Tag Archives: Paintings of Harris

Harris paintings day 13

‘Traigh Luskentir, Harris. 4’. Mixed media on 30×30″ wood panel.

Finishing touches today on the largest version of Traigh Luskentir, Harris, which concludes my paintings for the upcoming exhibition – Moonscapes: Isle of Harris

All paintings in the series can be viewed from the top of the gallery page – Here. One painting has already sold – you can buy a painting now if you like, it will be marked ‘sold’ at exhibition then when the show ends on 20th July I will post it to your address (any queries to rose.strang@gmail.com)

This is always the busiest time of year, and with a ten-day session of house decorating in addition to painting I’m pretty exhausted! All I have to do now is have all paintings professionally scanned (for limited editon prints), frame the aquatint Leaving Harris, hang the paintings on Friday and order wine/glasses for the preview.

As always, I’ll make a live recording of Atzi Muramatsu’s cello performance to post here along with photos of the paintings in the gallery and the launch night.

Hope to see you on Friday 14th, 7pm (all info on Moonscapes link above)…

Harris paintings day 12

‘Harris Moon 3’. Mixed media on 36×36″ wood

Today’s painting – the largest version of Harris Moon at 36×36 inches (3 by 3 feet) on wood.

Exactly one week now to exhibition! All details here Moonscapes: Isle of Harris

I took photos of some of the stages of painting…

Harris paintings days 11

‘Harris Moon 2’. Mixed media on 16×16″ wood

Today’s painting – the third version of the Harris moon theme (also the title of the exhibition Moonscapes: Isle of Harris). I’ll be painting this theme for the largest of the paintings.

Below – a bit more work on paintings already started, and a photo of me next to Luskentir 3 so you can see the size relative to a person. People often think the paintings are much smaller (some of them are – they start at 5×5″ and go right up to 40×40″). It’s helpful to sart each series small then work up to a bigger piece once I’m confident of the approach, obviously it’s a lot less expensive to make smaller mistakes!

Luskentir 4 in progrss

‘Traigh Luskentir 3’. Mixed media on 16×16″ wood panel.

detail

‘Tràigh na Buirgh, Harris’. Mixed media on 9.5×9.5″ wood pane

‘Coast Road near Geocrab Bay, Harris’. Mixed media on

 

 

 

Harris paintings day 9

‘Harris Moon’. Mixed media on 9.8×9.8″ wood

”Traigh Luskentir, Harris 3′. Mixed media on 16×16″ wood

Today’s paintings of Harris, both need a bit more work which I’ll finish tomorrow. This version of Luskentir is very similar to Lustentir 2 though this is 16×16″ –  practice for a larger one at 30×30 inches.

Postcards for the upcoming exhibition on July 14th arrived today (below). If you’d like to come along you can keep up with details on this Facebook exhibition event page at this link ‘Isle of Harris’ 

 

Harris paintings day 9

‘East Coast Road, Harris’. Mixed meda on 9.5×9.5″ wood panel

‘Traigh Luskentir, Harris 2’. Mixed meda on 9.5×9.5″ wood panel

‘Lickisto, Harris’. ‘East Coast Road, Harris’. Mixed meda on 9.5×9.5″ wood panel

Today’s paintings of Harris for upcoming exhibiton at the Whitespace Gallery from 14th to 20th July.

There will also be a preview event on Friday 14th July with a live cello performance by Atzi Muramatsu in reponse to the themes and paintings of the exhibition. If you’ve followed this blog for a while you’ll know that Atzi is a friend and collaborator I’ve worked with since about 2013.

In 2016 he won the Best Composer Award at the BAFTA Scotland New Talent Awards for his work on a short film ‘The Violinist’.

Below are a few short video examples of work we’ve done together, including – Sea, space and sky a short video created last year following a trip to the west coast of Scotland – Achiltibuie then Lewis and Harris in the Hebrides. The film features a poem by Lewis-based poet Ian Stephen (read by Ian Stephen), and several new poems written by another friend and collaborator, Louise Palfreyman. Also below, from an earlier collaboraton on the Isle of Eigg, a performance of Atzi’s work in progress for string quartet; Gaea Metempsychosis

 

Harris paintings day 6

‘Coast Road near Geocrab Bay, Harris’. Mixed media on 9.5×7.5″ wood panel

‘Traigh Luskentir, Harris’. Mixed media on 9.5×7.5 wood panel

‘Moon reflected in Harris Lochan’. Mixed media on 7×4″ wood block

Today’s paintings of the Isle of Harris for the upcoming exhibition at Whitespace Gallery on the 14th – 20th July.

