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Showing posts from October, 2014

"Why do you paint abstractly?", the elderly man asked.

One thread that ran through the whole month of my recent trip to Scotland was related to art.  Of course that would be the case.  Being an artist is a way of living, of seeing, of being in the world.  When I told people I met on the trip that I was an artist, they naturally asked about my work.  It was a good exercise in trying to describe my non-objective work.
One lovely elderly man named Jock engaged me in a lively conversation.  When I mentioned to him that I am an abstract painter, he told me he liked high realism.  That comment set the stage for an interesting conversation.  He was very curious about why I wanted to paint abstractly.  He asked intelligent questions and gave me the gift of focusing intently on our conversation.  I told him that my work is about light, that I'm interested in painting the essence of light.  I described my earlier representational work-landscapes, still life and vessels. My abstract work had come from a solid background in drawing, composition,…

Inspiration in an ancient landscape

Pilgrimage on Iona to Columba's Bay
As I write this, I am sitting in the attic room of a B&B in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis, Scotland.  My high windows overlook the harbour where I'll leave from very early tomorrow morning to cross The Minch on the ferry, to get to mainland Scotland. The sea is calm and pink in the light of the setting sun. The wind changes here by the hour.  Yesterday the wind was so strong I could have spread my arms and flown across The Minch.  Parents had to hang on to their children!
I travelled last week to Iona to attend a pilgrimage/retreat led by John Philip Newell, author and poet who is internationally acclaimed for his work in the field of Celtic Christianity,
The island of Iona, off the west coast of Scotland, is the symbolic centre of Scottish Christianity.In 563 AD, Columba, with thirteen followers, landed at the south end of the island, at St Columba's Bay, to establish a monastery. Since then the island has always been revered as a ho…