These Great Highland Bagpipes were one of the most challenging subjects I have painted to date. This particular set belonged to my Father-In-Law’s Uncle Horace MacCombie (he spelled his last name differently than my father-in-law for some reason) of the clan MacThomas. They are the Grainger brand and have ivory and silver accoutrements. The are from the mid to late 40’s time frame and the company who made them closed in the late 1980’s. I painted these with Rublev 18th century reproduction watercolor paints and Daniel Smith Primatek watercolor paints on Arches 140# cold-pressed paper. The interaction of the heavy grained paints with the coarse paper creates interesting textural effects that help accent parts of the piece.

9th Place Finisher in Banner Challenge
Featured in Works on Paper group in November 2009.

I am a still-life and floral watercolor artist based in the Tacoma, Washington USA area. My work can be found in collections throughout the world as well as on the set of ABC Studio’s television series, “Desperate Housewives.”

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  • mttmaliha
    mttmalihaover 5 years ago

    Ah!! Done! Wonderful, too.. and worth my wait to see what you had completed.. Terrific work, Ken!

  • Thanks Maureen! These were tough for me for some reason. Plus it didn’t help that I had to set them up and put them away on 4 different evenings in a row. Oh well, I think it was worth it.

    – Ken Powers

  • mttmaliha
    mttmalihaover 5 years ago

    Surely was!!!

  • I may do a macro of just the chanter or perhaps the heavy engraving in the silver on the tenons but we will see. I may have to recover from this one first.

    – Ken Powers

  • Colin Cartwright
    Colin Cartwrightover 5 years ago

    An awkward shape to interprete into watercolour. You’ve risen to the challenge, Ken. And produced a fine and imaginative painting.

    Here in Northumberland (just over the Scottish border) I regularly walk past a little Northumbrian pipes, shop. These are the underarm pipes, and have a distinctive and melodic sound.

  • I have made some attempts to play these but the bag has seen better days and the low “A” drone reed might have something wrong with it. I might have to seek the advice of a local piper to see if it is just me. I am not much of a wind-instrument player though.

    – Ken Powers

  • tkrosevear
    tkrosevearover 5 years ago

    Exquisitely done Ken, love the pipes, shadows and feelings that they emote ;) xoxox ♥

  • Thank you! You are right, there is an interesting vibe emanating from this piece.

    – Ken Powers

  • © Linda Callaghan
    © Linda Callaghanover 5 years ago

    superb Ken….it would have been a challenge but you did it perfectly! and a special painting …well done!

  • Thanks Linda! This could be one of my newest favorites.

    – Ken Powers

  • catherine walker
    catherine walkerover 5 years ago

    so well done…wonderful..and yes I’m sure it was a lot of hard work!!

  • Thanks Catherine! I appreciate you taking a look.

    – Ken Powers

  • artbymariodonk
    artbymariodonkover 5 years ago

    Very lovely work Ken. Can’t imagine why but when ever seeing a bag pipe it reminds me of some sort of animal, can’t think which one, but I side tracked, its a great painting.

  • Thanks Mario! Glad to hear you like it.

    – Ken Powers

  • kamaljeet kaur
    kamaljeet kaurover 5 years ago

    You can work out such difficult subjects with so much ease and excellence in a tough medium of water colors! Love the composition n shadows :)

  • Thanks Kamal! This was a tough one for me for some reason. I think the plaid fabric threw me off a bit.

    – Ken Powers

  • Lynda Robinson
    Lynda Robinsonover 5 years ago

    Excellent work as always Ken.

  • Thanks Lynda!

    – Ken Powers

  • Marsha Elliott
    Marsha Elliottover 5 years ago

    Oh my!!!! My mouth is hanging open & I’m in total awe of this painting. It’s the best of the best you’ve done to date. Such an intricate piece done so beautifully & handled with such skill. If I hadn’t run across it on another site, it may have gone unnoticed for awhile (until it earns all those features & challenge wins upcoming) because for some reason, it didn’t show up in my activity feed – I just checked it again in case I missed it but it’s definitely not there. So glad I saw it as it’s drop dead gorgeous!

  • Thanks Marsha! I do think this is my best painting to date. There are a couple squirrelly areas but overall I am pretty pleased.

    – Ken Powers

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