Author Archives: rosestrang

About rosestrang

Artist, Painter

'Water of Leith. 6'. Oil on 7x5" wood. Rose Strang, May 2020

Painting in oils

I’ve been hugely enjoying this new series in oils, featuring studies of the Water of Leith, Edinburgh’s river which flows from the Pentland Hills down to the shore at Leith. This series is still in progress and there will be around ten paintings, some diptyques.

The water of Leith always has a rich, peaty colour, which looks so beautiful in contrast with the colours of May. I wanted to capture the dewy light and light rain-showers. During lockdown I’ve had to focus on local landscape in Edinburgh. but the light has had a crystal clarity (less pollution maybe) that’s been inspiring.

I usually paint in acrylics as it’s quicker (drying time) but with more time on my hands these past few months I’ve been able to experiment with oils and I love it! I think the received wisdom is that oils are more difficult, but I find them easier in many ways, especially on this small scale.

The paint has a flow and intensity of pigment that gives immediately more luminous, deep or subtle effects and I realise that a lot of my time painting acrylics is in making the paint surface look better – with more depth or texture etc. In future, if I want texture or impasto I’ll probably start with acrylics, wait for it to dry then paint surface colours in oil. (All very tedious information for the non-painter maybe!)

It’s good practice for my upcoming seascape commission in which I want both texture and subtle watery effects. I’ll post more on that soon. In the meantime I’ll be posting updates on this series.

The ‘Water of Leith’ series will be available from the Limetree Gallery when the series is finished, which should be by mid-June – I’ll clarify the date when I know. So if you like the look of these paintings and would like to reserve one,

you can contact the Limetree Gallery through their website Here

 

 

'Traigh Bhan. Early Evening. Iona'. Mixed media on 12x12 inch wood board. Rose Strang 2020

Traigh Ban Series

'Traigh Bhan. Waves. Iona'. Mixed media on 12x12 inch wood board. Rose Strang 2020

‘Traigh Bhan. Waves. Iona’. Mixed media on 12×12 inch wood board. Rose Strang 2020

'Traigh Bhan, Turquoise. Iona'. Mixed media on 12x12 inch wood board. Rose Strang 2020

‘Traigh Bhan. Turquoise Sea. Iona’. Mixed media on 12×12 inch wood board. Rose Strang 2020

Above, the completed series of ‘Traigh Ban, Iona’. Traigh Ban is Scottish Gaelic for ‘white strand’ and is pronounced ‘try ban’. It’s the stretch of beach at the north-east end of the Isle of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland. (Set as featured image at the top is Traigh Ban, Early Evening. Iona.)

I’ve painted Iona many times in the past few years, most recently during a winter artist’s residency in 2018. It’s an island famed for its religious history and its particular beauty. That’s a somewhat anodyne sounding statement, so to be more expressive – when I’m there I often feel that the colours are too luminous to be real – everything looks like a ridiculously beautiful  painting – it feels in a way superfluous to paint it, until you realise photography doesn’t capture it.

When the Limetree Gallery asked me for paintings for their summer exhibition, Iona was my first choice. I can’t be there this year as planned due to lockdown, but you can be sure it’s the first place I’ll visit when it’s possible. I had planned an arts project there this year with my partner (an animator, watercolourist and musician) and Devo, a filmmaker from New York, so these paintings are a bit of therapy for me in the meantime! We’d hoped to respond to the island’s beauty, atmosphere and history in numerous ways, so I hope that will go ahead in the not too distant future.

They’ll be available from the Limetree Gallery soon, but if you’re interested in reserving one, you can contact them from their website on this link – Limetree Gallery.

The gallery (and its partner gallery in Long Melford Suffolk) is owned and run by Sue and Stephen – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with them over the years. We’ve had fun times and interesting conversations whenever there’s been a chance to meet in person, so as I’m currently enjoying an early evening gin and tonic I’ll raise a glass to Sue and Stephen –  long may your galleries continue to show and sell great work!

'Traigh Bhan Nam Monach. Iona'. Mixed media on 12x12 inch wood board. Rose Strang 2020

New paintings for the Limetree Gallery

'Sanna Sundown'. Mixed media on 12x12 inch wood board. Rose Strang 2020

In progress. ‘Sanna Sundown’ and at  top – Traigh Bhan Nam Monach, Iona

Today’s paintings in progress for the Limetree Gallery, Bristol. Traigh Bhan Nam Monach, Iona is complete. Sanna Sundown needs a bit more work. ‘Traigh Bhan Nam Monach’ means ‘white strand of the monks’.

