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Blazin' Rehearsal

Blazin' Rehearsal

Highland Heritage Collection

Edition Size 100

£225 framed

Frame Size (outer) 45cm[w] x 39cm[h]

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Not long after this painting was completed, members of the band moved on and new musicians welcomed to Blazin’ Fiddles. Which renders this painting ever more poignant and memorably unique, for it chronicles a period in time that will never be repeated, such is the ever-shifting nature of musicians and their bands.

"The two greatest challenges of this painting were first its light and then its perspective. Backlit subjects have always excited me. To outline a figure in sharp light is dramatic, but it does then throw the masses of the subject into deep shadow. Within the shadow there is a limited range of values (darks and lights) and they are usually soft and difficult to define. But the resultant ‘glow’ of light in the air, when it finally works, is worth all of the intensive effort devoted to achieving this.

The perspective of the room, along with the chairs, tables, floorboards and windows, form a grid on which all the figures must ‘sit’ comfortably. Andy’s keyboard and the tables produce very powerful diagonals, which sweep the eye up into the corners of the painting. To pull the viewer’s attention back, the windows, bar and background were kept perfectly horizontal, to create a stable platform on which the figures could be fixed. I treated the tables in the centre as a miniature still-life in its own right and as such transformed them to engage the eye. The confusion of four tables was reduced to two on which I could carefully place fiddles not in use. The most difficult areas of all were the shadows at the base of the table and beneath the keyboard. Essential as contrasts to the light they had not to attract the eye and required glaze after glaze of colour to achieve their correct depth.

It is now many years since we first saw Blazin’ Fiddles in concert at the Carnegie Hall in Clashmore (a tiny hamlet neighbouring Carnegie’s beloved Highland home –Skibo) and instinctively felt drawn to explore the chance of chronicling the work of Bruce MacGregor and Blazin’ Fiddles as well as their love for traditional Highland music in general.

However, a further year passed before we found ourselves meeting Bruce again and an even longer wait to finally get the first Blazin’ Fiddles subject and then it was only a chance remark that led to it. For as far as Bruce was concerned, how could their casual band rehearsal in one of the rooms at Hootenanny’s in Inverness be of possible charm for the Heritage collection – but we did pop along to the July afternoon rehearsal – for it is times like these that represent the heritage and culture of a place and its people.

Here we see the original members of the band with its (then) newly welcomed member Anna Massie, seated beside Andy Thorburn on keyboard. To her left is Allan Henderson and to his Bruce MacGregor, with Catriona Macdonald and Iain MacFarlane completing the arc of this composition. Each a renowned musician in their own right; banded at that time, as Blazin’ Fiddles, a tour de force.

As always, we thank you for reading and watching, with best wishes from Eileen and myself,”

Paul Taggart

Artist : Author : Presenter : Producer

  • Only 100 prints in each edition (unless otherwise stated)

  • Limited to stated quantity

  • Individually signed by Paul Taggart

  • Individually numbered by Paul Taggart

  • Published exclusively by Paul Taggart's Studio

  • Each print individually passed by Paul Taggart

  • Printed on archival acid-free paper

  • Acid-free window mount fixed with archival tape

  • Hand-framed with polychrome 'glass' to prevent damage in transit.


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