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."
One of Pam's most moving stories centres on a Christmas commission. "I received an email from a girl who was desperate to buy a painting for her and her husband's Christmas. She had seen one of mine and it evoked memories of their time on Skye," Pam explains.
However, Pam initially missed the email - finally discovering it eight days before Christmas! "I concentrated on the commission and managed to complete it ahead of Christmas!" she says.
When visiting to see their painting, it became apparent that the lady's husband had terminal cancer. "Despite the struggle, they were overjoyed with my work," Pam continues. "It was their focal point at Christmas, which they shared with the family. Three days later, the husband died. I was so glad that my painting brought such meaning to their lives."
For Pam, being an artist requires having a sense of humour. While exhibiting her work, Pam was intrigued to find one particular painting, Farm Beyond the Dunes, was not selling. Determined to make the piece even better, Pam took the painting down and adjusted the sky, the cottages and the texture. "The following week, I had a phone call from a young client who wanted to buy a painting he had seen in the gallery," Pam relates. "Yes, it was Farm Beyond the Dunes! Despite showing him the new painting, he preferred the original!" Pam took out a brand new canvas, recreated the atmosphere of the original painting for her client - and shortly sold the second version too!
Pam will be exhibiting her work at Isle Ornsay in south Skye from 14 July 2018 to 10 September 2018. She laughs: "I have lots of stories to tell - so if you get a chance to visit the gallery and decide to linger you may get a few more anecdotes!"