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.

June 13, 2014

#FridayPainting : Lone Croft, Southern Skye, Scotland

From the lone shieling of the misty island
Mountains divide us, and the waste of seas —
Yet still the blood is strong, the heart is Highland,
And we in dreams behold the Hebrides:

Excerpt from The Canadian Boat-Song - I love this mysterious poem or 'sea shanty'. It's anonymously written, and first appeared on record in 1829.  This song was described as being translated from Gaelic into English - the 'misty island' referred to above could refer to the Isle of Skye.  (The Gaelic name for which is Eilean a' Cheò - 'island of the mist'.) Research suggests that The Canadian Boat-Song belongs to a genre of work songs used by the legendary Canadian born 'voyageurs'.  These amazing people paddled huge hand carved freight canoes made from Birch trees; steering thousands of miles along the North American fur trading routes. Throughout the exhausting days of long distance paddling, the voyageurs sang to accompany the motion of paddles dipped in unison - famous Voyageur songs include À la Claire Fontaine and Alouette, (both of which my daughter learnt by heart at her French school here in Brittany!).

Other notes : 
Voyageur is a French word, which literally means "traveler" - more info about their fascinating history can be found on Wikipedia - Voyageurs .  

A Sea shanty is the name given to a maritime work song.  Learn more about the history of the song  Alouette (via Wikipedia), and how it is used to teach French and English speaking children today. 


Painting details: Lone Croft, Southern Skye. Scotland - Limited Edition Prints available as ready-to-hang Canvas Wraps or Paper Prints from my online shop. 

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