Their Musical Heritage Shared
Highland Heritage Collection
Paul Taggart Miniature Masterworks
Oils on Gesso'd Wood Panel
Private Collector Ownership
Frame Size (outer) 36cm[w] x 31cm[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 many years Eileen and I would attend music sessions at which I would set up my easel and paint-along, as the musicians played-along. Sessions are woven into the very fabric of traditional music here in the Highlands of Scotland, where professional and up-coming musicians mingle and play along with each other for a session of music-making in an informal setting. This is where tunes and techniques are passed on and shared, both orally and aurally, as they have been since time immemorial. Traditional music predominates here, with upcoming musicians making their mark by being able to pick out these time-honoured tunes, as well as adapting them for a more contemporaneous audience; with a wealth of talent composing new tunes to add to the burgeoning repertoire – a repertoire that crosses continents across the globe.
Subject - We had booked a table for lunch, bringing friends along, for what we had been told by Bruce Macgregor would be a wee bit of fiddling by himself and perhaps a couple of other musician friends. The table next to ours had been removed; a small space left in one corner of the compact restaurant in which Bruce and one or two others could comfortably play. It soon became clear that word had spread and one after another more and more players arrived to join in. Crowded it might have been, as chair after chair was jammed into this tiny space, but one thing was for sure - this was raw enthusiasm and talent at its most spontaneous.
Professional and up-coming performers joined the throng and as each arrived Bruce invited them to lead the next piece, something of their own choice. Those who were not familiar with the tune, listened to a few bars before busking along, such was their instinct for the music. Our schedule for the day was put to one side, as we lingered - finally and very reluctantly we simply had to return home. At this point we counted fifteen musicians and singers, with more arriving as we departed; subsequently discovering that the numbers had grown further and the playing had gone on and on!
Composition - I knew this complex composition was going to prove rather difficult to tackle - eleven figures within such a confined area of this "miniature" oil painting - a tight squeeze if ever there was one! Many exploratory sketches later and I threw myself into the painting, carried along by the memory of attending such an exciting and stimulating event.
The successful balance of this painting totally depended on the pools of light, which illuminate some figures and not others. At first the painting was a mass of bewildering shapes, limbs and instruments. Slowly the image emerged, as all of the personalities were painted in painstaking detail; the illuminated figures fixing areas of light around which this vibrant subject revolves, each figure lit in an unique manner. Instruments too, with their wood and metal reflective surfaces, pick up this light in exciting combinations - a joy to paint and a pleasure for me to explore. Look closely and you will see how these lit areas form a triangle from bottom left to right and up to top centre - this same light creating all the drama.
The final finishing touch - a glass and can placed on the floor above the knee of the accordion player, whose reflective properties filled a tiny open area that needed balancing out against the shadows on the wooden surface.
As always, we thank you for reading and watching, with best wishes from Eileen and myself,”
Artist : Author : Presenter : Producer