It truly is a special thing when people commission me to make a piece of art.
This particular project was fascinating to work on for a number of reasons, namely; human geography, landscape and the notion of sense of place. Let me explain why...
The clients are from France. They have never met me. They were introduced to my work via an article in Scottish Field magazine. The place they asked me to "map" is a remote enclave on the banks of a sea loch just south of Oban, Argyll.
We’re French and we love Scotland. We consider your beautiful country as our second home – we come here on holidays every two years since twenty-five years… So it would be an honour for us, should you accept to realize a sort of “map” with a special place in our heart – a small part of the loch bank at the entrance of loch Feochan, by Lerags, south of Oban.
Soon, I was soaking up the spirit of this remote and rugged landscape for myself.
I engage with this place. It takes considerable effort to even get here. The dirt track road stops short. I'm on foot. I carefully pick my way along rounded old red sandstone on the high-tide line. Now sitting on a seriously weathered, porphyritic, andesite boulder which has come to rest below the ancient volcanic cliff, I hear the gentle wash of weakening Atlantic waves, the soft, woolly rustling of sheep passing through fern. Salty seaweed scents mingle with the more earthy notes left behind by the herd. The greens are turning brown with the Summer fading. It's not cold though, the wind is low and the walk is warming.
On writing this, now some three months after my research trip, I can still feel that sense of place and in some way understand the connection between my clients and this quiet corner of Scotland's west coast.
Marks made in this piece follow marks made in the landscape by the people who visit.
The connectedness of people and place is so evident here.
A French couple, so invested in the culture of this place that they subscribe to a Scottish magazine, commission an artist to capture this place which clearly means so much to them and return year after year.
It’s here! Your beautiful work of art just arrived, it is absolutely magnificent, we’re so happy with it, thank you so much! It is precisely what we dreamed of, the colours and textures are beautiful. And the frame is great too, it really brings out the beauty of your work. This little part of Scotland will now have a place of choice in our home.
Thanks to you, it’s Christmas before Christmas…
We hope someday we can come to your studio to meet you and thank you in person.
Have a nice day. Thanks to you, ours will be wonderful !
Pascale & Gilles
Take a look at more commissioned pieces.