Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dougie Maclean portrait completed!

Very excited to have just finished Dougie Maclean's portrait, down to the last glaze, the ribbon of his OBE and the celtic knotwork in the background.

Dougie has played fiddle since his youth, but is best known as a singer, songwriter and guitarist with an intimate manner that reaches the hearts of his audience. When I interviewed him, he didn't bring a fiddle, but as he talked about playing and writing music on the fiddle, his hands naturally described the shape of fiddle playing with long-accustomed grace. He said he plays fiddle the way he sings, playing the airs of songs, and filling his playing with emotion.

I have painted him in a characteristically relaxed and casual pose, but surrounded him with the trappings of formality which also characterise his life. And he is truly an air-fiddler.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fiddles are closer to Ireland already.

Huge thanks to the brilliant supporters who have already, after only a day, pledged financial support for my "art on tour" project! I have put the Pozible progress widget on the side of the blog, so its easy to keep track of how its going. This is so exciting! You can also go straight to my Pozible link.

And I'm currently working on three paintings simultaneously, having finished the portrait of Scottish fiddle pin-up girl Emma Nixon.

Emma is the driving force behind the mass playing of Scottish fiddle music in Brisbane, Australia, having started the Brisbane Celtic Fiddle Club (, and leading celtic ensembles in schools and at the Young Conservatorium. She is the recipient, with Chris Stone, of the 2012 National Folk Fellowship and they have just this week completed a new album of Scottish fiddle music from the collection of the National Library of Australia, which they will launch at the National Folk Festival in two weeks.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fiddles to Ireland!

I'm in the middle of all the paintings, and I've got two weeks to finish them. It will happen! But to get them to Northern Ireland and put on the show, I need to raise some funds, so I'm starting a Pozible Crowdfunding project. That will go live in the next day or so, and here's what I'm saying on it:

Fiddles to Ireland!

by Nicole Murray

Pledge your support to take Australian paintings on tour to Northern Ireland.

Project Description

The Fiddle Icons Project.

I'm an Australian painter, raising funds to take my portraits of fiddle players to the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in Derry, Northern Ireland. The show is called "Fiddle Icons" and the portraits are of influential fiddle players I have interviewed and painted. The subjects include Alasdair Fraser, Natalie Haas, Nancy Kerr, Martin Hayes, Emma Nixon, Dougie Maclean and Ado Barker.

I decided to dream big and apply to have an international exhibition, and now they've said yes, I need to make it happen!

I've been accepted to show them at the convention, I'm presenting a talk on my intriguing process of working from video interviews to create paintings, finished with gold leaf. I have a ticket to the UK.

Now I need a budget to get the paintings there, insure them, stay in Northern Ireland for the conference week.

You can help to put on this international exhibition in Derry by pledging your support through Pozible. I'm focussed on raising $3300 to cover packaging and shipping the paintings, insuring them, and covering my accommodation and living expenses while I'm in Ireland for a week.

I'm planning a major exhibition of these works along with more from the same series here in Australia, so I'll bring them back to Australia.

About the Artist

I have been a painter all my life, and my work has often focussed on portraits of musicians. My first solo exhibition was called "The People of the Music" and showed drawings and paintings of folk musicians from around Australia. I completed my art training in Melbourne and my paintings are in collections around Australia and in the UK.

For the past twelve years I have worked in the acclaimed folk duo, "Cloudstreet", touring Australia and internationally. We have just completed our seventh album, "The Land of Bright Gold", and we embark on our seventh tour of the UK in mid-April. The Fiddle Icons paintings will be shipped to meet me in Northern Ireland at the end of the Cloudstreet tour, when I will be attending the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, as a painter (but I'll take a fiddle!).

More information.

You can buy the reward as a gift.

After you have paid, please email me at and let me know the name and email of the person you would like to receive the reward.

When and where is the show?

Dates: 27 June - 1 July

Where: At NAFCo, the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, Derry, Northern Ireland. ( I'll update the info on my blog and website as soon as the venue is confirmed. (,

How will I get my reward?

I will contact everyone about their reward, once project has closed and payment has been received.

Need further information?

I would love to hear from you to discuss any of your queries. You can email me at

Yes, we can exceed the goal!

$3,300 is the absolute minimum to make the exhibition happen in Derry. I am already investing a lot of resources and funds into the production of the works and the staging of the exhibition. Every extra dollar raised above the goal will go towards making this exhibition the best it can possibly be, with better promotion and high quality presentation.

Thank you for taking the time to read my page! Please support my project by making a pledge, no matter how small the amount. Every bit helps. I would also really appreciate you letting your friends know about the project. I'll be blogging and facebooking updates so you know how its all going.