Tag Archives: eigg paintings

‘Eigg Island’ Trilogy

Rose Strang 'West', 'North' and 'East'

Rose Strang ‘West’, ‘North’ and ‘East’. Mixed media on 40×40″ wood panels

Rose Strang and artworks.(Photography Eleni Laparidou)

Rose Strang and artworks.(Photography Eleni Laparidou)

The trilogy of ‘West’, ‘North’ and ‘East’ were painted over two months as the culmination of a year-long project in response to the Isle of Eigg in the Scottish Hebrides, which included collaborations between myself, composer/cellist Atzi Muramatsu and poet JL Williams

 

 

West – Singing Sands

'West - Singing Sands'. Mixed media on 40x40" redwood panel

‘West – Singing Sands’. Mixed media on 40×40″ redwood panel

West – Singing Sands. Mixed media on 40×40″ wood panel
‘West’ is about imagining an island;  what we project onto an island
in our imagination before arriving. The painting could be viewed as an old map, or a faded
painting of a view across the sea. We bring our own and others’ history to a new place.
‘Singing Sands’ refers to the name of the bay on the west coast of the island,
whose sands are said to ‘sing’ when dry (which intrigued me before I first visited Eigg!).

This painting was a very gradual process of building up then scraping back layers of paint, crackle glaze and varnish.

North – Transmigration

'North - Transmigration'. Mixed media on 40x40" redwood panel

‘North – Transmigration’. Mixed media on 40×40″ redwood panel

North – Transmigration. Mixed media on 40×40″ wood panel
‘North’ is about the reality of nature on a Hebridean island, the toughness,
grittiness of weather and atmosphere – also fear of nature and how
it can feel impersonal. We observe it and wonder if we’re really a
part of it, though of course we are.

North (detail)

North (detail)

The small figure on top of the cliff is Atzi Muramatsu, a composer/cellist who I collaborated with on the project.
Sitting on these cliffs on the north end of the island (as part of a geology tour we joined) he began to compose a piece for string quartet called ‘Gaea Metemphsychosis’.

Metempsychosis is about transmigration of the soul and ‘Gaea’ of course means earth.
His piece was about fossils in these cliffs, formed 47 million years ago, slipping into the sea, also being there in a moment of time and the fact that we too eventually become part of the landscape again.

This is a very free-style painting, the basic composition was over-laid with washes and splashes of salt, glaze and paint to build atmosphere, before finally adding the figure.

East – Harbour

'East - Harbour'. Mixed media on 40x40" redwood panel

‘East – Harbour’. Mixed media on 40×40″ redwood panel

East – Harbour. Mixed media on 40×40″ wood panel
‘East’ is a view of the harbour bay from the island, looking out to
sea. There is the sense of a haven, which has a lot to
do with people met there, but also the fact of physically having being on
most parts of the island. You find your place, then leaving to
return to the mainland brings mixed feelings. Islands can seem an oasis from
a troubled world, which is no doubt why religious or spiritual centres are often
founded on islands.

East (detail)

East (detail)

The painting process was in itself very peaceful; simple layering of colours and glazes, allowing drips to form, then adding the small boat.

 

 

 

After the exhibition launch I’ll be sure to post videos/photos of JL Williams and Atzi Muramatsu’s performances, which I’m really looking forward to seeing next Thursday!

Mountains of Rum from Laig Bay

The photographs above show details of two paintings – ‘Mountains of Rum from Laig Bay’ and ‘Mountains of Rum from Laig Bay 2’.

In these works I wanted to combine simplicity and texture, and capture the stillness of Laig Bay (on the west coast of the Isle of Eigg) in the early evening. This was my first experience of this view, and I think there’s something about first impressions of landscape that can affect us in a different way from a view that’s familiar to us, or ‘every day’.

As an artist it’s all about trying to be present. The impact of a view as epic as this seems to empty the mind of its familiar habits or ‘chatter’.

