Rust and lichen. Abstract image - included in my 2022 photography calendar.
I hope this finds you safe and well.
Summer days are gone now here in the northwest Highlands, with blustery showers and dramatic skies taking their place. I do love this time of year and am looking forward to the autumn colours appearing - there are hints of them already, in the bracken and some of the trees.
It's that time of year again - I took delivery of next year's calendars recently. As before, they are slimline ones, with images printed on the back for use as postcards. The images are all photographs taken locally over the past year or so. Seascapes, sandscapes and textures that caught my eye - from corrugated iron to barnacles on a rock. A few images are shown below.
Calendars are now available to order from my website. If you live locally, they're available directly from me at Poolewe Tuesday market until the end of October. Also being stocked at the Button Bothy at Poolewe Hall.
End of an era
I've been very happy to have some of my work - mugs, coasters and cards - stocked in the lovely Cabinet Ullapool, and also to have exhibited at An Talla Solais gallery on West Argyle Street in Ullapool. The premises had to be vacated, so it's time for a new chapter for An Talla Solais and Cabinet. They still have premises in the town and plans are afoot for what happens next. I'll keep you posted!
I'm happy to say that this year's Christmas cards are now available. I spent a happy couple of days arranging beach treasure - shells, pebbles, driftwood - to make this year's designs. I always knew all these natural materials would come in handy one day! I've decided, given current circumstances, to donate 10% of all Christmas card sales to the World Wide fund for Nature (Scotland).
There are 6 different designs (4 shown below). Available now from my website, in packs of 6 cards with envelopes :
Exhibition at Gairloch Museum
Coming soon - a winter exhibition of small works by selected local artists, at Gairloch Museum. I will be submitting two paintings for this - the exhibition opens at the start of November. Information about opening times will be available nearer the time.
Poolewe Christmas Markets
Happy to say that I'll be at both the Poolewe Christmas Markets this year:
I'm still taking photographs - nearly every day, when I'm out walking. Mostly on my phone, but sometimes using my camera. The phone ones are regularly posted on Instagram. A wide selection of images is available to purchase in various sizes and formats via Photo4me - a subset of these can be seen on my website.
Thank you for your continued interest in my work.
If you have any queries, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
all the best
'Distant Isles II'. Currently on show at Loch Torridon community centre gallery.
I hope this finds you safe and well end enjoying the summer. It's good to hear that things are opening up again - it's been a long time coming.
New moving image work on show
In my previous newsletter, I mentioned that some new work had been selected for an upcoming exhibition. I'm happy to let you know that the online exhibition, 'A Space Between', curated by the Society of Scottish Artists, is now open and is available to view until 5th September. My moving image piece, combining photography, spoken word and recorded sound, is called 'Sand'. There is a lovely range of work to enjoy.
Postcards now available
I've produced a set of six postcards featuring local scenes and landmarks (4 are shown below) and am happy to say these are now available from a couple of local stockists - Gairloch Gifts (at the Filling Station) and the GALE centre. They're also available directly from me at Poolewe Tuesday Market. I'm there most weeks until the end of October. Details of dates are available on my website. Some of these images are also available as photographic prints and canvases via my photography portfolio on the Photo4me website.
Restock of Loch Torridon community centre gallery
I delivered some new work to the lovely Loch Torridon community centre gallery the other day - several seascapes (see top image) and a selection of small works and greetings cards. I'm happy to say that they're now also stocking a selection of my customised sketchbooks and notebooks. The gallery has a great mix of work on show (including ceramics, baskets, glasswork and more, see images below) and there is a lovely popup cafe, which is open Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm.
Many thanks for your continued interest in my work.
Do pop by and say hello at Poolewe Tuesday market, if you're in the area.
'Distant Isles III' - off to a new home via the An Talla Solais Members' Show.
I hope this finds you safe and well.
The past few months have been busy with supplying my stockists, as everywhere gradually opens up again. It has been good to be back at Poolewe Tuesday Market again - there are always interesting conversations to be had with visitors, as well as with my fellow stallholders. It's great to hear how many creative folk are around!
Inchgowan Fine Art
Inchgowan Fine Art is opposite The Old Inn, just along from Gairloch Harbour, over the old bridge. I'm delighted to announce that I now have artwork on show at a lovely local gallery - Inchgowan Fine Art in Gairloch (formerly Solas Gallery). There's some framed work on the walls, mounted work in a browser and smaller framed and mounted work - all original watercolours and mixed media. The two paintings shown below - 'Coastal 6' and 'Shore 1' are currently on show there.
