Welcome to the blog of Melanie McDonald ! I'm a professional artist, my life is divided between my home in Newquay, Cornwall and my renovation project - an 18th Century farm - in North Brittany, France. My inspiration comes from the beautiful beaches, skies and seas of Cornwall, Brittany and Scotland. This is where I share my paintings and photographs, I hope it inspires you.
September 19, 2008
Captivated by 'Ring of Bright Water'
View from Gavin Maxwell's (Hebridean Flowers) by Winifred Nicholson (copyright Trustees of Winifred Nicholson - picture sourced from www.studio-international.co.uk)
Last week I watched Ring of Bright Water, the film based on the book by Gavin Maxwell. I googled it and found Kathleen Raine and Winifred Nicholson, and their captivating stories.
Kathleen Raine (1908 -2003) a poet, was deeply in love with Maxwell. In her autobiography she says that after she lost Maxwell's pet otter, also called Mij, (which accidentally lead to it's death), their friendship ended. Her love was an unrequited passion due to Maxwell's secret homosexuality. She wrote the poem, The Marriage of Psyche, from which the title for Ring of Bright Water came. She never forgave herself for the curse she uttered shortly before Mij was killed - 'let Gavin suffer in this place as I am suffering now'- and spent every night of her life alone after they parted.
Winifred Nicholson (1893 - 1981) was a painter. She was the first wife of Ben Nicholson who left her and married Barbara Hepworth. (Barbara Hepworth's studio is now a museum in St. Ives, Cornwall). I'm familiar with some of Winifred Nicholson's work because of the Cornish connection, however not her Scottish paintings. It's great to discover these works and see her vision of the Isle of Skye, South Uist and Eigg. Winifred Nicholson would paint while Kathleen Raine composed poetry.