Honorary Barge Lady Carolyne King is a lifelong friend of Barge Lady Stephanie, having met at the age of four in kindergarten at the Latin School of Chicago! A shared love for classic rock, independent films, and local culture proved to be a solid foundation for a friendship that lasted through grade school, high school, college (or colleges, in Stephanie’s case), Carolyne’s MFA program, and any number of grand endeavors both professional and personal! Flash forward almost four decades later, and they are both still living in Chicago, both working for their family businesses, and both still laughing about their shared past and looking forward to a bright future.
In 2016, Carolyne accompanied Stephanie on a barge cruise on the Scottish Highlander, an 8-passenger, three-star vessel plying the lovely lochs of the Calendonian Canal. As an accomplished abstract painter with work in the permanent collection of George Washington University, Carolyne found her time in the Highlands to be an inspirational journey into a vast natural world of vivid colors and complex patterns.
Motivated to capture her time in this extraordinary setting, she took a series of photographs, which make their exclusive debut here. Carolyne also wrote an “Artist’s Statement” to more fully illuminate her creative awakening. For those contemplating a barge cruise on either the Scottish Highlander or the Spirit of Scotland, enjoy this very personal glimpse into the greenery and scenery that perhaps await you…
“Everything about the trip along the Calendonian Canal can be described as an awakening of the senses. When I took a photo with my camera, it was because I recognized the value of what I was seeing before me. I was actively experiencing it.What was even more amazing is how a desire to be in the nature around me became so all-consuming. I didn’t just want to be out in it; I needed to be out in it. To see, feel, smell, touch and explore. The most illuminating realization was again recognizing that abstraction can be found anywhere.
The Highlands natural environment is not a cultivated experience. The mountains and trees aren’t placed in a specific way to lend refinement or an organized composition.Yet, it is there in the canopy of trees above or the rushing water below. There is both a wildness and a unity. There is grace and cohesion. There is everything a photographer or a painter aspires to create within their own works.
The Highlands woke me up out of what I would consider an artistic stasis. It was in the Highlands that I remembered the most important thing an artist can do, besides be in their studio creating, is to look and be in the world around them. And when you are in the Highlands, there is nowhere else you want to be looking.”
For more details about the two barges cruises in Scotland, visit our online brochures for the Scottish Highlander and Spirit of Scotland here.