Most mornings a small fishing boat sets out from Isle Ewe. This is it, set into a downhill view from Mellon Charles. I have tried in this painting to capture the might, the majestry, the timelessness and the beauty of loch and land contrasted with the relative insignificance of Man.

2. ‘Fast water 3’: 70 x 70 cm and frame                                                            £650
I wanted to paint this (based on the Gruinard river) as a background to a leaping salmon or possibly the multi-coloured flash of a kingfisher. However my wife told me in no uncertain terms, ‘Enough; the water is the painting all by itself.’ I think she was right. This is the third of three Fast Water oil paintings.

3. ‘Sunset over Aultbea and Loch Ewe from above the pier’: NFS  
Painted on commission, awaiting collection and therefore not for sale. I have been given permission to exhibit it by the owner. As its title suggests I did the original sketches late last summer sitting in the passenger seat of my car, door open, at the viewpoint above the NATO oil tanks and pier. Apart from this finished painting, the thing I remember most are those perishing midges!

4. ‘Stac Polly’: 70 x 70 cm unframed:                                                    £550
When I’m painting I will invariably think about the history or the topography-  or at least something about my subject. I will then turn such thoughts into verse. In this case… ’Here is a mountain, unchanging, saw toothed, / reaching for an ever changing Assynt sky; / a distant dare to those who would endure, / or may enjoy the hardships of this ‘wilderness’   ///    She rises from her rain-soaked moorland bed / by day a curve of greens, rock-greys; by night / black bitch-face howling at the yellow moon: / carved by that last great icy age, it’s said / that scraped north Scotland down to lesser height / left skyline jagged like some bagpipe’s tune   ///    From Polly’s crest you’ll see the silver sea / across whose puny waves lie Hebrides: / look down upon those many shining lochs / breathe purest air where all things rest in peace.’

5. ‘Northern Lights’: 70 x 50 cm unframed:                                                      £450
The aurora borealis phenomenon appears but rarely in our winter skies, but when it does! … in fact we’ve seen it only four times over our twelve winters here in Wester-Ross. However there have certainly been other appearances, probably as we sit by our fireside watching some meaningless TV with all the curtains drawn! I  wonder how our Highlands ancestors would have reacted to these magical curtains of multi-coloured light.

6. ‘Lochan na Ba Caolila’: 70 x 70 cm and frame:                                £650
‘Lochan of the thin white cow.’ Nobody local I’ve spoken with knows the derivation of that ‘thin white cow’. But most know well this little water, situated road-side a mile or so north of Poolewe. Liberally sprinkled with white waterlilies and with its rhododendron covered dome of an islet it truly is a jewelled of a wee lochan.

7. ‘Red wine and grapes’: 60 x 80 cm unframed:                                              £500
8. ‘White wine and an apple’: 60 x 80 cm unframed:                             £500
9. ‘Coffee at the Café Blue’: 60 x 80 cm unframed:                             £500
I’ve created very few still life paintings. But I reckon a painting has, in the main, to do two things for its viewer apart from immediate appeal or one’s appreciation of the artist’s technical skill. (1) It has to say something other than the simple depiction and (2) it has to ask a question of the viewer - not necessarily an answerable question.

10. ‘Plockton in Summertime’: 75 x 45 cm and frame:                                     £525
I did my sketch for this leaning on the old stone wall by the sea, opposite Edmund Mackenzie’s Plockton Gift Shop. This is my second painting from that viewpoint, the first having been created in pastels six years ago entitled ‘Plockton in Wintertime’. Like so many others I first heard of Plockton through the TV series Hamish MacBeth. It’s a not-so-old village established for the fishing and now for the tourism. Beautiful.

11. Above Ardessie Falls, Dundonnell: 25 x 30 cm: unframed:                       £130
We climbed up with our dogs from the roadside at Ardessie, near Dundonnell to a place above the Falls. That’s Little Loch Broom below. I was fascinated by the play of peaty water over rock and boulder, thought about how it’s all part of that eternal cycle … salt seawater … evaporation … cloud …  rain … fresh water … downhill into mother sea … back again, and again, and again ….

12. Lochan of the thin white cow), near Poolewe: 25 x 30 cm: unframed £130
This is a smaller version from a different angle (compared with # 6) of my favourite little jewel of a lochan.

13. Looking over Gairloch: 25 x 30 cm: unframed: £130
I sketched this from the viewpoint by the war memorial in Gairloch. The shafts of sunlight through dense dark cloud presented a sort of cathedral effect over the scene of my first fishing exploits in our small boat, towed up all the way from England’s south coast back in 1973.

14. Self portrait with Beaujolais 2006: NFS
No comment!

15. Copy: The Fall of Rome? NFS
In my early twenties I purchased a ‘how to paint’ book and some books of works by the great masters. By copying I taught myself the technique and something about the use of colour and composition, working mostly after the children had gone to bed and deep into the night. This was amongst my first results. I have completely forgotten who painted the original, perhaps Carravagio? Probably about two metres wide, hanging in some famous gallery!

Enjoy the pictures and your day and the GALE Centre. Cheers!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.