Winifred Nicholson first visited Eigg and Sandaig in June 1950 with her friend, the poet, Kathleen Raine. She was attracted to the West Highlands of Scotland because of the quality of light and the dramatic weather conditions.
Over the Sea to Eigg was almost certainly painted from Sandaig in Ross-shire, at Gavin Maxwell's house, where both Winifred and Kathleen Raine frequently stayed. In a letter of 1952 to her son, Jake, Nicholson wrote 'This place looks even more beautiful this year in stormy weather, and is even harder to paint. The high mountains shroud themselves and blot themselves out with white cloud, with black cloud, with drifting mist and drifting sunshine. The sea is silver, is black, is azure, is lead, is white with sea horses, is not visible at all ... Eigg [is] a far away blue island of the blest out on the horizon of our sound, is bathed in tranquil sunlight' (see A. Nicholson (ed.), Unknown Colour, London, 1987, p. 221).
Christopher Andreae is writing and compiling a new book on the work of Winifred Nicholson, in association with Lund Humphries, to be published in 2009. The author would like to hear from owners of paintings by the artist who would like their works to be considered for inclusion in his book. Please write to Christopher Andreae, c/o Christie's, 20th Century British Art Department, 8 King Street, London, SW1Y 6QT.