Spirit of The Highlands Collection
Paul Taggart Masterworks
Oils on Gesso'd Wood Panel
Available for Private Purchase £18,500
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) 83cm[w] x 73cm[h]
FRAME - Hand-made by Frinton Frames. 120mm 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 this Masterworks original oil painting, ‘Waning Light’. Here we have a subject in which the qualities of light and contrast are so nuanced across the entire composition, that it required rebalancing at every stage, to ensure no single viewpoint came to dominate.
SUBJECT– Looking across to the Girnal on the opposite bank, we are reminded of times past, when a ferry bore passengers and travellers back and forth to Littleferry, in Sutherland, Scotland. All that is left are the well-rotted uprights that supported the ferry slipway, silhouetted against the waters of Loch Fleet and the distant landscape beyond. A contemplative view, caught just before the light of a late Spring day is lost and the lights from the distant building strengthen as they ripple and glimmer against the darkening waters.
COMPOSITION –Two sets of light flow across the water towards us - one being the natural light of the dazzling sun; the other, however, is artificial and gentler and comes from the windows of the Girnal and its reflection in the water. Both drop vertically through the water, giving the eye a stop, both left and right. The artificial reflection in the water could not be as bright as the sun, nor indeed as bright as the blue sparkles on the water, lit from other parts of the sky. Yet, to fully depict this artificial light, it had to be lighter in value to much of what surrounded it.
Distinct layers feature in this composition. Working from the top - first the sky, full of light, sharply delineating the silhouette of the mountains. Distant trees are darker, providing the strong contrast needed for the brilliance of the lit windows of the Girnal to shine out and the curling smoke from the chimney to be easily visible.
The waters of Loch Fleet are light, reflecting the sky, once again providing a strong contrast to the wooden uprights that slice it into sections. In the foreground, varying values move from the dark water’s edge, becoming lighter in the immediate foreground, where the dying sun catches pebbles and mosses – creating a rhythmic pattern that carries the viewer’s eye into the composition.
METHOD & TECHNIQUE – At every stage, as I worked through the layers from the dark underpainting, gradually applying the mid-values to the super-white highlights, this painting needed continual rebalancing. All the contrasts had to be repainted, overglazed and sometimes softened with tints to achieve the necessary depth, volume and light, whilst ensuring they were imbued with richness. Impasto, textured application of paint allows the sun to gleam and its reflected ripples to sparkle. Small, impasto stokes in the windows are also reflected in the water below.
The uprights were a definite challenge, firstly having to be painted negatively when rendering the textured wave patterns in the water. Subsequently these posts were glazed, employing a transparent impasto medium, a technique I only occasionally use (see the sky on Winter Moon). Here it was vital, to provide succulent dark colour, which hints at rich detail in the shadow of the silhouetted poles.
Without the traditional techniques that I exploit for my method of working, this subject would not bear the rich, luscious qualities that only painting in oils can achieve.
As always, we thank you for reading and watching, with best wishes from Eileen and myself,”
Artist : Author : Presenter : Producer