Tag Archives: Cleadale Eigg

50 Paintings of Eigg Series No. 29 and No. 30

Eigg Series No. 29. Acrylic on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series No. 29. Acrylic on 5×5″ wood

Eigg Series No. 30. Acrylic on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series No. 30. Acrylic on 5×5″ wood

P1110290 P1110291Two paintings today of houses beneath the Cleadale cliffs on Eigg’s West Coast. I’m beginning to really love these cliffs and their colours!


My plan is to create 50 paintings by the 29th, so I’ll be painting two per day until I’m up to date with them, having missed a few while on holiday. Also if you’d like to buy two paintings I’ll take £5 off (making that £85 for two paintings).

The cliffs of Cleadale are made of volcanic rock or plateaus formed by outpourings of lava, but they’re not as resilient as the volcanic pitchstone of the Sgurr (see post 14 about the Sgurr of Eigg) so the cliffs are crumbling at a faster rate, and apparently on a quiet day you can hear them crumbling. I asked Lucy Conway’s partner Eddie about this and if it made living under the cliffs a little ominous, he answered wisely ‘well, everything’s crumbling gradually isn’t it?’.

Hmm, all of us included I suppose! – but the cliffs of Cleadale do crumble with style, and I think I’ll be painting these on a much larger scale for upcoming exhibitions.

Incidentally, I won’t be posting every day after the 29th May, so if you’d like to receive up-dates about paintings and upcoming exhibitions (readers here are most welcome to attend private views of these) feel free to follow this blog: The ‘Follow’ button is at the top of this page on the left.

After the 29th, it’s going to feel strange not posting every day, but I will post regular updates re’ the continuing Eigg project, new paintings and shows..

Here’s a photo of Edinburgh’s stormy sky today – just before thunder and lightning struck!



50 Paintings of Eigg Series No. 27

Eigg Series No. 27. Acrylic on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series No. 27. Acrylic on 5×5″ wood

P1110227Today’s painting – a house nestling beneath the cliffs of Cleadale on Eigg’s West Coast. Painted in acrylic with palette knife



Now, a little while ago, I mentioned my friend who accompanied me to Eigg and adopted a rock from the Singing Sands, so today I’m pleased to introduce you to both Donald Ferguson and his rock

donald 1

Rose: Donald, thank you for sharing your excellent photographs with us today and for creating a video (below) for which you’ve created a brief soundtrack, firstly can you tell us a little about that?

Donald: The recorded sounds are from http://noosphere.princeton.edu/onepage.html which is a Princeton physics experiment to do with global consciousness.

R: What drew you to the rock in Singing Sands Bay?

D: It’s amazing! Its two halves, its holes, its weight, shape and all-round rockness. That the holes link up to enable it to be hung is a later discovery which adds to its amazingness.


Photo by Donald Ferguson

R: Do you feel a personal connection to the rock?

D: Although I’ve named and gendered the boulder (Petre – he was almost going to be called Trevor after the bassist in the Spiders from Mars) I don’t think of it as human, so there isn’t really a personal connection. It’s more an aesthetic, kinetic thing.

Petre at home

Petre by Donald Ferguson

R: It strikes me that around 20 million years ago, Petre would have been formed from the sandstone plateau that forms the most ancient rock formations of the Isle of Eigg, so in effect (and without being too dramatic) you’ve wrested him from the bosom of his forbears where he had so far resided undisturbed for millennia, how do you feel about that?

D: I do feel a bit bad about re-siting it and so depriving people the chance of experiencing it in its original setting. I might take it back one day, and meanwhile it is being experienced in new ways by a different audience. I like to see myself as a custodian more than a thief/owner.

R: What does Petre add to your life back in Edinburgh? Do you sit and watch him in the evenings and if so how does that compare to TV?

D: Opening the curtains in the morning gives it an energy input, and when I return, showered, to sit with coffee for ten minutes before leaving the house it’s still gently oscillating, which is strangely calming/reassuring.