There is an interesting mix of work by several artists - well worth a visit!
The gift shop at Gairloch Filling Station has recently been extended and revamped into a great space. Happy to say I have some items available there - selected mug, coaster and greetings card designs. Open Monday - Saturday 8.30am - 5.30pm.
New work - new directions
I recently submitted some work to the Society of Scottish Artists (SSA), of which I'm a member, in a new format for me - moving image, or more specifically, a film poem. It's called 'Sand'. I've spent a lot of time walking on sandy beaches (very lucky, I know) over the past couple of years, which inspired the (spoken) words and images. I am delighted to say that my piece has been selected to be shown in an online exhibition on the SSA website in August! I'm very happy with this outcome, as I'd been keen to combine words and images (and other sounds) for a while and this provided an ideal opportunity. The theme for the open call was "A Space Between'. I'll let you know when it's available to view online.
Sand photograph - a still image from my first film poem.
Coming Soon ....
Do you still send postcards when you're away on holiday? I know, I know, we've forgotten what it's like to be away on holiday. Here's hoping you get to travel before too long. I was away for a break last week, in another beautiful part of Scotland - yes, there are definitely other beautiful parts - and it was so refreshing to have a change of scene. We don't need to go far to get the holiday feeling, I believe.
Back to postcards ... there's a new project in the offing, more news soon! Keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for updates. Here's a sneak preview.
As always, a selection of my work can be seen on my website. As things have opened up in recent times, I have been open for prearranged studio visits - these will recommence later this month. It's so much better to see artwork in real life than on a screen!
Thank you for your continued interest in my work.
I hope you're enjoying the summer, wherever you may be.
Distant Isles I. Original watercolour on paper. 45cm x 25cm approx. Unframed.
Hello. I hope this finds you safe and well and managing to find a way through what is hopefully the last part of this very trying time.
Living where I do, I’m very fortunate to have beautiful beaches nearby to walk on. I do this most days, with my dog. Sometimes, if the weather is wild or wet, we venture inland a bit, walking in a sheltered glen with large trees and a burn flowing through it. I’ve taken a lot of photos over the past year of walking. Mainly on my phone, sometimes with my camera. I've posted some of these nearly every day on Instagram and less frequently on Facebook. There's a spot where I always go and stand, at the far end of one of the beaches. I now have a whole series of photos from that spot – I'm working out what to do with them.
I've been doing some more writing recently, spurred on by attending (online) a wonderful week-long Arvon at Home course, called Exploring Creativity. I've posted a few poems on Instagram and also on my blog. Watch this space for further developments.
I've also been updating my photography portfolio on the Photo4me website.
New work and Poolewe Market
I've recently spent some time in the studio, painting a few more seascapes. The first of these is shown at the top of this newsletter. I plan to add some more coastal works to the collection – these proved popular at Poolewe Tuesday Market last year. Speaking of which, we're keeping our fingers very firmly crossed that the market will be able to start for the season in early May. Of course, this will depend on the regulations in place at that time. I'll keep you posted.
I'm so looking forward to getting out and about and meeting people again; I’m sure you are too!
See the Seascapes
For now, my online shop is very much open. There are still some limited edition prints available, calendars are now reduced in price, and there are some new small works to choose from. There's also a wide range of greetings cards, some sketchbooks and notebooks and even keyrings. Happy browsing!
Limited edition prints
There are some of these still available, at sale prices. The Thistle image below is an example. To be discontinued.
Shop the sale »
A variety of customised notebooks are available in my website shop (see image below)
I just received some new stock, so new designs, of both notebooks and sketchbooks, will be available soon!
See the notebooks »
Thank you for your continued interest in my work, it's greatly appreciated.
Hope to see you soon - until then, stay safe and well.
all the best
I hope this finds you safe and well. There has been some more summery weather on the west coast these past few days and I am enjoying starting to see the fruits of my recent labours in the slowly developing "garden". It's like painting a picture, I've come to realise - putting colours and textures together, to create something pleasing to the eye. Of course the garden "picture" does not stay the same, as the seasons come and go, so the gardener must be continually trimming and tweaking, looking, adjusting and adjusting again. It is a continuous work in progress.
