Tag Archives: Eigg Island

Ideas gathering pace..

P1190480I enjoyed a most inspiring meet-up today with JL Williams and Atzi Muramatsu at the Scottish Storyrtelling Centre.

Jen and Atzi are planning a performance and music collaboration, to be performed against the backdrop of paintings. Also part of Atzi’s string quartet, inspired by the fossil-filled cliffs of Eigg, will be performed, which will relate to the painting I’m working on at the moment called ‘North’.

This interplay between music, poetry and painting is what I find rewarding about collaborating – it offers an atmospheric, layered experience, drawing out imaginative or emotional associations between each of the works. And, as always, it’s a pleasure to work with Jen and Atzi.

The first painting P1190481should be finished by Wednesday next week, which I’ll post here. On the whole, all aspects are going really well – I’m now beginning to really look forward to the 26th March!

Don’t forget you can book tickets here – https://www.facebook.com/events/368794979959904/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcomingOr you can pay at the door on the evening.


5 Paintings – September Eigg Series

Below are five paintings which I began on Eigg on the 8th September (I’ve added a little information below each painting). This small series was part of a short trip to Eigg, to research ideas and to chat to people about the exhibition planned for next year at the Scottish Storytelling Centre in March.

They were painted in situ at Laig Bay on the west coast of Eigg, a beautiful day without rain. Later on it was slightly chilly so we lit a fire (some fire ash and sand was added here and there to the sketches!).


A herd of cattle grazed on the sand, looking slightly incongruous with the epic backdrop of the mountains of Rum behind, as was cello-playing by composer Atzi Muramatsu who accompanied me to the island – how often do you have a cello accompaniment at the beach?! (If funding goes ahead for next year’s project I’ll be able to commission Atzi and poet Jennifer L Williams to create new work in response to Eigg. You can read more about their work Here)

The paintings below are all available to buy as originals, or as prints so let me know if you’d like more information about them by emailing rose.strang@gmail.com

You can read about the four day trip, walks across the island, meeting poets, artists, singers and geologists on these previous posts –

Day two on Eigg     Day three on Eigg      September Series 1

September Series 2    September Series 3

'September  2014 Eigg Series. No. 1' Ink and varnish on 5x5" wood

‘September 2014 Eigg Series. No. 1’ Ink and varnish on 5×5″ wood. ‘No 1’. This is a sketch and colour wash of St Donan’s church in the vallery of Cleadale on the west coast of Eigg. It’s 100 years old and was recently refurbished. You can read more about the church  –Here

'September  2014 Eigg Series. No. 2' Ink and varnish on 5x5 wood"

‘September 2014 Eigg Series. No. 2’ Ink and varnish on 5×5 wood”. This is a sketch and colour wash of ‘The Leader’, a sailing boat which recently re created the 1844 trip by geologist Hugh Miller on ‘The Betsey’. You can read more about the trip Here and on my previous posts (listed at the top of this post)

'September  2014 Eigg Series. No. 3' Ink and varnish on 5x5 wood"

‘September 2014 Eigg Series. No. 3’ Ink and varnish on 5×5 wood”. A  sketch of Laig Bay with the mountains of Rum, one of Eigg’s most captivating views. (This small series of paintings was sketched at Laig Bay). You can read more about that Here

'September  2014 Eigg Series. No. 4' Ink and varnish on 5x5 wood"

‘September 2014 Eigg Series. No. 4’ Ink and varnish on 5×5 wood”. Sketch and colour wash of ‘The Leader’, a sailing boat which recently re created the 1844 trip by geologist Hugh Miller on ‘The Betsey’. You can read more about the trip Here

'September  2014 Eigg Series. No. 5' Ink and varnish on 5x5 wood"

‘September 2014 Eigg Series. No. 5’ Ink and varnish on 5×5 wood”. Slightly more detailed sketch and colour wash of ‘The Leader’, a sailing boat which recently re created the 1844 trip by geologist Hugh Miller on ‘The Betsey’. You can read more about the trip Here

A magical evening at the Whitespace Gallery..

P1130836To spend several months painting a subject can be quite a solitary challenge,  though meaningful. Then when you share your efforts with the public, it’s a vulnerable moment to see your paintings (which seemed such large swathes of blank canvas) for the first time in the gallery, where they appear to be swallowed up in public space!


P1130803The journey from personal to public was borne along on a tide of good feeling, thanks to the help of family and friends! But also by two very moving performances by Jennifer L Williams and Atzi Muramatsu, who responded to the paintings in poetry and music.





Jennifer recited three poems, one of which was written in response to ‘Mountains of Rum from Laig Bay’, and Atzi improvised on cello to several paintings in the exhibition.

I was so very moved by their artistic responses, I found them quite magical, and I’ve included two videos here, along with the text of Jennifer’s poem.

