Behind-the-Scenes Feature

FREE-TO-VIEW miniature oil painting by Paul Taggart - ‘Soul Mates’

“Welcome to our creative sanctuary in which I produce works of art such as this miniature oil painting on a gesso panel; listening to wonderful music from friends such as Bruce MacGregor who kindly gave us permission to feature tracks from his CD 'Loch Ness' to accompany this 'wee' feature - available from blazinfiddles.com

METHOD & TECHNIQUE -as you will note in this reveal, the traditional techniques I employ in my oil paintings involve a succession of layers. With each layer the overall colour and balance across the entire painting is refined, in order that I can achieve the impression of space and light which I am aiming for. Layering is essential - it allows the initial build-up of texture through to the finer layers of glazes and tints. Not only this, it allows the gradual build-up of colours, from dark to light and the finishing touches of absolute highlights.

There is absolutely no rushing this process, it requires meticulous attention and considerable patience; for the paint surface must be discovered and explored - it cannot be contrived.

This is what makes painting particularly exciting for me and especially so in using traditional techniques. The result is almost inevitably a discovery, an unexpected delight that can be exploited and it is this element of the unexpected that drives me to push the limits of my work.

DO YOU PAINT YOURSELF? WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW MORE about the traditional techniques that I use and how we could Make LIGHT Work for You? Click & Play here to watch our trailer for my box-set of online video tutorials ‘[Series 5] Learn to Enjoy Painting in Oils with Paul Taggart – Making LIGHT Work for You’ – vimeo.com/ondemand/artworkshopwithpauloils5

SUBJECT - For our 2010 Christmas Special we celebrated one of the many amazing life-cycles that permeate our annual lives in the Northern Highlands of Scotland.

Would you like to know more about my Original Paintings and Limited Edition Prints? This link will take you to the Galleries page on our official website - artworkshopwithpaul.com/galleryintro.php

Every Autumn we watch as skeins of Greylag and Pink Footed geese soar over our home on their annual Autumn migration from the Arctic north to Loch Eye, a few short miles from us. Tens of thousands have been recorded in a single season on the waters of this beautiful loch on the Tarbat Ness Peninsular. Early in the morning they rise as one in search of foraging and the sound of their dusk return is quite spectacular.

These daily rituals are punctuated by another sound however; one that heralds the approach of swans, as they skim the chimneys of our stone cottage. These huge birds, necks outstretched, whose wings thump the air in a rhythmic heartbeat, are also destined for Loch Eye. All through the year hundreds of pairs are to be seen gliding across the surface and we have taken to cycling down there first thing in the morning, to simply sit and wonder at these gloriously elegant birds.

Our stopping off place a fishing boat jetty, from where we watch trout jumping out of the water and swans going about their daily habits, usually well away from the well-used jetty.

Imagine our surprise when one morning we came upon a male, who seemed to be ‘gardening’ the reeds and other marginal plants within arm’s length of the jetty. A few days later all was revealed, for he had been working on a nest for his mate – some two feet away from the foreshore of the loch, right next to the boathouse. Beautifully sculpted into an egg-shaped hollow, lined with feathers and down, the contoured nest fitted his female mate to perfection.

Usually when we arrived she was to be found away from the nest, he continued to garden, clearing a ‘path’ to allow her ease of access on her return. Such was their trust in us that we would settle down on the jetty and wait as she glided back and climbed aboard her nest.

Then came the day when we spotted four eggs in the nest, so we made a point of visiting as often as possible to revel in the devotion of these two birds, destined to mate for life.

And our patience was rewarded, for one brilliant Summer’s day early in July our arrival was greeted with obvious pride by the male – his mate had delivered of three cygnets and she was patiently waiting for the fourth to come through.

Our presence was not causing either of them any distress, so we quietly sat and watched as she lifted one wing to inspect her brood, before ‘cupping’ her wing around the three cheeping youngsters. The male continued his ‘gardening’ – while she continued her grooming. All-in-all we sat and watched for at least an hour, drinking in the harmonious family unit, whose pride in their achievements was obvious and whose dedication to each other was constant.

We thank you for reading and watching and send you best wishes from Eileen and myself,”

Paul Taggart
Artist : Author : Presenter : Producer

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