A short note to my writing group:
On seeing this painting, Iona Landscape: Rocks by Samuel J Peploe I could write about visiting Iona 25 years ago; of receiving a book written in the 1800s and passed down to me, from my Scottish Aunt about Iona history; about the fact that my grandmother was a Scottish artist at the same time as the Scottish colourists (I wish I knew what she thought of them); about my art being likened to Paul Gauguin’s work even although I had never seen his art. (He was one of the French artists who had great influence on the Scottish colourists). Since then I have felt very drawn to Matisse, Seurat and Gauguin’s style and when I saw Samuel J Peploe’s paintings my heart started fluttering with delight. And so here I offer you a fantasy conversation that sprung to mind taking place between the young woman I was and the old lady I have become:
Please find the link here if you would like to read more about the Scottish Colourists ; here is the link for the painting Iona Lanscape: Rocks, 1925, Samuel John Peploe if you would like to read a description.
Sophia, the old woman, is sitting on the rocks as Colleen, the young girl, approaches her today. Sophia and Colleen meet regularly on the beach down on the rocks.
“I have been there,” the young girl said as she pointed out into the distance purposefully.
The old hag looks at her sideways, saying nothing at all. She puffs on her pipe.
Colleen protests: “No really I have been there in body and heart. We went on a ferry one cold summer’s day.”
“Uh-ha,” Sophia nodded, her eyes glinting as they narrowed: “Tell me more?”
Colleen begins: “that was a sojourn for me and a pilgrimage where Spirit and soul met in an encounter. It was so memorable that my heart has yearned to visit again now that I am older.”
“Aye, and you will go again,” nodded Sophia, gazing into the far away distance where the colours form strata of hazy mists and mountains. Everything seemed so still.
“You are inspired by the call of Spirit to emerge in a new way.” The old hag says this as she gazes upon a vision of brushstrokes that dance in a painterly freedom unafraid to experience the surprises of life. She knows that her vision speaks of Colleen bravely taking on a new landscape and a new way of being.
She closes her eyes as she speaks again, “Growth comes in change; change brings movement, movement as a rippling out into the world. There will be pain and there will be joy. There’s always choice my dear, it is your sacred right. Stand firm. Live with purpose and vigor.”
They both sit quietly in their own worlds. They will talk again.
My stories capture desires and dreams, tell of wonderful places seen or yet to be seen and express my journey lived and still to be lived.Morag Noffke
You can also watch the Scotland’s art, video of the Scottish Colourists by National Galleries Scotland.