January 13, 2019

How does the sea inspire us?

Eilidh Stewart


Do we remember the sea with an element of fondness or apprehension? Perhaps through ferry journeys filled with excitement, of visits home or to places new. For some apprehension of turbulent journeys. However when sky and sea merge on island shores one is transported to a places of contemplation and reflection. Fleeting moments capture our attention, as winds whip up sea-spray into spectacular frenzies of sound and vision. My work explores the vast skies and turbulent seas of the Hebrides exploring how they connect and intertwine. These unique landscapes intrigue visitors from all around the world.

Weather and water manipulate our landscape, this in turn affects how we perceive it. The sea air can be intoxicating, both invigorating and calming. Visiting a variety of locations and recording these places inspires my process. Oil paint is a tactile medium with diverse properties, which I use in conjunction with collage to create a layered and contrasting element between land and sea. Varied and exciting mark making reflects the sea’s diverse movements. My work aims to pay tribute to the raw aspects of our natural world and invite us to connect with these exposed environments, regardless of how we choose to remember them.


Curling Wave
Oil and collage on canvas
70 x 90 cm


Eilidh Stewart grew up on the Hebridean island of North Uist. She studied fine art at the University of The Highlands and Islands where she obtained a BA (HONS) in Fine Art during 2013.

Dividing her time between painting and her career as an Art & Design teacher, Eilidh currently lives and works in Strontian on the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Although based in Ardnamurchan, Eilidh often travels to North Uist and the surrounding islands in search of inspiration. Each piece begins as small locational sketches which often aim to capture the ever changing light as well as raw aspects of the sea. Studies are later used as starting points to develop oil paintings, where the varied application of layered textures creates a feeling of depth, whilst reflecting the sea’s movements. Collage and mono printing combine to build up the natural variation of surfaces found on rocks which surround the Hebridean coast.