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, ‘Wistful Reflections’. This is one of those paintings that reveal themselves to me when least expected and yet it comes to signify everything that my signature feature is all about; which is the amazing and varied properties of light.
Here in the Northern Highlands of Scotland, the variety of light is considerable, from the strong overhead sunlight that drenches our summer months, through to the low-lying light of winter days. Never a day passes when I am not aware of its distinctive and varied character and so it was on this particular day, when we were driving past Loch Brora to join friends for lunch.
SUBJECT – At one of the bends on the meandering drive along the length of Loch Brora, my attention was caught by what seemed to be boats floating above the surface. The loch is flanked on three sides by hills and a rocky massif, which seemed to heighten the effect of this optical illusion and so, in spite of the fact that this would make us late for lunch, we pulled off the road. Then I knew, I simply had to capture this view for my ‘Spirit of The Highlands’ collection, for it embodied so much of what I find exciting about light. Frustratingly however, I had no means of gathering reference material on that particular day and so we had no option but to return in the coming days and hope, beyond hope, that nothing would alter.
COMPOSITION – ‘Wistful Reflections’ was quite a challenging subject to capture, as I wanted to portray that sense of an optical illusion and concentrate on the reflections and the way the low-lying light impacted on the overall view. When I returned to my studio with the large collection of reference material, it took quite a while to work out the composition, especially the balance of the massif, which could have overpowered the overall landscape. So I decided that the best way of reducing its impact was to have the top ridge disappear out of the composition– preferring instead to concentrate on the reflection of the entire massif on the surface of the loch.
The massif is crucial in enforcing the illusion of the floating boat, for it is the bulk of this element that blocks out the low-lying sun, whose light would normally reflect off the water’s surface. The surface of the loch, not being affected by the light of the sun, appears dense, as if a mirror, in which various elements of the surrounding landscape are powerfully reflected, including the winter-sun that pierces through rolling ominous-looking clouds.
The valley containing Loch Brora extends way back into distant hills, as does the loch itself, interrupted by the peninsular of land that juts out in the middle distance – all of which requires considerable understanding and liberal exploitation of aerial perspective to portray the grandeur of the landscape and convey the sheer distance seen in the view.
METHOD – traditional techniques form the basis of my particular method and process of working, which I maximise and manipulate to achieve the effect of light - the signature feature that is present in every piece. I am particularly partial to oil painting, for there is nothing to surpass the sheer richness of this medium and the process. It is about painting in layers to create depth and using the inherent textures in a brushstroke. In oil painting we have a medium that can be opaque or transparent; thick or thin in its application, where the surface of the painting, being physical, affects the light falling on it.
The method of working from dark to light, building from initial dark layers through to the tiniest ticks of pure white highlights is combined with the use of traditional techniques such as glazing and tinting (as per the Old Masters). Enriching and enhancing the surface quality of oil paint is the process I employ extensively to achieve the quality I seek.
As always, we thank you for reading and watching, with best wishes from Eileen and myself,”
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