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'Winter Solstice' Fund-Raising Limited Edition Print for Highland Hospice

'Winter Solstice' Fund-Raising Limited Edition Print  for Highland Hospice
Fund-Raising Project for Highland Hospice kicks off with "Winter Solstice" Limited Edition Print by Artist & Author Paul Taggart

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“Winter Solstice” an uplifting view that warms the heart as the sun sets on this exceptional winter’s day

Although I had been unable to commit as much time to my easel in 2008, this was one of the two paintings I was absolutely determined to complete - come what may. In July 2007 we welcomed to our home for lunch three dedicated folk, David Welch, Director of Fundraising and Communications for Highland Hospice, along with Sandy and Barbara Morrison (John Grant & Sons, Dornoch), to go through our proposal in support of Sandy Morrison’s commitment to Highland Hospice.

At that point we knew the choice of subject would have to be very carefully considered and would probably take some time to manifest itself. After which it would take some while to produce the oil painting. Patience was therefore going to be required until such time as things could be moved forward. We did however have the end of 2008 in mind as the ultimate goal for the completion of the painting and to our delight it has turned out that way. All thanks to a last minute trip to Inverness for various bits’n’bobs, before we set off for our 2007 Christmas trip south of the border to visit various friends and family.

We have two favourite routes back to our home, one goes through what we call the magic woods, a route saved for twilight and deep night time, so that our car headlights can pick out the lichen draped trees. The other goes through a tiny hamlet and past a glorious Highland loch, where thousands of whooper swans and geese settle after their migration from the far North.

It was three-thirty in the afternoon as we drove along the single track road, past various cottages and the paddock in which miniature horses graze, over the steep humpy back bridge with the sharp bend left and on a bit. That is when we spotted the full moon in the cloudless sky over the other side of the loch and stopped the car.

The day was golden with the slowly setting sun. Streaming in from the right of the view it clothed the bales of hay in the field immediately in front of us and picked out the delicate tracery of the frosted stalks and weeds, which so resembled lace-work. The frozen mirrored surface of the loch had been slowly melting all day, but trees in the shadows were still stiffly white. Two horses grazed contentedly in one of the fields on the opposite shore – and yes – they can be seen in the finished painting!

This was it, the perfect image for Highland Hospice that is now “Winter Solstice”.

I cannot tell you how fulfilling it has been to turn this gift of a scene into a painting that gives me the greatest delight. Although the composition was fairly challenging, the end result has been worth the effort.

It gives me the greatest pleasure to dedicate this Limited Edition Print to Sandy Morrison for this exceptional cause. As each framed copy is sold, in the ‘Winter Solstice’ edition of one hundred prints, £80 will be passed over to Highland Hospice.

Full details of the original painting and print can be seen in my Limited Edition Prints and Work in Progress Galleries