The videos below (taken with my little digital camera!) show part of Atzi’s performance (mostly in response to ‘Moonlight on Eigg’). Followed by the poetry recital by Jennifer (also the poem text, and paintings – ‘Moonlight on Eigg’ and ‘Mountains of Rum from Laig Bay’ below the video links) …

Link: Cello performance, Atzi Muramatsu

Link: Poetry recital, Jennifer L Williams

Poem by Jennifer Williams:

Who lived in a country place as we do

The dead call out to the dead. David Harsent

Looking in from outside where the fire is burning
Looking in from outside so our hair seems to be on fire
Looking into the empty house whose only
People are the forgotten memories of ourselves

Looking in at the tides of dust and the peeling of mirrors
The peeling whose iridescence is reminiscent of shells
The pealing of bells signalling a memory about to appear
Long-buried because of its too-great pleasure

Silent as the witches whose innocence welds the tongue
Outside where we belong with the fire and the sea’s glass
Its waves of green astonishment lavishing the sand
The creatures of the deep and the wild salt

Looking in at our own reflection with sleep-heavy eyes
As if a spell has been cast from which we cannot wake
Our hands forever wet with the birth milk of the milkweed
Our breath, our image in the painting, fading

'Mountains of Rum from Laig Bay'. Acrylic on 40x30" canvas

‘Mountains of Rum from Laig Bay’. Acrylic on 40×30″ canvas






'Moonlight on Eigg'. Acrylic on 20x16" canvas

‘Moonlight on Eigg’. Acrylic on 20×16″ canvas










I felt so uplifted and inspired by the preview night, and I really look forward to future collaborations with Jennifer and Atzi. Also, many thanks to mum, dad, Alicia and Lucrezia for their help!


(resting weary toes!) Rose, Alicia and Lucretzia

50 Paintings of Eigg Series. No. 11

Eigg Series. No. 11. Acrylic, ink and salt on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series. No. 11. Acrylic, ink and salt on 5×5″ wood

P1100546A deep turquoise-green wave at the Singing Sands Bay is the subject of today’s painting. Painted in pallete knife, which can add an immediacy to paintings. It also prevents a close-up, lost in detailed approach, which can can make the painting seem ‘wooden’.


I almost missed my 6:30pm curfew today (I need the last hour of light to finish then photograph the painting). I blame my mum and sister for making these delicious and eiggcellent (sorry) cakes, which I spent the best part of the afternoon consuming while outside in the April sunshine, followed by a few glasses of wine!
















P1100494Happy Easter!

50 Paintings of Eigg Series. No 7

Eigg Series. No 8. Acrylic, ink, salt and sand on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series. No 7. Acrylic, ink, salt and sand on 5×5″ wood

P1100378Today’s painting; a view through sandstone rocks at the Singing Sands Bay on the island’s west coast. It’s interesting how the natural frame of sandstone enhances the sense of distance and lends an exotic air to the view beyond. I was attempting a more close-up sense of weather, if that makes sense (there’s also a sprinkling of singing sand on the painting!)

A bird catching its dinner…

P1090549 P1090550 P1090551





Lastly my  (amateur!) video of Laig Bay and the cliffs of Cleadale behind..

50 Paintings of Eigg Series: No 2


Eigg Series No. 2. Acrylic, ink and varnish on 5x5 inch wood

Eigg Series No. 2. Acrylic, ink, sand and varnish on 5×5 inch wood. (Sold)



A slightly more playful version of waves in Laig Bay today. What I like about painting on wood is the layering and texture it allows, so there are various layers here, built up and scraped back, then some varnish and fine-grained sand from Laig Bay for texture. I think I’m also beginning to capture something of my emotional response to Laig Bay.

This was another somewhat rainy day, bad for tourists but good for painting! It all adds to atmosphere and these lovely miniature waterfalls on the rocks..



We began to explore The Singing Sands Bay (Camus Sgiotaig in Gaelic – if there are any Gaelic speakers here, do feel free to offer any translations in comments below). Thus named for its fine quartz sands which sing when dry, but as it was rainy they were subdued (and I’m told it’s more akin to squeaking than singing!). More fascinating were the mysteriously sculpted rocks and small caves which served as shelter from the rain




These sandstone rocks are the oldest on Eigg, about 200 million years old. They were inter cut with lava flows and intrusions which baked and hardened the sandstone, making it almost indestructible. The lava has crumbled and the sandstone remains – sculpted by lava and waves over millions of years.

These were also a mystery..


Map showing Laig Bay and Singing Sands Bay

map 2

In the next few days I’ll be heading inland to the landscape and people of Cleadale (behind Laig Bay and the Singing Sands) with its beautifully ominous cliffs of ancient crumbling lava.