How much would I like to be on that beach on Iona right now! I’d planned an arts project with my partner and a filmmaker from New York which would have been happening this month. (Sigh). Painting that crystal-clear turquoise sea was therapy anyway!

I went very loose and ‘painterly’ with these as I think that will work well for the Limetree Gallery. The brushwork is very spontaneous with just a few areas of detailed focus – it makes the eye work more and Limetree art buyers seem to enjoy this painterly approach that lets the viewer see more of the artist’s hand in the brushwork.

Needless to say, I enjoyed painting them and I’m happy with Iona, once I had that little sun-lit ripple at the bottom I was pretty much finished. I like the freshness of these and look forward to completing Sanna and another painting, tomorrow.

'North Berwick, Summer'. Mixed media on 18x18" wood panel. Rose Strang 2020. (NFS, Private Commission).

Finished Commission – North Berwick

Above: North Berwick, Summer. Mixed media on 18×18″ wood. Rose Strang 2020 (NFS, private commission).

I finally completed this private commission today and it will be winging its way to a new home soon!

The painting shows part of the headland past the town of North Berwick on the east coast of Scotland on a summer’s day in August.

This is one of my (and my family’s) favourite places to be. Though it’s just about thirty miles from Edinburgh, it always feels quite ‘away from it all’, the rocks are beautiful and as a kid it was heaven to play here, as an adult too!

The person who commissioned me works in a hospital, so I hope this painting is uplifting during a stressful time for folks in the NHS. Having said that, I hear that the non-Covid wards are not busy since everyone’s too scared to go into hospital for fear of either catching Covid or placing more strain on the NHS.

Below – a few photos showing some of the development of the painting. The challenge was capturing that lovely curve where sea meets land, also the dry August grass. The sea was not so much of a challenge once I’d toned down the rather too bright turquoise. You’d see bright turquoise on the west coast of Scotland but not the east coast!

The final touch was a lot of gesso splashed – it gives a sense of atmosphere and messing up a postcard-like view makes it more real – the way the eye sees in real life with peripheral vision and sun in our eyes, changing weather and so on.

It was both a challenge and a delight to paint, a big thank you to the person who commissioned this for giving me a really nice project during lockdown!

 

Art during Lockdown

Life goes on during lockdown!

At the moment I’m about to begin a private painting commission of North Berwick which I hugely look forward to. Deliveries are slow just now though so I’m awaiting new paints before I begin.

Exhibitions planned for this year will still go ahead virtually at least!

Here’s a list of current and upcoming exhibitions, also galleries showing my work on their websites.

EXHIBITIONS

2020

'Labyrinth'. Mixed media on 7.5 x 5.5. inch wood. Rose Strang, April 2020

‘Labyrinth’. Mixed media on 7.5 x 5.5. inch wood. Rose Strang, April 2020

March 19 – (end of lockdown?) Postcard From … Group exhibition. ‘Postcard From …’ was created as a response to Covid19, more than 80 artist members of the SSA (Society of Scottish Artists) are presenting their smaller works on this Facebook group page. All works £50 or less. Browse artworks on this link: Postcard From …

 

 

 

 

'Postcard From ... mY Livingroom. Covid19'. Mixed media on 3x3 inch wood block. Rose Strang 2019. £38

‘Postcard From my Livingroom’. Mixed media on 3×3 inch wood block. Rose Strang, March 2020. £38

May 20th to June 3rd. Postcard From … Projectroom2020. Created by Art North editor Ian McKay, Projectroom2020 is a response to Covid19 – comprising a virtual, multi-disciplinary gallery including several ‘floors’ and a cinema this virtual exhibition presents work by some of Scotland and Scandinavia’s most talented artists. Selected works from ‘Postcard From …’ will be on virtual exhibition in the cinema foyer from May 8th. In the meantime, have a browse on this link … Projectroom2020

 

 

GALLERIES

Covid19 means that offline exhibitions will be cancelled, however most galleries are continuing to show these online, read on for more information and links …

