“One of my tutors said to me, whatever mark you make, make it interesting” How true.
-Extract from Diana Mackie’s book ‘Skye Through An Artist’s Eye.’
It is a typically rainy Monday afternoon on Skye when Diana Mackie comes into ÒR; flooding the shop with buckets of energy and enthusiasm as she shares stories from her recent trip to Russia, where she was invited to celebrate gifting three of her paintings to the city of St.Petersburg. The monumental memorial paintings commemorate Arctic and Atlantic convoy ships that sailed from Loch Ewe to Russia during WWII and are feats of Mackie’s symbolic landscape studies.
Diana moved to the Isle of Skye from London in the 90s to pursue a career as a full-time artist, having never set foot on the island she was greeted by one of the worst winters in history. But that did not deter her, since then her work has become inextricably intertwined with Skye’s wild and unpredictable weather, its magnificent landscapes and rich history.
As Diana takes a seat with a cup of tea, she tells us about the up coming launch of her book “Skye Through An Artist’s Eye.” Mackie’s first book which is now stocked at ÒR, is somewhat a visual diary- combining her expressive landscape paintings with personal tales and philosophies.
“As an artist you’re never done, you’re always thinking about the next thing and it’s hard to feel content. Well… how can you be content if you always want to discover?”
“I’m about a month into my current painting and because of the stage it’s at it could be finished in as little as half an hour or it could take another month of work. I never start a painting with an idea of how it’s going to work, it’s more of a journey.”
“I tend to work on three paintings that use a similar palette at once,” she tells us, “that way while the oil paint is drying on one I can work on the other two. My paintings are heavily influenced by the works of Rembrandt and Turner, in their paintings you get a sense of emotion and space and they weren’t so troubled by finite details - for them it became more about an emotion of a place.”
Diana’s passion for Skye is as much evident in her approach to landscape as it is in her empathy for forgotten histories. “I am very affected by the derelict villages on Skye, the sense of all the people who would have lived around me. That is the sort of feeling I pick up on, and try to emulate in my work. My daily observations of how the light and the weather change in these places through the different seasons give me so much inspiration to draw upon everyday.”
Her success has seen her work on many projects both on Skye and further afield. She is based in Borreraig, near Dunvegan working from her studio and gallery space which is open to the public through appointment. Her new book “Skye through an artist’s eye” is available in store or drop us an email and we can arrange postage to your home.