The “Inner Sound” Series series began in watercolour, in 2009, when I first started working in my new studio in Wester Ross. It’s an attempt to find an equivalent in paint for the experience of looking out beyond my studio windows to the seas of the Inner Sound and the Minch.
The energy and the light in this place is unlike any I’ve known before and living here is a daily immersion in a breathtaking (sometimes overpowering) drama played out by the elements.
Nature here seems to be in a state of constant flux. Maybe it’s the presence of islands, just off-shore, which encourage the interplay of light, land and water.
Bright sunshine gives way to sudden mists and cloudbursts, with shards of light slicing through the air onto the silvery water below, before dissolving into veils of light-infused vapour.
Or walls of cloud gathering across the horizon and heading landward like giant tsunami.
As the series has grown, drawn from this reality of water and sky seen through my windows, the images have become increasingly pared-down, re-defined.
The ‘headland’ is a device which I enjoy exploring and return to again and again. It’s simply a suggestion of the shape of the north end of the Trotternish ridge, on Skye, which I see across the water from my windows. But it’s a source of inspiration I continue to draw from.
The watercolour below – ‘Inner Sound: Headland’ will be included in the annual exhibition of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour, from 16th – 31st January at the Royal Scottish Academy, on the Mound in Edinburgh.
The process of pressing forward with this series, not knowing what the next piece will bring or where it will take me, is exciting – it’s taken on an energy of its own.
Each piece seems to grow out of the previous one, to teach the eye and the hand something new; I more often than not lose myself in the process, only to be taken by surprise, afterwards, by the boldness and vigour of the marks my brush has made.
To let the hand, the pigment, the paper and the water grapple – and then act in unison, giving form to my experience of the drama unfolding beyond my window.