Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Duddingston Loch

oil on papered canvas 31x25cm

A break from the usual grind, this is a commission from Madam. When she first came to Edinburgh in the early 1980’s she worked as a nanny with a family in Duddingston, who we still see. She often took the eldest, then about three, off to the loch to feed the ducks.

The wee girl got married earlier on this year, and Madam asked me to do a painting of Duddingston Loch as a wedding gift. We thought it would be an idea to suggest a look back to those days.

It sails close to the sentimental but I think the optimism and freshness of the sky blows that away, and the image works perfectly well without knowing the back-story. The canvas is quite small but there’s a wide variety of paint handling there – quite dry from a splayed out hoghair in the tree to smooth blended oily in the water and sky. It was a challenge doing the birds and figures so that the tiny, tiny marks were simultaneously unobtrusive and recognisable. I think they work quite well, especially the swans on the water and the geese under the tree.

There’s definitely a mood set-up track for this – Sigur Ros’ ‘Takk’. Click here Takk - Very shimmery and bright.

The painting’s not perfect but it’s gone as far as it’s going, so as soon as the paint is good and dry, we’ll go for tea at Duddingston and pass it over. Most important, Madam loves it, and is sure it’ll be appreciated.

And it made her cry.

1 comment:

  1. Alastair RichardsonSeptember 8, 2011 at 7:42 AM

    A lovely story and a lovely painting