Tag Archives: isle of eigg

Eigg Paintings at the Flaubert Gallery

Many thanks to the Flaubert Gallery for featuring the Eigg project on their website (link below) – paintings by myself, poems, J.L Williams and music by Atzi Muramatsu.

The feature includes a link to our collaborative video made earlier this year, one of those projects I can truly say I feel proud of! I still find it very moving – beautiful work by Jen and Atzi.

The paintings ‘West’, ‘North’ and ‘East’ are available to buy through the Flaubert Gallery where they’ll be on exhibition until later this year.

https://sites.google.com/site/flaubertgalleryedinburgh/artists-3/rose-strang

Flaubert Gallery

Flaubert Gallery

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.

 

 

 

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. 16

Eigg Series. N. 16

Eigg Series. No. 16. Acrylic and ink on 5×5″ wood

P1100712Today’s painting – a view of Laig Bay and its silver/white sands. This was one of those days when I struggled to paint and despite years of painting it never seems to be in my control!

 

On some days it’s almost as though every stroke of paint adds something to the painting, while on others every brush stroke detracts, so I worked on three at the same time, the thinking being that one at least would work!

Having enjoyed the way ink stains gesso, today that effect was driving me mad and the sands of Laig Bay stubbornly refused to turn silver/white. Solution – cover it in varnish, blast it with a hairdryer and start again. Such are the minor challenges in my day.

Off the topic of Eigg somewhat, but still on the subject of painting – last night I was excited to see there was an excellent documentary ‘The Madness of Vermeer’ (BBC iplayer or catch up BBC4). Utterly fascinating and a revelation to discover just how chaotic and traumatic his life was.

Of the classic artists Vermeer is without doubt my favourite – and the Northern Renaissance in general, probably because it’s a light I understand, having lived in the north.

But also for the same reason others love Northern Renaissance art – the sense of utter stillness; so at odds with the chaos of Vermeer’s life. It seems that he spent a lifetime trying to capture in paint the ideal conditions of peace that eluded him all his short life.

Poring over Vermeer’s work in loving detail, presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon pointed out the deliberate rough edges amongst the perfected brushwork, which catch the eye and reflect light. Also the use of sand to capture light (at least I’m doing something Vermeer-esque!).

It was the conclusion of the documentary that so moved me, I won’t paraphrase and will just add this link for your viewing pleasure! –

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0074pym/Secret_Lives_of_the_Artists_The_Madness_of_Vermeer/

And a photograph of a Laig Bay wave in nothern light..

P1090245

50 Paintings of Eigg Series. No. 15

Eigg Series. No 15. Acrylic and ink on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series. No 15. Acrylic and ink on 5×5″ wood

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Today’s painting – an impression of Laig Bay, with wave and mountain. This line and shape is making an indelible impression on my brain and possibly I’ll develop it onto large canvas for upcoming exhibitions. These will be in June at Gallery Ten and in July at Whitespace. Lots of painting to do!

 

The interior of Cuagach Bothy, very cosy

P1090322

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a standing stone looking east..

P1090672

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!

P1100496

 

 

 

 

 

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P1100494Happy Easter!

50 Paintings of Eigg Series. No. 10

Eigg Series. No. 10. Acrylic, ink and salt on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series. No. 10. Acrylic, ink and salt on 5×5″ wood

P1100481

Today’s painting is a view south from Galmisdale on the west coast of Eigg. This silver/white sparkling light with misty horizon is quite unique to the west coast I think. It’s maybe partly due to the combination of northern white light  combined with high humidity, whatever the reasons I always find it magical.

I’ve still not quite captured it, but then again, I can’t think of any artist who has. Even the Scottish Colourists (Peploe, Cadell Fergusson and so on) don’t seem to have explored this effect. If it’s too literal an interpretation it loses magic. I hope to capture it in a simple, more abstract way before long.

When I was on holiday on the west coast as a girl I remember thinking it looked like scattered diamonds. I tried to re-create the effect with the tiny broken pieces of glass I’d found from a  shattered car window! I was never very competitive and loathed board games, so when we’d play with the 70s board game ‘Buccaneer’ I’d gaze with fascination at the little pieces of pretend rubies and diamonds rather than learn the rules of the game, and it was the same with Monopoly, I loved to play with the little houses, dogs and bars of gold, and to this day I’m clueless as to the rules of the game.

Painting sometimes re-creates that feeling of childhood fascination with the seemingly mundane or everyday. It’s a good excuse anyway, to while away my days playing with paint.

A view of changing weather from the top of the Sgurr..

P1090715

 

Sphagnum Moss

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50 Paintings of Eigg Series: No. 3

Eigg Series. No 3. Acrylic, ink and salt on 5x5 inch wood

Eigg Series. No 3. Acrylic, ink and salt on 5×5 inch wood (Sold)

P1100231

Sometimes life seems to move too fast. It’s difficult to be present and I feel inadequate; too distracted and impulsive to be in the moment the way I want to be. It brings the character of Ricky Fitts to mind (or writer, Alan Ball) in the film ‘American Beauty’:

‘It was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. Right? And this bag was just dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That’s the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video’s a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember… I need to remember… Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.’

Sanskrit philosophers wrote about presence thousands of years ago, but I like the immediacy of Alan Ball’s take on it – a plastic bag in the wind, which brings us into the here and now, and our anxiety producing world of rapid change and competition.

Below is a short video I took of waves from the Mallaig-Eigg ferry, accompanied by music from my friend Atzi Muramatsu, who moved from Japan to the UK some years ago. When I first heard this piece I was reminded of the rhythm of boats, waves, and the anticipation of journeys.

 

More music by Atzi here https://soundcloud.com/atzi-1

Website: http://www.atzi.co.uk/