Artist Support Pledge
Since the Covid-19 lockdown, many artists and makers have been looking for different ways to keep going; exhibitions have been cancelled, gift shops and other outlets such as cafes, restaurants and galleries are closed. A UK based artist, Matthew Burrows, had the idea of setting up the Artist Support Pledge, on Instagram, for artists to support other artists during this difficult time. The concept is simple - an artist posts images of their work, costing no more than £200 each, on Instagram, using the hashtag #artistsupportpledge. Buyers contact the artist directly. When an artist reaches £1000 of sales, they pledge to buy £200-worth of other artists' work. I have recently joined this pledge, and am posting artwork daily on Instagram. Only the items listed there are included in the pledge - I'll be adding more items as time goes on. It seems like a good way of us all supporting each other - of course, you don't have to be an artist to buy works included in the pledge! Some of the artworks I've listed so far are shown above.
Many of you already know that as well as painting, I love taking photographs. I know lots of folk have been missing visiting their favourite places in Scotland in recent times, so I've been busy updating my website to include a photography page, showing a selection from my portfolio. This links to another website (Photo4me) where you can buy canvases, prints etc. of my work.
There's 10% off just now, on all items - just use the code kindness2020 at checkout.
If you're finding it tricky to get hold of greetings cards just now, I've expanded my card collections - there are now 15 different collections, each with 5 different cards. Hopefully there's something for everyone - shown above are -
As always, thank you so much for your interest in my work, it is greatly appreciated. I am hopeful that there may be some opportunities to share my work in real life before the summer is over.
In the meantime, stay safe and well.
all the best
I hope this finds you safe and well and finding ways to get through these strange times.
Recent work created during lockdown
It took me a while to get back to painting after the lockdown was put in place on 23rd March. Out for a walk one day, I noticed the remnants of a foxglove - see above, on the left - at the front of my garden (I use the term very loosely, I am gradually taming small parts of it). I brought it into the studio, laid it flat on the table, and began. So started a series of these works - mostly remnants of last year's growth, as there were few signs of spring at that point. More recently, bracken fronds have started to appear, and my daffodils have bloomed, so spring greens have made an appearance in my work. All the works - 15 to date - are on large (A2, 40 x 60cm approx) paper - most are life size, some a bit larger. You can view them all here on my website.
see more flora...
I am very fortunate to be able to have some of my daily walks along the beach. There is always something to see, a shell, or a pair of them, a sea potato, or an interesting pebble. Very often, some of these treasures come home in my sandy pockets. I have a growing collection of shells - cockles, mussels, scallops, razorshells. It just makes sense, to me, to paint them. These works are generally larger than life-size (often abut ten times larger!), as I prefer to work on a large scale. A few examples are shown above - razor, scallop and tellin shells. There are more (11 in all, so far) on my website.
see more seashore artworks...
New! Greetings cards collections now available
I've put together 12 collections of greetings cards - mainly existing designs, but also some new ones in there too - each set has five different cards in it, all with one theme. I'm hoping this will make it simpler (and more economical) for those of you who are finding it difficult to get hold of cards just now. They can be popped in the post to you, or delivered, contact-free, if you live in the Gairloch area.
Thank you so much for your interest in my work, it is greatly appreciated.
If you have any queries or special requests, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
very best wishes
view card collections...
I don't need to to tell you we are facing difficult times just now. I hope this finds you and your loved ones well and adapting to whatever circumstances you find yourself in.
In my last newsletter, I was sharing news of being part of Poolewe Tuesday Market, stocking some of my products in Cabinet at the lovely An Talla Solais Gallery in Ullapool and an exhibition of my paintings at Inverewe Garden. You can see the paintings I planned to exhibit (and more), in the gallery pages of my website. More recently, I had provided cards and sketchbooks to the shop at Gairloch Museum. None of these things is happening now, for obvious reasons.
Sketchbooks and linoprinting
One of the upsides of being creative is that I never seem to find it hard to find something to do. Recently, I've been doing more linoprinting. I like the fact that I can get quite quick results. I keep things simple, which helps. Most of the printing has been of marine themed designs onto sketchbooks - gorgeous colours from Pink Pig - resulting in customised items, all with a unique, hand printed design on them. There are two sizes - little 4x4 inch ones, with good quality cartridge paper, and A5 size ones, with heavy duty watercolour paper. Yes, they're available to purchase on my website.
I'm planning to share some more of my short stories here on my blog in the coming weeks; there's no point them sitting in a drawer for ever! I'll be posting the ones from my two self-published short story collections; some of them have been broadcast on the fabulous Two Lochs Radio station already, and some more will hopefully be shared on air there in the future.
