Barry's Finishing Touches
Highland Heritage Collection
Paul Taggart Miniature Masterworks
Oils on Gesso'd Wood Panel
Private Collector Ownership
Frame Size (outer) 31cm[w] x 36cm[h]
FRAME - Hand-made by Frinton Frames. 75mm wide profile. Gesso covered dome-shaped reverse moulding, hand-coloured in black and red distressed with an antique wash. Inner edge finished in cream/green.
“For a number of years, thousands of visitors to the Easter Ross seaboard village of Hilton were able to watch the Master Sculptor, Barry Grove at work, painstakingly carving both sides of a replica Pictish monolith. This miniature Masterworks full-figure portrait oil painting, along with the companion miniature Masterworks still-life oil painting ‘Master Sculptor Barry Grove’s Traditional Tools’ is my tribute to a fellow artist, whose work will long be admired, standing the test of time.
It shows Barry, traditional tools close to hand, working on the final stages of this mammoth task - shortly before it was completed, the studio shed removed and the glorious stone unveiled in October 2005.
I came upon Barry quite by chance, drawn to the curious shed that could be seen from the seashore along which we were walking. As it turned out this was Barry's temporary studio, constructed around the tall monolith, on whose second face he was now working - the first having been completed in a workshop, before the stone itself was erected in situ. Within the walls of this construction a labyrinth of scaffolding allowed Barry to scramble up to the tallest reaches of the slab. I knew from this first visit that a painting of Barry at work was a 'must' and looked forward to the day when I could do so.
The question was - how best to portray Barry, to do him and his work justice? For most of the time he was working away in the confines, penned in by the scaffolding, subject to the vagaries of the light.
Although at certain times of certain days, sun streamed through the clear roof, it was imperative that I caught it at a particular angle, when it hit the surface of the stone in such a way as to bring the intricate workmanship into relief.
Furthermore how should I show Barry - chipping away, drawing out his composition, remodelling - what would best encapsulate his ethos?
Eventually I opted for this contemplative composition, as it seemed to portray not only his creative drive, but also the thought and patience which his work demands.
As always, we thank you for reading and watching, with best wishes from Eileen and myself,”
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