I’m back in Edinburgh now, missing the fresh air and various happenings on Eigg. As mentioned in previous blogs (Day Two and Day Three on Eigg) it was somewhat tricky uploading and blogging from my phone with an intermittent connection, but I also really felt I couldn’t do justice to my trip. It’s been a fascinating and stimulating time – there was very much a sense of contrast with my earlier trip in April – more people, more vegetation, much more going on..
I’ll be posting more paintings in the next few days, also some lovely footage of Gaelic singing by moonlight, among other videos.
The two paintings above were made in Laig Bay on Monday. A slightly surreal day, with a herd of cattle roaming the beach against the backdrop of the mountains of Rum, also Atzi Muramatsu playing cello. It got slightly windy so I built a fire, which all added to the idyllic outdoor studio setting. I was painting in black ink and have never in all my time as an artist managed to do so without the resulting black ink drenched hands! Afterwards we dropped in to say hello to Lucy Conway after our creative beach session (Lucy runs Eigg Box, which I wrote about in my April Eigg blog Painting No. 5 )
The sketches/paintings above are of a ship called the Leader which is cruising around the inner Hebrides with geologists, writers artists and musicians on board. The trip re-creates the journey made by geologist Hugh Miller in the summer of 1844. Among other things Hugh Miller discovered the bones of a Plesiosaurs on the north coast of Eigg.
I had no idea this fascinating historical journey coincided with my trip, and I discovered more when we were invited on to the geology day trip around the island on Sunday. Eigg is a truly extraordinary island from a geologist’s perspective, well, from any perspective, and our Sunday walk was enhanced with stories by Prof John Hudson, an expert on the geology of the small isles , also stories about past inhabitants by local historian Camille Dressler (interviewed in April’s Eigg blog in ‘Paintings No. 38 and 39’ )
As John Hudson mentioned during the geology trip on Sunday – Eigg’s landscape changes radically, evoking epic Norse sagas, when you climb out of Cleadale and over into the north end of Eigg.
In the photos below you can see the dramatic change from the gentle valley and sandy beaches of Cleadale to the dramatic rocky coastlines of the North end of Eigg…