Iona October series in progress, day 4

‘Pisces Moon. Isle of Iona, October’. Mixed media on 10×10″ wood panel. Rose Strang 2018

Another bright and sunny day, though freezing and windy.

It made me work with extra energy in the studio, just to keep warm. Here they are so far, some in progress ..


I’m now happy with ‘Pisces Moon’ (at the top of this post) which has more depth, and something of the weird opalescent colours and mood I saw that evening last week.

I’d heard the full moon was in Pisces and forgot about it. Then about 5:45 after feeling quite agitated I decided to get on my boots and coat and despite the blustery rain, walk down to the north beach, which is just a few minutes walk away from the hostel.

I was immediately soothed and entranced by the way early evening light played on the sea, which seemed to be in a slow motion tumult, lit by diffused, misty pale greens and lavender.

Then I remembered that the moon entered the constellation of Pisces at precisely 5:45, and I suppose this fed in to my wish to create a painting that captures all of that. I always fall short of what I want to achieve, and usually the paintings that really work are those I’m not so invested in, it makes me more free with paint and brushwork – some people prefer a photo-realistic look, I don’t, but anyway, at least I’ve captured a bit of the mood and colour of that evening.

It’s interesting to experience the tides of people here at the hostel too, depending on mood it’s enjoyable, or not!

Being a fairly introverted person at times, I was concerned I’d feel as though I was stuck in the ‘Big Brother’ house with nowhere to run! Not so, thankfully. I’m very happy to have met some folks here..

Such as Mary McCormick, who’s staying for the duration of my time here. Mary’s nomadic life is admirable, I empathise with her wish to travel and experience new places, since I too get restless within a week of being back home, but I know it’s also a challenge to not have the luxury of a permanent base to return to every so often to unwind and do your own thing. Maybe that’s why Mary’s easy to be around, grounded and friendly while quite self contained in a good way.

After painting today, I bumped into Mary at St Columba hotel and we visited St Oran’s. Chapel ( the oldest intact building on the island, 11th cent.) I love those cloud-like shapes in the wall plaster.





Also, I really enjoyed meeting fellow travellers Marcus and Mary. Here they are (below) on the hostel communal sofa. Excellent people – Marcus very warm and humorous, Mary also fun and convivial, with the added bonus of a beautiful singing voice – they’re  missed!

On Halloween, or Samhain, the hostel staff plan a get together around the stove in the art studio/byre. I look forward to that.

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