Artists live with the unexpected

By Roz Macaskill

It can transcend time and place, evoke memories and emotions, and celebrate life. Renowned painter, Pam Carter, is keenly aware of the power art has over other people - and never fails to be amazed by it.

Pam, who studied at the Glasgow School of Art, exhibits annually at Isle Ornsay. Her paintings of croft lands, glistening beaches and distinctive Hebridean atmosphere capture the ever-changing moods of the islands - and impact the viewer.

Hearing the stories from those who have been affected by Pam's work is poignant, amusing and inspiring. Pam says: "I'm always amazed that my work has been bought to celebrate life, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and to commemorate death. Over the years there have been some paintings and situations that are quite memorable. Some are downright funny and others are very touching."

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Fishing for inspiration with Duncan Currie

By Roz Skinner

For artist Duncan Currie, painting and fishing have always gone hand in hand.  Sitting in the peaceful Skye surroundings enables Duncan to charge his creative batteries and find inspiration from the constantly changing landscape.

“It feels like an interaction with nature," Duncan explains.  "I lose all sense of time when I am painting and fishing. They are both ways of experiencing a total immersion in the wild environment and natural landscape."

The ever-changing Skye light means that Duncan can paint a scene many times and always produce something different.  He says: “Some viewpoints become almost like a project for me, such as the one looking across Loch Slapin to Blaven.  Capturing it during different seasons and times of day means the view is familiar, but never the same.  Going out to the trout lochs really helps, as I see continuously varying foregrounds and that keeps my work interesting.”

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Artist Nigel Grounds influenced over time

Artist Nigel Grounds has been influenced over time to create vivid, evocative paintings that conjure up the shifting light, incredible landscape, dazzling colour and jagged mountains that make Scotland an artist's paradise.


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Skyeworks Gallery…a complete Island of art 

Above the Isle of Skye Baking Company in Portree, you will find Skyeworks Gallery, a central and expansive creative hub.  

Follow the stairs up to the first floor of the old converted woollen mill and you will find a huge, light-filled space showcasing carefully curated arts and crafts, beautiful clothing, hand crafted jewellery and reclaimed oak furniture. 

An important part of Skyeworks’ ethos centres on its relationship with artists, and it is eager to celebrate the works of a wide variety of creative people, be it the paintings of a renowned local artist or ceramic work produce by an emerging talent.  

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Making a business out of artist's setback  

By Roz Skinner  

What does a Harris Tweed business on the Isle of Skye and the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi have in common?   At first glance, nothing at all. 

But a deeper look shows that the philosophy behind the Japanese art, which means "golden repair" and consists of mending broken pottery with powdered gold, embraces the breakages.  The belief is that the object becomes more beautiful after the repair. 

The knowledge that a setback can be turned into something valuable is the inspiration behind Louise White's business, Lou Lou Designs. 

Louise explains how she came to form her business, saying: "I was unwell with fibromyalgia.  I didn't want to go down the route of benefits, but I wanted to pay my way with a job that didn't soak up all my energy.  So, I started making handbags out of Harris Tweed. I still get spells of being really unwell, but I don't have to sit at home and feel sorry for myself.  Sometimes, I'm actually grateful – because that illness was the catalyst to doing something amazing and creative that I love.  I always try and turn anything negative into a positive." 

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