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Time to reflect
Autumn at Crinan
The Ryan Family
Nick and Frances Ryan, the resident directors of the hotel, first arrived in Crinan more than 35 years ago.
Nick had worked his way up from bell boy to become the youngest ever catering officer in the Cunard Company, spending 5 years aboard the Queen Mary.
Since coming to Crinan Nick has spent his time promoting not just the Crinan Hotel but the whole of tourism in Scotland. He was rewarded for his enthusiasm and efforts by being awarded the Hotelier of the Year in 1999.
Over the years Crinan's restaurants have been awarded many commendations, one of which has been the "Best Seafood Restaurant in Britain."
One of Nick's other talents is as a story-teller and he can often be overheard recounting the tale of 'the Great Crinan Seafood Festival' and other hilarious episodes gathered from his experiences in the hotel business.
When not devoting his time to the hotel Nick will be found pottering on the 'Scarbh' which is generally moored in front of the hotel.
From her studio near the Crinan Hotel, overlooking the Corryvreckan, Frances (Ryan) Macdonald has a clear view across the Sound of Jura to the north end of the island; to Scarba, the mountains of Mull before the great expanse of the North Atlantic. Having lived at Crinan for over 40 years. Macdonald's painting is based on her intimate understanding of fhe landscape around her. Her knowledge of sailing informs her of approaching weather patterns, and she captures fleeting Hebridean sunshine alongside the winter squalls with equal immediacy.
Peploe and Cadell’s paintings of Iona cast a long shadow in Scottish art history and Macdonald has established herself as a worthy heir to the tradition started at the end of the 19th century. Like Peploe and Cadell she finds delight in the juxtaposition of angular rock and white sand. Her use of the palette knife creates a dynamism and animation in each painting. She works her paint across the canvas in angular lines; her assured marks arrived at through careful elimination of aesthetic non-essentials. It is bravura painting, her means perfectly suited to capture the broken skies and raging seas in full force, with rocks transformed into cubistic patterns.
Frances Macdonald's fifth exhibition at The Scottish Gallery in November 2016 represented a remarkable decade of creative effort, always anchored at her favourite locations at Crinan and Iona, full of originality and in deep tune with both the spirit and real experience of place. She was awarded the Charles Rennie Mackintosh residency at Collioure and visited in May 2013.