Iona October series – work in progress 2

More work on the October Iona series, these are for the Resipole Gallery in Acharacle on the west coast of Scotland, and the Limetree Gallery in Bristol.

This is my fourth day on Iona and I’m settling in to something resembling a routine. I’m exploring ways to capture the chaotic energy of October – the feeling that everything is in tumult and change, it’s unsettling or refreshing depending on mood.

I find it’s characterised best in paint by loose brushwork, waves, clouds and birds to suggest wind direction and energy.

So although I’d imagined painting wintry monochrome skies I’m now focussed on the lines and shapes of rocks and waves.

It was a beautiful day today – biting cold north wind and ever-changing light, very bright, with a final blast of icy hail.

Here’s a fragment of writing by Adomnan (monk who lived on Iona in the 7th century) …


‘Stop bailing now!’

He commanded

In a storm.

‘Be still and pray.’

The holy man

Stood in the prow,

Raising his hands,

And as they began

To understand,

So, slowly,

The storm

Passed away.

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