I’m trying to capture the way light bounces of the rocks of Harris – which is called Lewisian Gneiss after the Island of Lewis and Harris. It’s one of the oldest rocks in the world (3 billions years old) definitely the oldest in Britain,  very varied and jumbled in appearance as the original volcanic rock has  been mangled by pressure, so the geology nerds among you will know that the rocks were originally igneous (volcanic) and now metamorphic (changed by pressure, glacial action and weather).

Sometimes you’ll see glittering seams of rose quartz or various types of quartz and feldspar, which reflect the white Hebridean light in beautiful ways.

I’m also attempting more paintings of the sea and it’s difficult to avoid making it look picture postcard-like – it looks exaggerated, though the sea is even brighter than this painting of the beach at Luskentyre. I’ll probably go more abstract as the paintings get larger..

 

 

Harris paintings day 5

Today’s paintings of the luminous Na Buirgh beach on the west coast of Harris.

I’ve decided to go with the Gaelic place names for most of this series, mostly because it reflects the history of the island. Many of these are Gaelicised Norse due to Norse settlers and rulers in Hebridean history.

Na Buirgh is also written as ‘Borve’. ‘Na’ means ‘the’. Buirgh, roughly translated, means ‘burgers’ or inhabitants. It’s probably pronounced something like Na Beeyuryih.

I can’t speak Gaelic, though I know quite a few words (mostly through singing Gaelic songs and travelling through the west coast where the sign posts are in English and Gaelic). Opinion is divided on maintainance of Gaelic place names, since it costs double the money (same in Wales) but most feel it’s an essential way of keeping a language therefore a history, alive.

Of the (approximately) 26,000 plus inhabitants of the Outer Hebrides, about 50% speak Gaelic (in the 1920s it was around 75%).

There’s a lot of history surrounding survival of the Gaelic language. Since I’m not a historian I can’t do the whole subject justice here (and anyway this is an arts blog with occasional forays into other subjects) but to give a brief picture – the dropping numbers of Gaelic speakers in recent history has much to do with compulsory English taught in schools throughout the UK, but it goes back much farther than that, to the aftermath of the Jacobite wars.

It’s a history well worth exploring if you’re not familiar with it, basically Gaelic and Highland culture in general was suppressed after the final Jacobite rebellion at Culloden. Tartan was banned of course  – much later revived when Queen Victoria, much influenced by the romanticised Highland history as written by Sir Walter Scott, decided to build Balmoral and encourage the wearing of tartan and general symbols of Highland culture in general.

There is a very dark irony around that of course, since many of the more violent aspects of the destruction of Highland culture and society after 1745, in addition to the later Highland clearances, amounted to ethnic cleansing.

Written Gaelic looks unwieldy if you don’t know how to pronounce it, but hearing it spoken or sung is a different matter. Here’s acclaimed Gaelic singer Rachel Walker singing Braighe loch lall. (Braes of Locheil). If you’re interested in the translation I’ve included original Gaelic and translation below..

 

Lyrics: English Translation:
O thèid is gun tèid Oh I’ll go, I’ll surely go
O thèid mi thairis Oh I will go over
Gu innis nam bò To the cattle grazings
Far an ceòlmhòr ainnir Where the young women are tuneful
Sèist: Chorus (after each verse):
Ill ò bha hò Ill ò bha hò
S’na hao ri ri rì o hi S’na hao ri ri rì o hi
Hoireann o gù o hill ò bha hò Hoireann o gù o hill ò bha hò
Gu innis nam bò To the cattle grazings
Far an ceòlmhòr ainnir Where the young women are tuneful
Gu Bràighe Loch Iall To the Braes of Locheil
Far am bith fiadh s’an langan Where the bellowing stags are
Gu Bràighe Loch Iall To the Braes of Locheil
Far am bith fiadh s’an langan Where the bellowing stags are
Is earbag nan stùc And the little roe of the peaks
Tha lùghmhor eangar So nimble and lightfooted
Is earbag nan stùc And the little roe of the peaks
Tha lùghmhor eangar So nimble and lightfooted
A bhean an fhuilt rèidh Girl with the glossy hair
Guidheam fhèin dhut mo bheannachd I give you my blessing
A bhean an fhuilt rèidh Girl with the glossy hair
Guidheam fhèin dhut mo bheannachd I give you my blessing
Mo beannachd ad dhèidh My blessing go with you
Ged is fheudar bhith dealaicht Though we had to part
O thèid is gun tèid Oh I’ll go, I’ll surely go
O thèid mi dhachaidh Oh I will go home
Gu Bràighe Loch Iall To the Braes of Locheil
Far am bith fiadh s’an langan Where the bellowing stags are
(Sèist 2x) (Chorus 2x)

(from – http://www.celticlyricscorner.net )