In photographs, Laig Bay looks at its best in bright sunlight, but being there, on this particular evening, the mountains revealed themselves slowly from behind the clouds, even the waves seemed to move in slow motion

Rum from Laig Bay 1. Acrylic and ink on 10x10" wood

Rum from Laig Bay 1. Acrylic and ink on 10×10″ wood

A friend of mine, the talented poet Jennifer L Williams, responded to a later painting I made of this view (the full poem can be read Here). Although she hadn’t heard me describe my impression of the view, the lines of her poem captured this stillness, also the sense of closeness to the elements..

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

 

This sense of closeness to landscape feels to me like ‘being in on a conversation’ – it feels as though there’s no barrier between you and the landscape. And when you think about it, there isn’t.

Rum from Laig Bay. Acrylic and ink on 10x10" wood

Rum from Laig Bay. Acrylic and ink on 10×10″ wood

I added sea salt and sand from Laig Bay to these paintings (you can see it especially in the bottom of this painting on the left). Sand adds a slightly sparkling impasto ‘body’ to the painting, and I like this because it adds something visceral to the painting – something tangible, not distanced or idealised.

 

 

 

Green glass slow-motion waves

These are most of the latest works for the Whitespace exhibition this Friday, just two more to go! I’ve made quite a few changes to ‘Rum from Laig Bay’ as it just didn’t capture the strange bottle-green slow-motion waves I was so fascinated by. This version seems closer to it..

(More info about the exhibition/times/dates Here )

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

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

'Waves in the Rain, Singing Sands Bay'. Acrylic on 40x30" canvas

‘Waves in the Rain, Singing Sands Bay’. Acrylic on 40×30″ canvas

'Cliffs of Cleadale'. Acrylic on 20x16" canvas

‘Cliffs of Cleadale’. Acrylic on 20×16″ canvas

'Cliffs of Cleadale 2'. Acrylic on 20x16" canvas

‘Cliffs of Cleadale 2’. Acrylic on 20×16″ canvas

'Wave, Singing Sand Bay'. Acrylic on 20x16" canvas

‘Wave, Singing Sand Bay’. Acrylic on 20×16″ canvas

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

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

'Boat in Pier Harbour 1'. Acrylic on 20x16" canvas

‘Boat in Pier Harbour 1’. Acrylic on 20×16″ canvas

'Seagull, Eigg Island'. Acrylic on 20x16" canvas

‘Seagull, Eigg Island’. Acrylic on 20×16″ canvas

50 Paintings of Eigg. No. 50!

Eigg Series No. 50. Acrylic, ink, salt and varnish on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series No. 50. Acrylic, ink, salt and varnish on 5×5″ wood

P1110668No 50; A view of Eigg from the ferry, with sunlight sparkling on the sea.

 

 

Well, this has been such an enjoyable project – mostly the daily discipline of painting, and the feedback that follows, thank you!

Also it’s been enjoyable for the chance to explore subjects I care about – landscape, ecology, social justice, history and the arts. The Isle of Eigg has been a perfect focus for that – a wonderful example of a way of living that’s collaborative, innovative, cultural and above all respectful of our planet.

I’ll be continuing the Eigg project and exhibiting new works as part of two shows this summer:

Exhibitions

WEST. The West Coast and Beyond at Gallery Ten (Sat 21st June Private View. Show ends 26th July )

Map/address on this link – Gallery Ten

Rose Strang; Eigg Island Solo Exhibition, Whitespace Gallery   (Friday 18th July Private View. Show ends Thursday 23rd July)

Map/Address on this link Whitespace (Whitespace is at 25 Howe Street, Edinburgh from April to August 2014)

I’ll send an emailed flyer invite to everyone whose email I have, also it will be on Facebook and Twitter

It’s been wonderful getting to know new people through the 50 Paintings Blog, many thanks for following it.

Stay in touch..

I’ll be blogging once a week with updates on paintings and exhibitions, so to receive updates by email click on ‘FOLLOW’ on the right-hand column (underneath the Facebook section)

Or click ‘like’ on the Facebook section on the right and you’ll receive facebook updates

Sincere thanks to readers, also the following Eigg people, buyers and social media sharers. It’s much appreciated!

