The Low Road
Spirit of The Highlands Collection
Paul Taggart 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 ‘The Low Road’ a companion to ‘Lone Piper’ and ‘Christmas Bells’. 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 – Within a very short space of time after making the Northern Highlands our home, the ‘low road’ became one of our favourite routes. In common with many, we love to take this single track with passing places that meanders along past farms, stone cottages set snugly into banks carpetted with bluebells in summer and ablaze with bracken in winter. On it goes past Camore Woods and the Lochans, until you round a bend and there is your first view of Dornoch, with its skyline broken by the spire of Dornoch Cathedral and the turrets of the Dornoch Castle Hotel.
Every time we drove to Dornoch I was inspired by the light and colour when rounding the bend and I was determined to capture this, earmarking it as one of the three subjects for our Macmillan Cancer Support fund-raising project. Meanwhile plans were made to kick off the trilogy with ‘Lone Piper’, which took me four years to work out as a composition. Then ‘Christmas Bells’ inspired by a heavily-frosted Christmas morning. With ‘The Low Road’ destined to round off the set of fund-raising prints published from the original oil paintings – believing that this view was not as time-sensitive as the other two; how wrong could we be!
For something else used to also greet the drivers, cyclists and walkers that wended their way along the ‘low road’ – a solitary tree, trunk leaning away from the prevailing easterly blowing off the North Sea, its lovely rounded crown catching the light of day.
Now sadly no longer there, uprooted to make way for changes in the offing, its iconic status lost forever – as is the original view.
COMPOSITION – All was not lost however. This is where taking reference notes, sketches and photographs comes into its own and thankfully I had plenty, so work could continue as planned on a now significantly poignant composition.
Throughout the ever-changing seasons of the year, I delight in what they have to bring – here a Winter scene, with crackling dry leaves of copper-beech hedging. Stone walls draped with snow, ubiquitous Broome thrusting its way through tumble-down fencing and a bright blue sky stretching as far as the eye can see. The scene is bathed in that low Highland light, which gives such form to the landscape and the warm light creates wonderful contrasts against the ice-cold shadows. And, restored to its rightful place, the tree stands as I remember it.
Not only was the painting itself rewarding, but I am always joyful at being able to record an element of our lives and heritage before it is lost forever.
Although only in our immediate past, this particular moment in time can never be witnessed again first hand. I have experienced this several times over the years and it is one of the powerful drives which brings validation to my work as an artist.
As always, we thank you for reading and watching, with best wishes from Eileen and myself,”
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