My Studio, the beach.


Now into the second week, I am finding subjects to work from and places to be.

Today I spent nearly all day on the beach. The residency is based on the north of the island and so it seemed sensible to work from here which makes carrying my paints and wet work easier. If I had chosen to base myself at St Columba’s Bay, at the very south of the island, it would have produced a logistical nightmare! The most exhausting part of the whole thing is bringing six, or this afternoon, ten, wet paintings back to the byre in a rain storm or howling gale! I have given up trying not to smudge anything, get sand in my paint or avoid a drip. It has all become part of the process.

At night I trudge up to my hut with the sound of the surf in my ears. Today I have listened and watched it all day and eventually it seems to enter your body and so the rolling sea and the breaking waves become an intuitive rhythm to inform the work. I am not here to paint a representation of Iona and the other islands we can see. There seems to be enough painting of that from Peploe onwards. Iona has been a tourist destination since the Age of Enlightenment, so I am told and so not only are the islanders used to people like me but there must have been so many that it may be hard to find a new view. I’m not really here to do that. I want to give in to the place and allow the submission to find the subject and the means. Time will tell how it goes. I don’t suppose this will be an earth shattering new vision but I hope it will have poetry and integrity. You will be able to decide as the story unfolds.




7 thoughts on “My Studio, the beach.

  1. Hallo Anna
    I left Lagandorain the day you arrived, having spent a week there with my small Celtic harp, making new music, as well as writing and drawing my own very personal responses to the time and the place and the season.
    I love reading your account of working by the waves, and allowing their rhythm to inform your work. I spent a lot of time just standing in front of the huge rollers as they surged in and crashed at my feet. Exhilarating and truly inspiring.
    I am still working on the music, words and images that came to me during that time. I can only begin to imagine the amazing depth that will come from immersing yourself in that world for a month.
    I look forward to reading future pages of your blog. Thank you!
    Julie Darling


    1. How lovely to hear from you, thanks for getting in touch. I have heard about your playing both through Eliza and now John and so it would have been good to meet, maybe one day! I look forward to hearing your new music and wonder if we could arrange a joint event but first we should meet and then have lots to discuss. Do you live near Dent? Anna


      1. Thanks for your reply Anna. I hope you’ve had a productive day today! Love the idea of meeting up to discuss our work. That would be great. I live near Skipton, about an hour and a half from Dent. I will be at Dent quite a bit next year, running courses with my harp and will be back on Iona next May. I believe you live in wonderful Ardnamurchan. I had a holiday there with my sisters a couple of years ago and loved the wildness of the place.
        I am looking forward to seeing the images that emerge from this time for you. It’s getting dark here now, and I can just imagine the glow in the byre, with the wood burning stove there in the corner, the smell of the paint and the shadows dropping in the fields outside. Keep warm. Julie


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