Once the Coronavirus lockdown ended, I was able to make a further two visits to the site, in August, and September 2020 to conclude the residency. I created a number of artworks on site and have filmed several of these being created in-situ. These can be seen in the Rahoy Hills Residency playlist of my ArtLearn Studio You Tube channel. They can be viewed HERE. Resulting work – with a percentage of funds from sales going to support the work of the Scottish Wildlife Trust ranger will be available for viewing on this website.
In the absence of being able to make further site visits at present, due to government Coronavirus lockdown measures, I have been progressing mostly large monochrome artworks from the reference sketches and photos taken at my last visit. These are also evoking the memories of experiencing these unique environments first hand. These pieces – with working titles – may be developed and worked up, or form the basis of new artworks. The large charcoal pieces are around 60cm X 40cm. The small square mixed media ones, 12cm X 12cm.
CHARCOAL: GORGE SPLASH FERNS The cascading water falling into the gorge, and splashing up off rocks through the ferns, with the water curtain dropping down behind. Strong, quick marks made with the side of the charcoal stick.
CHARCOAL: DEEP DOWN IN THE GORGE Aiming to capture the shafts of light within the depths of the gorge, and the shadows cast by rotting fallen trees and the vegetation hanging like a tropical rain forest. Trying to convey the experience I felt of being in these largely inaccessible places.
CHARCOAL: PHOENIX TREE Highlighting the snapped roots at the base of the tree but focussing on the vigorous uplift of the branches toward the sky, through the dramatic shaft of light.
CHARCOAL: ROOTS AND BLOCKS The contorted forms of these roots clinging to the walls of the gorge appeared animated, poised to writhe out witch-like from between the stones. The background is left largely unmarked to highlight these outreaching tendril fingers.
MIXED MEDIA: PHOENIX TREE BRANCHES AND BLOCKS Observing the forms of boulders brought up from below ground by the fallen tree having pulled up the boulders, grasping them within its roots. Abstract collage with partial charcoal drawing of its horizontal branches.
MIXED MEDIA: TREE DEPTH Immersed in the denser parts of the woodland of oak and old, contorted birch showing the depth of forms, each forging their growth upwards to compete for available light. Ink, graphite and acrylic.
MIXED MEDIA: TREE DEPTH DIPTYCH Shafts of light contrast with the darkness, deep down in the undergrowth. Ink, graphite and acrylic.
CHARCOAL: TREE LIGHT SHAFT Light reflecting off the the rippled surface of Loch Arienas backlighting a lone ash tree at its shore, near the ruined settlement.
CHARCOAL: UPSIDE-DOWN 1 Due to the arrangement of vegetation in some of the higher parts of the reserve, it is sometimes referred to as an ‘upside-down’ landscape. Here, I have extended the theme to include simplified representations of inverted birch trees, the widened bases of which are set at the top.
CHARCOAL: UPSIDE-DOWN 2 Second variation of the above theme.
CHARCOAL: UPSIDE-DOWN 3 Third variation of the above theme.
CHARCOAL: WATERWAYS 1 Exploring the graphic potential of the hard edges where the rocks meet the water surfaces, diverting and splitting the flow in several directions simultaneously. These observations may lead to future mixed media work.
CHARCOAL: WATERWAYS 2 Second variation of the above theme.
Quick update – I’m recently returned from visiting the wonderful Hotel Leone, in Montelparo, Le Marche, owned and run by Madeline and Tim, and seeing all the wonderful locations we will be going to on my retreat ‘From Sketch to Success’ 20th-27th October 2020. It really will be a stunningly beautiful area in which to join the group for painting, and the service and facilities at the hotel are truly impeccable. The hotel have taken bookings already, so get in touch and you may also get a good deal on flights. While there, I also met with artist Fiona Forbes (who’s also from Fife as it happens! – now living in Wiltshire), so we’ve teamed up to advertise each of our two retreats in our own areas aswell. Below the hotel photos, you’ll see the flyer, which it would be great if you could circulate. More updates soon!
Great to meet everyone at the outdoor lifestyle event at Tiso’s flagship equipment store in Perth last night. Many thanks to Colin and Kathryn for the opportunity, and well done to all who participated making sketches from the screen images – hope they look good on your wall! You can follow up by getting involved in one of my ‘On Location’ art experiences I’m promoting as Location Art Scotland, where we’ll be drawing and painting our glorious scenery outdoors. Maybe see you at another Tiso event soon! If you fancy using the wonderful landscape of another country as your inspiration, join my upcoming art retreat in Italy ‘From Sketch to Success’ 20th-27th October 2020, where you’ll be pampered at the fabulous Hotel Leone, Montelparo. See my previous post.