Tag Archives: Laig Bay Eigg

50 Paintings of Eigg Series 40 and 41

Eigg Series No. 41. Ink, acrylic and sand on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series No. 41. Ink, acrylic and sand on 5×5″ wood

Eigg Series No. 40. Acrylic and sand on 5x5" wood

Eigg Series No. 40. Acrylic and sand on 5×5″ wood

P1110495 P1110496Today’s paintings; A wave at Singing Sands Bay and the mountains of Rum from Laig Bay.


If you like the idea of a mid-summer music festival on Eigg you’ll probably be interested in the Howlin Fling Festival, organised by  Lost Map Records (a music label and collective organised by Johnny Lynch, former FENCE collective manager and organisor of the Pictish Trail).

I didn’t realise that Lost Map Records was actually based on Eigg. They’ve organised many events and gigs around the UK, but Howlin Fling is Lost Map’s debut festival on Eigg.

The festival runs over the weekend of 18th to 20th July. Performers include Beth Orton, also Steve Mason (who used to be in the Beta Band). I’ve seen both live and would love to attend this but sadly it clashes with my exhibition. Live music with the backdrop of the mountains of Rum and west coast sunsets sounds blissful – I’m not a fan of huge crowds, small outdoor festivals are far more relaxed – a million miles away from the epic, mud-drenched nightmare of events like Glastonbury!

There’s more info about times/tickets in The List Here

And here are a few videos..


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 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.

50 Paintings of Eigg Series: No. 1


Eigg Series. No 1. Acrylic and ink on 5x5 inch wood

Eigg Series. No 1. Acrylic and ink on 5×5 inch wood (Sold)

wave detail

wave detail


Welcome to the first of 50 paintings. (I’ll be posting a painting every day until the 29th of May)

Today’s painting is a view of the mountains of Rum from the shore at Laig Bay

Last week’s heavy weather extended all the way North and most of Eigg and the mountains of Rum were obscured in mist. Then in the evening when we arrived at Cuagach Bothy in Laig Bay, Askival, Hallival, Ainshval and Sgurr Nan Gillian emerged high up in the cloudy sky. (I love those epic-sounding names). It comes as something of a shock to me when mountains emerge from the mist, appearing higher up in the sky than expected after dwelling in the lowlands of Edinburgh!

I walked down to the vast stretch of Laig Bay’s silver-sanded beach and watched wave after wave approaching, the bay is so long that they appear to move in slow motion, each wave appearing sculpted, like bottle green glass.

This being the first in a series of 50 it’s a little tentatively painted, so I’m glad I have 50 paintings ahead of me, and two years to paint and tell the story of an island whose inhabitants work together to care for for the beauty of their environment. I won’t just be sharing a painting each day, I’ll introduce island dwellers, artists, musicians, writers, the island’s culture, history, geology, environment, and the story from past to present.

Here’s Cuagach bothy, basic but nonetheless idyllic!


Eigg, with red dot showing Laig Bay