Shetland 5 (Sumburgh), acryilc & gesso on canvas, 6x6in, sold
This post is very long-a compilation of my first 10 days in Shetland.....
Today Shetland artist and new friend Anne Barron took me for a stunning drive to visit the studio of painter and jewellery-maker Mike Finny. Shetland is home to many artists and the rugged land, sea and sky weave a distinct yet diverse pattern of art, music and knitwear. It was quite interesting to hear Mike talk about his work and inspirations.
Along with the studio visit I was completely bowled over by the stunning views through the car window as we drove on to Anne's place. Hills, water, croft houses, stacked rock fences marking the land, vast changing skies were everywhere as we wound our way through sheep covered hills. Shetland ponies grazing against stark backdrops of rigid purple hills, and the light-the LIGHT!. The mysterious moody light in Shetland entices me to no end.
Anne and husband Mike live in 'Papil', Burra Isle. The name Papil is a Norse reference to the papar. 'This name can be found in the form Papyli in several locations in Iceland. However, it is not just Papil's etymology that suggests the site of an early (8th century) church, confirmation has been found in the form of the "Monk's Stone", which was dug up in Papil and which is now in the Shetland Museum. A tall, narrow slab, it features a distinctive circular crosshead, and carvings of monks and a Pictish lion. Below this are two “birdman” figures holding a human head between their beaks.' http://www.stravaiging.com/history/pictish/stone/papil-stone#sthash.iFkP22jX.dpuf
Shetland has a vast history dating back approximately 6000 years. 'Throughout the islands there are clues in the landscape to the challenges and resources that shaped the lives of past inhabitants. From a national perspective, it is arguably the most exciting place in Britain for discovering and interpreting the past. Prehistoric field systems, Bronze Age burnt mounds, Iron Age brochs, Pictish wheelhouses, Viking and Norse longhouses and post-medieval fortifications all serve to offer a rich tapestry of well-preserved and visible human settlement.'
Anne's lovely home is located very close to Meal Beach. Shetland boasts many stunning beaches-this one has white sand!
As I write, the studio is being pelted by rain and crashing waves, the force nothing to what Shetlanders are accustomed to. Shetland seems invincible. I like that. I like that it isn't exploited by burger kings and macdonalds and starbucks. I like that people look themselves, not generic and processed. I like that agricultural land sits next to the sea. I like that culture and history are nurtured, not bulldozed. I like how right now, in this moment, I feel a sense of place in time, and that I am here.
*a sincere thank you to Anne for a wonderful day!
Today: light. water. edges. Pushing pigment on these tiny surfaces (6x6 and 8x8in) with different media and tools is a good challenge-still working out the kinks.
If you have pre-purchased one of my works via the Wild in Shetland crowd-funder, and fancy the available 6x6in painting featured here, please speak up-it can be yours!
Shetland 5, acrylic & gesso, 6x6in, sold
Shetland 4, acrylic & gesso, 8x8in, 110.
Shetland 3, acrylic & gesso, 6x6in, 95.
Tonight: wandering to see what the tide brought in-found some interesting things-thank goodness I brought the backpack!
Monday, April 6, 2015
I'm here...finally!!! view from the studio
haven't worked with acrylic for quite awhile-edges are tricky-but it felt really good to push paint around-not the best photo and might go back into it-or not. On a warning note to artists travelling to residencies over the pond, going through UK security: when they ask what you will be doing: do NOT answer with 'working' or 'residency' -instead, say 'painting' and 'retreat' otherwise they will think you want to establish residency and employment there-they don't like that-they REALLY don't like that.'Shetland 1, acrylic and gesso on canvas, 12x12in copyright Jan Yates 2015
A walk around Scalloway