R: Thanks for sharing your creations with us today Donald, I think the video is oddly compelling, and the photographs are truly wonderful. If any readers are interested in prints of these do let me know..

P1150418 P1150391 P1150330


50 Paintings of Eigg Series. No 5

Eigg Series. No 5. Acrylic on 5x5 inch wood

Eigg Series. No 5. Acrylic on 5×5 inch wood



Today’s painting – the misty and dramatic aspect of cliffs behind Cleadale, a small settlement on the West Coast of Eigg near Laig Bay and the Singing Sands. Painted in acrylic with pallete knife.

Crofters have lived here for generations, and later in this series I’ll include some archival photos of Eigg’s past inhabitants and their way of life.

Today thoughLucy Conway , as we’re in Cleadale, I’d like to introduce you to one of Cleadale’s present-day inhabitants; Lucy Conway, the visionary founder of ‘Eigg Box’.

I first heard about Eigg Box two years ago while chatting with a friend about my love of the West Coast islands, my friend asked if I’d heard of Eigg Box, and after quick online search I discovered the website – http://www.eiggbox.com/ and signed up to the Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/EiggBox

I was entranced by daily posts of Eigg’s beautiful landscape (which previously I’d only seen from the mainland shore of Arisaig) and intrigued with the many arts projects taking place. Then, a year later, Lucy invited artists in Edinburgh to join in on a discussion of the future of an art centre to be built on Eigg and I was of course glad of the opportunity to become involved

We all met at Edinburgh’s Out of the Blue arts complex where we pored over architect’s plans for the Eigg Box art centre, and shared ideas about what makes a space ideal for artists – communal space to share ideas, quiet space to think and create, how to make the best use of light and how to deal with waste from art materials

Not lLucy's house in Cleadaleong after this I contacted Lucy to ask about staying on Eigg, then met up again when I arrived on the island. Lucy invited us to their wonderful house at the foot of the cliffs at Cleadale (designed and built by Lucy and Eddie over three years) where we received a glass of wine and a warm welcome while Lucy brought us up to date with plans for Eigg Box.

There’s a lot happening and it’s very inspiring; for the last 18 months Eigg Box has been providing a programme of training and mentoring opportunities for local creative businesses to develop their business and creative skills in parallel with a series of community focused events and workshops.

Eigg Box has also provided opportunities for visiting artists and arts organisations such as as Bodysurf (dance), DevFort (digital) and The Bothy Project (individual artist residencies) to come to the island to work. (I’ll be featuring more about the Bothy project on Eigg later in the series and my first acquaintance beneath the twilit cliffs with Sweeney himself!)

Sweeney's bothy, Eigg

Sweeney’s bothy at Cleadale, Eigg






Practical on-the-ground projects such as these, along with on and off island consultation and pragmatic research, have provided a wealth of information and helped build a strong case for an Eigg Box building.

Eigg Box will be a new eco-build with workshop, studio and workspace for island creative businesses and visiting artists to share. For island artists, sharing the space with visitors brings new perspectives, skills and opportunities to collaborate, while visiting artists benefit from the knowledge and expertise the island artists have of Eigg.

Time spent as a visiting artist-in-residence can motivate, transform and inspire creative practice and bring new skills and perspective to the local community. Both offer Eigg a new way to share what it has with the rest of the world.

Powered by renewable energy, featuring the best in low carbon design and with mindful day-to-day resource management practice at its core, Eigg Box will be a focus for how environmental sustainability can be at the heart of the creative industries and business practice.

Myself and many other artists look forward to seeing the Eigg Box art centre project come to full fruition as an art centre and arts residency space. It’s exactly what’s needed for the island and for the many artists who live there or visit.

You can also contribute too, with your thoughts and ideas on what Eigg Box could mean to you. Sign up for a newsletter, or get in touch with Lucy to let her know what you think or ask questions HERE.