Charcoal on paper, 59x43cm: Celtic Connections at the ABC with Julie Fowlis and her band. This girl is phenomenal! With an absolutely beautiful voice as clear and sweet as a bell she sings in Gaelic the most haunting melodies and foot-tapping crofters work songs from her home island of Uist. I managed to get good seats close to the front with a clear view of most of the band (I couldn't see the boron player for the huge guy right in front of me!), but I could see all of the others in the band and, as I often do, sketched them in a small sketchbook while listening to the music. This charcoal drawing is a composite of Julie and three band members: Mandolin, bass, and fiddle. Below is the original sketchbook drawing of the guitarist who was left out of this first composite but will try to include him in my further studies. I need to decide how this painting is going to develop. I am not too keen on straightforward representational figures and will try to get a degree of abstraction into it.
Julie has made a big impression on me! A slight girl with lovely face and eyes and soft fine hair she sings like a linty. I loved her in this little black dress with wide swirling flounces at the sleeves and satin neck-band and hems. But what a talent - she also played the whistle at such a fantastic rate, box accordian, and as part of her finale, these bag-pipes. Incredible to see this slip-of-a-girl commanding the stage and holding a large audience in complete enthral like some Hebridean pied-piper!
I can hear her again right now from this little sketch - watch the fingers fly, see her dress swirl with the skirl of the pipes, hear the crowd clap and shout for more as she finishes in a final flourish! A magnificent performance. I am now a dedicated fan!