Isle of Eigg

Lucy Conway – Eigg Box

Maggie Fyffe – Eigg Island Heritage Trust

Camille Dressler – Eigg Island History

Norah Barnes and Bob Wallace – Eigg Island Eco Centre

Trevor Leat – Artist

And many thanks to buyers, I hope you enjoy the paintings! –

Alicia Devine

Alison Kidd

Angela Williams

Carol Strang

Donald Ferguson

Eilidh Soe-Paing

Francis Snee

Gillian Strang

Helen Squires

Ian Nimmo Smith

Jacqueline Tunney

Julia Campbell

Kirsten Beard

Linda Cairnes

Lucy Conway

Lynn Carter

Malcolm Strang

Norah Barnes

Oonagh Reynolds

Rosanna Law

Tony Jones

You can view the entire series on this link – Paintings 2014

Around 20 paintings are still available at £45 each, or if you buy two – £80. If you’re interested in any of these, feel free to contact me at rose.strang@gmail.com

I wish you all a lovely summer!

Best wishes

Rose x

50 Paintings of Eigg Series No. 18

Eigg Series No. 18. Acrylic and ink on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series No. 18. Acrylic and ink on 5×5″ wood

P1100768Laig Bay and the mountains of Rum in ink, acrylic and varnish.

Mountains always look so other worldly when viewed from across the sea – like a mystical land. But I have visited Rum, back in the mists of time – as a teenager. Even as a somewhat grumpy 13 year old I appreciated the beauty of the island, but had my first experience of the mid-July Highland midge. Dealing with them requires spray repellants with an intense synthetic lemon/oven-cleaner aroma, or a midge head net/bed-net. Or failing that, calm acceptance that this mass hoard of miniature vampires has its rightful place in the ecosystem.

The key is to avoid inland water areas, especially bogs or marshland, seek breezy coastal areas or higher ground and avoid exposure at dusk when they’re most active!

 

 

50 Paintings of Eigg Series. No. 9

Eigg Series No 9. Acrylic and ink on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series No 9. Acrylic and ink on 5×5″ wood

P1100438

Today’s painting is a moody depiction of Laig Bay looking towards the south.

In the past, the remote islands of the West coast attracted many Christian missionaries from Ireland, the most well-known being St Columba who settled on Iona in the 7th Century. On Eigg you can still see the remains of a chapel in Kildonan Bay, founded by St Donnán from Ireland.

I’ve always been fascinated by this era of ancient Christianity and first began to explore this time in history when I was 20 and visited Iona off the West Coast of Mull. While there I could see  and experience for myself what was meant by the expression ‘a thin veil between heaven and earth’. In those times it was common for practicing monks or nuns to embrace solitude or silence (a practice that continues to this day) and, although I’m not a part of any practicing religion, I know I’m not alone in finding these remote islands conducive to contemplation.

St Donnán’s life came to a violent end when he was killed alongside 52 monks on Easter Sunday, which was most likely to have been Norsemen since this was a common occurrence in those times.

Nowadays, Eigg has two churches, in the East and West of the island, as well as the peaceful yoga retreat at Glebe Barn in the middle of the island overlooking Kildonan Bay (you can read about Glebe Barn Yoga retreat Here)

I’m thinking of the news about Abdullah Deghayes today, and also of some friends of mine who’ve been involved indirectly in the Syrian conflict. My heart goes out to people who are unable to live in peace because of circumstances beyond their control, and I wish everyone a peaceful and loving Easter weekend

Looking East to the mainland from Kildonan Bay..

P1090780

 

The view from The Sgurr of Eigg down to Kildonan Bay and the pier at Galmisdale..

P1090724

50 Paintings of Eigg Series. No. 8

Eigg Series. No. 8. Ink, sand and acrylic on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series. No. 8. Ink, sand and acrylic on 5×5″ wood

P1100408Today’s painting – Laig Bay looking across to the mountains of Rum, in ink stained wood over-layered with  washes of black, blue and green ink, and a final layer of varnish, the foreground sand is a mix of varnish and Laig Bay sand.

 

In this stretch of water lies the Skerryvore-Camasunary Fault, the cause of all the volcanic eruptions around 60 million years ago. Most of Eigg consists of layers of lava flows from the volcano. The mountains of Rum are the worn down remains of the original volcano.

The Laig Bay sands are a mix of sand and quartz which create ever changing patterns…

P1090235 P1090233