Iona day 15

  1. Another painting for the new Iona series for the Limetree Gallery. It’s fairly traditional but the subject asked for that I think.

It’s of the bay near the pier outside the Argyll Hotel which is one of my favourite new hangouts on the island!

I’m settling into island life a bit, enjoying the social scene here in many ways – I like the inter connectedness. I’ve been chatting to someone called David Galloway – an artist who grew up here, left for art college then returned. I can totally understand why.

It’s mid season, so folks working with the public are experiencing the full onslaught of tourism – Iona is ever popular because of the abbey, but by early evening most day trippers are gone and there’s a peace here.

I may come back next month for a shorter trip – I’ve really only scratched the surface here, art-wise. On Iona, more than any other place, I really want to express my response to the landscape. It’s a challenge though, painting here, -outdoor life is tiring for a fragile city-dweller such as myself- the changes in weather in particular – ( I know, toughen up Rose!).

Here’s my ‘settlement’ ..

Iona day 10 – paintings in progress

((Above) painting in progress. There are a few more but it takes aeons to upload as the connection is v slow here

Tent-life has been a challenge these past few days – high winds and rain which made a good night’s sleep (and painting,) impossible!

As soon as things calmed a bit I managed a couple of paintings which I’ll continue today

It’s interesting living an outdoors life while working and with no resources and very few contacts – a barn would be kind of useful, but in the meantime I’ve set up a storage tent.

I’ve befriended a toad which lives under the tent, and someone in human form called (appropriately) Iona Cameron, who works for Iona abbey for Historic Scotland. She amusingly described my camping area as a ‘settlement’!

Will try to post more soon …

 

‘Wells of Arthur’s Seat’ exhibition – new venue

Citadel Bookshop, on Montrose Terrace, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

Paintings from the ‘Wells of Arthur’s Seat’ series will be on exhibition at the Citadel Bookshop, Edinburgh, from now to mid-August (see map below).

I’m really pleased about this as it’s great to have the paintings viewable ‘in the flesh’ as it were – especially as I’ll be away up north for the whole of July, so they wouldn’t otherwise have been on exhibition.

You can see the paintings online Here

And here’s a map showing the location of the Citadel Bookshop ..

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Citadel is run by poet Alan Spence and his wife Janani and is open 1pm to 5pm Monday to Saturday (closed Sundays). Drop by for a chat (they’re both very friendly!) and enjoy a peruse of their excellent book collection, which includes many rare or unusual poetry editions among an eclectic selection of general literature.

Alan Spence

 

 

 

 

You’ll likely find several books relating to spirituality, meditation and Zen practice since Alan and Janani ran the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Edinburgh a while back. (read an interview with Alan  in the Scottish Review of Books Here )

Alan was named Edinburgh’s Makar in 2018 (Makar is the Scots word for learned poet). His work explores Japanese culture and spirituality, including Zen traditions and Haiku poetry. In recognition of this, Alan was recently awarded the Decoration of the Order of the Rising Sun by the Government of Japan). 

I collaborated with Alan and cellist Atzi Muramatsu on the ‘Wells of Arthur’s Seat’ project these last two months. It was a pleasure to work with Alan for the first time – he and Atzi (with whom I’ve collaborated since 2013) brought much creative sensitivity and invention to the project.

I recommend a watch of the 2-minute video below, which features poetry, cello and painting about a frog in Hunter’s Bog on Arthur’s Seat ..

 

‘Frog’ – poetry, music and painting

‘Wells of Arthur’s Seat, Swimming Toad, Hunter’s Bog’ Mixed media on 16 x 13 inch wood panel. Rose Strang 2018 £250

I found time to edit this two-minute video – ‘Frog’ – featuring poetry and cello music by Alan Spence and Atzi Muramatsu, and my painting – ‘Swimming Frog, Hunter’s Bog’  – (more info below vid) ..

This was part of the launch event of ‘Wells of Arthur’s Seat’, which has been an incredibly rich experience – learning the history of the wells and their significance, collaborating with Alan and Atzi who responded with such artistic sensitivity to the ideas.

And of course the idyllic mid-summer’s night music performance on the summer solstice, at St Anthony’s Chapel on Arthur’s Seat, by the talented and wonderful Dominic Harris and Riley Briggs.

Watch my little vid of the evening here –

It’s a great parting note on which to leave Edinburgh for my up-coming painting trip to the Isle of Iona, where I’ll be painting purely en plein air, as they say, for a month, from a tent. The island is meaningful to me as I’ve been going there since I was 20 (back in the far mists of time!)  so I’ll post on that soon.

Thanks again to everyone involved in this last project, I think it will yield further fruit in future!

A Mid Summer Night’s Eve …

Summer Solstice – what better way to spend the longest day of the year than up on Arthur’s Seat in the sunshine, with friends, family and two of my favourite musicians – Dominic Harris (Dominic Waxing Lyrical) and Riley Briggs (Aberfeldy)

This was part of the ‘Wells of Arthur’s Seat’ project (which ends on Sunday).

Dominic Harris, me, and Riley Briggs

 

(Photo by Kenneth Duffy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We began the evening at my studio with cocktails (invented for this special occasion – Chartreuse, vodka, fresh lime and syrup of Sweet Cicely over crushed ice, titled an ‘Arthur’s Sprite’ by my friend Donald!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dominic and Riley Briggs treated us all to a live acoustic set – which was melodious, full of invention and fun as always. I think this may be one of my favourite gigs – being a bit high on ‘Arthur’s Sprite’ cocktails – music, sunshine, the atmosphere and conviviality.

My camera’s sound was playing up with the wind, but still I think my vid below captures some of the atmosphere…

What a special evening, as Dominic said ‘this isn’t one we’ll forget’. My warm thanks to Dominic and Riley.

Tomorrow afternoon (Sunday 24th) is the last day of the exhibition, so if you’re in Edinburgh drop by for a cup of tea (or glass of wine!). You can view the paintings Here