In the meantime, as always, my artwork, photography and a wide range of products are available via :
I highly recommend doing something creative during these trying times - draw, paint, write, play music. Plant seeds, and look forward to watching them grow. That's what I was doing yesterday. Or learn a language - I discovered the wonderful App, Duolingo and have been learning a bit of Gaelic, as well as brushing up on my French and German and getting going with Spanish. It's a great way to learn, very encouraging and good fun. Or make soup. Making soup is one of my go-to things when it all gets a bit too much. It feels like a time for recalibration, in so many ways.
Wishing you all the very best - thank you for your interest in my work, it is greatly appreciated.
See my Pebbles on the Beach Facebook page for regular posts and updates.
I hope this finds you well and that you have enjoyed the summer - it definitely feels as if we are moving into autumn now.
I am happy to be taking part in North East Open Studios again this year - at the same venue as last year - the Phoenix Centre at Newton Dee in Bieldside, Aberdeen. There will be nine of us showing a lovely range of work - from furniture to textiles, fused glass to painting, mixed media and printmaking. We call ourselves Art at the Phoenix for this event. I am number 302 in the NEOS book.
I have continued with The Shipping Forecast series of paintings and will have more of these on show, as well as small mounted works, mugs, coasters and of course greetings cards and 2020 calendars. There will be updates on my Pebbles on the Beach Facebook page throughout NEOS.
Opening Times -
I look forward to seeing you there!
"Occasional Rain" - original watercolour
You are invited to my Solo Exhibition : 4-29 June at the Acorn Gallery in the Acorn Centre in Inverurie.
The exhibition is open during cafe opening hours, so you can enjoy
coffee and cake, or a light lunch during your visit!
Open Tuesday - Thursday 10am - 3pm, Friday & Saturday, 10am - 4pm.
The Acorn Centre is within Inverurie West Parish Church, on
West High Street, Inverurie, AB51 3SA
"Fair, moderate or good".
The main focus of the show is a collection of new "Shipping Forecast" paintings, continuing with the theme I started last year during North East Open Studios. This is a series of seascapes of various sizes, all with titles based on phrases from the the well known and loved Shipping Forecast, broadcast every day on Radio 4. There will also be a few paintings of Bennachie on show.
I hope you enjoy the exhibition!
"Falling more slowly" "Occasionally high later"
Sometimes it is the things you see every day which inspire you. A colour or texture catches your eye, and you're hooked. The itch starts, and you find you have to paint it. Whatever it might be. This happened for me a couple of years ago, when I was working with the lovely Vital Veg at Midmar. Every week I packed beautiful, colourful veg into veg bags for customers. Some of the veg came home with me. And some of that came with me to the weekly art class I was attending.
I wasn't aiming for still life. Nor was I trying to make an exact, photographic image. I was aiming, I think, for a celebration of deliciousness. I laid the veg (the larger the better, some soil was often present too) on a sheet of white paper on the table I was working at, with a large piece of (usually cartridge) paper beside it. I had seen that this was how the wonderful Elizabeth Blackadder paints her gorgeous flowers. I am a great admirer of her work, so off I went...
Another influence fed into this process. A few years ago, I attended a workshop with Sofia Perina-Miller, whose work I also greatly admire. She paints fabulous striking flowers, as well as many other subjects. She showed us how to paint directly onto paper, without doing any initial drawing. This was an entirely new experience for me - and I found that I loved the freedom of it! Instead of feeling constrained by the pencil lines, I was "free" to paint directly, loosely, using vibrant colours, which resulted in more lively work. Sofia usually adds meticulous pen and ink details to her work. I left mine as they were; as I may have mentioned before I have rather limited patience!
There is always a certain amount of fear involved in painting this way. I had to learn to be brave, to trust that the colours I was choosing and the marks I was making were strong and true and confident. This was no time for fiddling around with details and tentative marks. Before I started, I would look carefully at the veg, get a feel for the overall shape and size and proportions, the main colours, the shadows on the paper. Really look, and get a feel for it. It helped to stand up, to have everything I needed to hand and to just do it, quickly. I love this way of working; writing this makes me want to do some more of this kind of work.
Some of my veg paintings are available as digital downloads from my Etsy shop.
Various items (prints, mugs, phone covers, tote bags etc.) sporting my veg paintings can also be found on Redbubble.
All the paintings can be viewed in my gallery (most originals are available)