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Featured New Art

SM2023 Allt Airigh Na Cloiche and Baosbh

Sarah Milteer

Allt Àirigh na Cloiche and Baosbheinn


Oil on canvas

24 x 30 cm




Q&A with Sarah Milteer


Q: Why is the title in Gaelic and what does it mean?

A: The moor in the foreground is called 'Allt Àirigh na Cloiche' and the mountain is called 'Baosbheinn'. Together it means 'The burn of the shieling of the stone and hill of the wizard's hat'.

Q: How long did it take you to paint this painting?

A: Until I was finished.

Q: Did you paint this on the spot while standing in that place?

A: No, it was too cold. I used one of my photos for reference but have viewed the scene from that perspective for more than 50 years. I tend to not do plein air painting because memory is an important part of my painting process.

Q: If I stood in that place, would it look like your painting?

A: You would probably recognise the landscape and colours, especially if you were there in winter or early spring. The actual scene might look a bit less painterly.

The snowy mountain in the background is Baosbheinn in the Highlands of Scotland, which you've painted many times before. What sustains your interest in this particular place?

A: It's a handsome mountain. I've always loved it and how it changes with the light and seasons.

Q: How is this rendition of Baosbheinn different from previous ones you've done?

A: This is an oil painting; I usually use acrylic.

Q: What was the most challenging aspect of this work?

A: Oil paint is more versatile than acrylic but mixing and application require different skills because (the paint) dries much more slowly. It takes longer and I have to be patient. Also, cleaning the brushes is more difficult.


Q: What's with the chunky bits of paint?

A: It's a way of creating interesting texture on the (painting's) surface that can echo the roughness of the landscape, and at the same time make you aware of the painting as an object itself.

Q: Looking at the size you've painted the mountain, it's almost like I could fit it in my hand; is the mountain that big in real life?

A: It's bigger.

Q: What song would be the best musical accompaniment to this painting?
A: Johnny Cash's 'I Walk the Line' just popped in my head when I thought about the painting. I don't know why; it was totally intuitive. Go
here and listen to it anyway.


Q: What beverage pairs best with this painting?
A: A glass of cold loch water. Alternatively (hot) black tea in a flask.

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