03 October 2014

The Artistic Process

Highland Calling - 8x10" - Oil on paper


After a couple of conversations about the plight of the Scottish Highlanders being similar to that of the Native American's, in so much as they were called savages and forced to give up their way of life and land, I started thinking about representing my history and the spirit of the Scottish people in paint rather than that of the Native American's.

What draws me to the Native American theme is to represent the spirit of the people; their connection with the land, their spirituality, societal structure and importance of family, and their holding natural elements as sacred. To me they lived life as it was meant to be lived, sustainably and with respect. Many of these same traits existed in the ancient Scottish cultures of the Celts and Picts. 

As I had these conversation an idea was forming. Could I create the same imagery but tell the story of my people rather than that of the Native American's? I started doodling ideas in my notebook and then could not wait to get the ideas onto canvas (or paper as the case may be). 

Highland Calling is my first attempt at this. It will take some experimentation to be able to get to the more abstract expressionist representations similar to my Vision Quest paintings, while maintaining the Scottish representation. This first painting ended up being more detailed that I had intended. I felt I needed those extra details to have it make sense, but I am hopeful the paintings can evolve to be better spiritual representations.