Spirit of The Highlands Collection
Paul Taggart Grande Miniature Masterworks
Oils on Gesso'd Wood Panel
Available for Private Purchase £16,500
This original Masterworks oil painting is exclusively available for purchase through Paul Taggart’s studio. If you are interested in discussing a possible purchase please click here to message us privately and we will be pleased to make contact to take it from there.
Frame Size (outer) 74cm[w] x 44cm[h]
FRAME - Hand-made by Frinton https://www.frintonframes.co.ukFrames. 85mm wide frame tailored to the painting. Ribbed moulding surrounding Ivory Liner, hand coloured in Beige/Blue/Red with Light Grey Wash.
“Welcome to our Highland studio and thank you for dropping by to view my original Masterworks oil painting ‘Christmas Bells’ a companion to ‘Lone Piper’ and 'The Low Road'. One of the three paintings that I intended to produce for us to publish as a Fund-Raising Limited-Edition Print for Macmillan Cancer Support. However, the subject matter needed careful consideration and, as in most cases, it came as a gift.
SUBJECT - Christmas morning; we had stayed with friends the night before and all four of us emerged from their front door to the view of Dornoch cloaked in a beautiful, crisp, shimmering frost. The sun-kissed cathedral glowing against the rainbow colours of the cloudless sky. We continued round to the dunes for a walk through a landscape that crackled underfoot and glistened as the sun's rays glinted off the sugar-icing frosting that drenched absolutely everything in sight - which is how "Christmas Bells" came to be - a view from the Old Police Station looking up towards where the ‘Lone Piper’ plays in the companion painting - two views from opposite directions.
COMPOSITION - To produce a worthy companion painting to ‘Lone Piper’ was indeed a great challenge. The opportunity came on seeing the sun glance across the spire of Dornoch Cathedral on Christmas morning – the sunlight was stunning, set against the cool shadows and within these shadows, frosted branches and buildings were cast into unusual shapes and colour.
To make these shadow areas more visually exciting and to create greater depth I decided to turn on all the lights of Dornoch. This meant that not only did I have to gather reference for that Christmas morning, but also to convincingly meld this scene with the glow of street and Christmas lighting from other information gathered on previous occasions. The surface of the street itself is frosted, not wet and so the reflection from its surface is muted and soft when compared to the rainy vista created in ‘Lone Piper’.
The trees proved memorably demanding, for they are variously bedecked with Christmas lights, hung with frost, or warmed by the morning sun. Against the rainbow colours of the early morning sky, their fine branches etch a tracery of warm colour, while below they sink into cool icy shadow.
Needless to say, knitting all this complexity of light and detail together was a lengthy task, but as each section began to unify into a whole the experience became quite exhilarating.
The individual figures that move through the painting do not carry as much significance as the pipers in the companion painting, but here they provide scale, movement and life to the moment. All are busy going about their different ways – each caught in a bubble of time – each in the company of family or friends, as one would expect on such a seasonal morning.
As always, we thank you for reading and watching, with best wishes from Eileen and myself,”
Artist : Author : Presenter : Producer