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Live Painting at Traditional Music Sessions

Live Painting at Traditional Music Sessions
Renowned Scottish fiddler Bruce Macgregor's Bogbain Farm Traditional Music Open Sessions draw Artist & Author Paul Taggart for on-the-spot paintings.

Master fiddler, Bruce MacGregor, is the founder and driving force behind the multi award winning Blazin’ Fiddles. Along with his musician/composer wife Liza Mulholland they are the directors of Bogbain Farm, a buzzing visitor centre south of Inverness, Highlands of Scotland.

Taught by the late master, Donald Riddell, this renowned Highland fiddler not only tours as a musician, but his composing skills have seen his work commissioned for TV, radio and stage and his deep love for traditional music has also been harnessed for presenting TV and radio programmes.

Bogbain Farm is run by Bruce and Liza, who have progressively developed the Bogbain Highland Market (restaurant, farm and gift shops), started in late 2006 and in 2007 won “Best New Business” at the Highland Food and Drink Awards . In December 2007 the overall facility won “Best New Business” at the Highland Tourism Awards.

Music is very much an integral part of Bogbain, which hums to the sound of concerts, open sessions and ceilidhs on a frequent basis

A growing collection of Paul Taggart watercolour studies capturing the regular Open Sessions and Concerts at Bogbain, is progressively building up and on display in the Bogbain Bistro - where they hang alongside various other musical memorabilia, attesting to the traditional music vein that runs throughout Bogbain.

Open Sessions always take place on a Sunday in the Bogbain Bistro, with musicians and singers striking up from 3pm onwards. Lunches are served from 1pm and everyone is welcome to come along to enjoy an afternoon of traditional music making from Bruce Macgregor (on fiddle) and fellow musicians, such as those featured in ‘ Paul Taggart’s painting Their Musical Heritage Shared’.

“Over the last few sessions I have been setting up my easel to paint the musicians as they play and sing. Once finished, these are framed and hung alongside various concert posters and musical instruments that adorn the walls of the bistro at Bogbain” ……… explains Paul.

“Setting up my easel before a Bogbain session is always a thrill. I am particularly aware that the time available to capture the atmosphere is going to be limited. As the musicians arrive - I never know how many – I try to position myself for the best angle.; progressively getting closer and closer so that during the last session I was right in amongst the action.

The music starts and my brush gets going. There is no doubt that the music directly affects my painting. I feel my body pick up the beat and the rhythms, which run out along my finger and into the paint. I feel that my being there also affects the performance. Musicians are used to their work being captured on CD, tape and photograph, but not many have been painted while playing.

Time disappears and we are carried along on a creative high. I know that people are watching my painting develop as well as listening to the music but I am encapsulated in a world of sound. When the music stops and the image is finished I feel as drained and satisfied as the musicians themselves.

I always ask the players to sign their respective images and I am always pleased and surprised that they are willing to do so.

For me, the finished sketch is a moment in time in which we have all shared and a record of our collective enjoyment.”

OPEN SESSIONS DATES [July : August] – Sunday July 12 & 26 : August 9 & 30

FOR EVENING CONCERT DATES – check details on


Click here for details of Open Sessions and Concerts dates