Spirit of The Highlands Collection
Paul Taggart Grande Miniature Masterworks
Oils on Gesso'd Wood Panel
Private Collector Ownership
Frame Size (outer) 71cm[w] x 42cm[h]
FRAME - Hand-made by Frinton Frames. 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 ‘Lone Piper’ a companion to ‘Christmas Bells’ 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.
A festive evening in December, in the Sutherland town of Dornoch - the Lone Piper stands in readiness on the turret roof. Visitors, friends and neighbours have, as usual, enjoyed the sounds of the pipe band as they march up and down Castle Street and Dornoch Square.
SUBJECT - Glistening pavements and streets reflect a variegated palette of jewel colours from buildings bathed in a golden glow, seasonal lights sparkling in leaf-bare trees and the moonlit, midnight-blue sky.
We spot a cheery couple, topped in their celebratory red jester hats, youngsters enjoying the simple pleasure that sparklers bring, a white-capped boy engrossed in the pipers, a fur-hatted lady striding purposefully home and a waistcoated figure who seems to be staring back at you, the viewer of this painting.
The picturesque Scottish Highlands cathedral town of Dornoch prides itself on its community spirit, at both the personal and business level – this painting celebrates one aspect of that sense of community – the Dornoch Pipe Band and the tradition of the lone piper on the turret of the Castle Hotel, so enjoyed by residents and international visitors.
COMPOSITION - Every element in this composition was worked in miniature-style, which is why we term this a Grande Miniature. This painting is filled with the brightest of lights and the darkest of darks. Each of the multitude of figures required personal attention, to ensure the overall composition was filled with movement and depth. Compositionally the actual view requires the observer to swivel their head 180o, from left to right, but as the artist I was able to portray the entire scene as a panoramic composition.
METHOD – The traditional techniques I employ in my oil paintings involve a succession of layers. With each layer the overall colour and balance across the entire painting is refined, in order that I can achieve the impression of space and light which I am aiming for. Layering is essential - it allows the initial build-up of texture through to the finer layers of glazes and tints. Not only this, it allows the gradual build-up of colours, from dark to light and the finishing touches of absolute highlights.
There is absolutely no rushing this process, it requires meticulous attention and considerable patience; for the paint surface must be discovered and explored - it cannot be contrived.
This is what makes painting particularly exciting for me and especially so in using traditional techniques. The result is almost inevitably a discovery, an unexpected delight that can be exploited and it is this element of the unexpected that drives me to push the limits of my work.
As always, we thank you for reading and watching, with best wishes from Eileen and myself,”
Artist : Author : Presenter : Producer
Would you like to take up painting?
Do you paint yourself?
Would you like to know more about the traditional techniques that I use?
Click here to DISCOVER our catalogue of painting video tutorials.