‘Dawn, Ardtoe’. Mixed media on 14×11″ wood panel. Rose Strang, 2019. £495

Limetree Gallery, Bristol. Search my artist’s page on the Limetree Gallery website on this link: Limetree, Rose Strang

 

 

 

 

‘Sanna Bay, dusk’. Mixed media on 14×11″ wood panel. Rose Strang, 2019. £550

Morningside Gallery, Edinburgh. Search my artist’s page on this link: Morningside Gallery, Rose Strang

 

 

 

 

‘Sanna Bay Sea’. Mixed media on 20×16″ wood board. Rose Strang 2019. £595

Resipole Gallery, Acharacle, Scotland. Resipole, Rose Strang

'Labyrinth'. Mixed media on 7.5 x 6.5 inches. Rose Strang, April 2020

Labyrinth

Today’s painting – Labyrinth. Mixed media on 7.5 x 5.5 wood. Rose Strang 2020.

(side view) ‘Labyrinth’. Mixed media on 7.5 x 6.5 inches. Rose Strang, April 2020

This painting will feature as part of the up-coming exhibition on projectroom2020, set up by Art North (edited by Ian McKay) which goes live tonight at 7pm on this webpage: projectroom2020

I painted this as a response to the current situation. Whatever your thoughts about what’s caused it, how to deal with it, the lockdown and whether it’s being dealt with in the right way or not, there’s no doubt it’s pretty bewildering, hence the labyrinth from a window.

It’s a painting from a photo I took a few years ago from a window in Traquair House in the borders of Scotland. The labyrinth was actually extremely difficult to work out – it’s a strange experience – as I remember it – humbling for my friend and I, as we grew ever more exhausted and frustrated!

 

The view is tranquil though. Spring is here, we have quiet and solitude, less pollution and time to meditate on life. I don’t doubt how hard it is for most people to feel calm though – we don’t know what’s going to happen, for most of us the future financial situation is daunting. I can’t distill this experience just now, so this painting simply says something about my feelings at the moment.

This painting will feature as part of the up-coming exhibition on Project Room 2020 as part of  Postcard From …  a facebook group I set up to bring artists together during Covid19

Wishing everyone the very best of health and happiness!

'Aberlady Dunes'. Mixed media on 30x30 inch wood panel. Rose Strang April 2020. (Private Commission, NFS).

New Commission – ‘Aberlady’

Above, my new commission, painted for a friend – Aberlady Dunes. Mixed media on 30×30 inch wood panel. Rose Strang April 2020. (Private Commission, NFS).

I wanted the feel of walking towards the sea through tufty marram grass, sunlight traveling towards you. There’s the sense of changing weather – a soft sky that might rain a little, or break up into glorious sunshine.

This image shows scale …

(To show scale)' Aberlady Dunes'. Mixed media on 30x30 inch wood panel. Rose Strang April 2020. (Private Commission, NFS).

(To show scale)’ Aberlady Dunes’. Mixed media on 30×30 inch wood panel. Rose Strang April 2020. (Private Commission, NFS).

Like many self employed artists, I’m thinking ahead to how I might sell work when this year’s exhibitions won’t be going ahead due to the Covid pandemic. I’d prefer to live by selling artworks, not by applying for Universal Credit.

Not only does it seem the government is not prepared for the millions of freelancers out there, I’d want to see those who need it most being the first recipients of benefits.

 

 

 

Who knows how long we’ll be in lockdown? I have time to paint so if you’d like a painting that captures your favourite landscape, feel free to commission me to paint something for you, whether it’s a few inches big, or up to several feet! I usually charge a third of the payment up front, then the rest when a client is happy with the work. Email me on rose.strang@gmail.com if you’d like to chat about a possible commission.

The photos below show some of the process of painting ‘Aberlady’.

Keep well folks! X

'Aberlady' in progress. Rose Strang 2020

1. ‘Aberlady’ in progress. Rose Strang 2020

2. 'Aberlady' in progress. Rose Strang 2020

2. ‘Aberlady’ in progress. Rose Strang 2020

3. 'Aberlady' in progress. Rose Strang 2020

3. ‘Aberlady’ in progress. Rose Strang 2020

4 'Aberlady' in progress. Rose Strang 2020

4 ‘Aberlady’ in progress. Rose Strang 2020