Author Archives: ArtandSoul

RAHOY BLOG 2 Scottish Wildlife Trust Artist Residency in Morvern

In the absence of being able to make further site visits at present, due to government Coronavirus lockdown measures, I have been progressing mostly large monochrome artworks from the reference sketches and photos taken at my last visit. These are also evoking the memories of experiencing these unique environments first hand. These pieces – with working titles – may be developed and worked up, or form the basis of new artworks. The large charcoal pieces are around 60cm X 40cm. The small square mixed media ones, 12cm X 12cm.

CHARCOAL: GORGE SPLASH FERNS The cascading water falling into the gorge, and splashing up off rocks through the ferns, with the water curtain dropping down behind. Strong, quick marks made with the side of the charcoal stick.

CHARCOAL: DEEP DOWN IN THE GORGE Aiming to capture the shafts of light within the depths of the gorge, and the shadows cast by rotting fallen trees and the vegetation hanging like a tropical rain forest. Trying to convey the experience I felt of being in these largely inaccessible places.

CHARCOAL: PHOENIX TREE Highlighting the snapped roots at the base of the tree but focussing on the vigorous uplift of the branches toward the sky, through the dramatic shaft of light.

CHARCOAL: ROOTS AND BLOCKS The contorted forms of these roots clinging to the walls of the gorge appeared animated, poised to writhe out witch-like from between the stones. The background is left largely unmarked to highlight these outreaching tendril fingers.

MIXED MEDIA: PHOENIX TREE BRANCHES AND BLOCKS Observing the forms of boulders brought up from below ground by the fallen tree having pulled up the boulders, grasping them within its roots. Abstract collage with partial charcoal drawing of its horizontal branches.

MIXED MEDIA: TREE DEPTH Immersed in the denser parts of the woodland of oak and old, contorted birch showing the depth of forms, each forging their growth upwards to compete for available light. Ink, graphite and acrylic.

MIXED MEDIA: TREE DEPTH DIPTYCH Shafts of light contrast with the darkness, deep down in the undergrowth. Ink, graphite and acrylic.

CHARCOAL: TREE LIGHT SHAFT Light reflecting off the the rippled surface of Loch Arienas backlighting a lone ash tree at its shore, near the ruined settlement.

CHARCOAL: UPSIDE-DOWN 1 Due to the arrangement of vegetation in some of the higher parts of the reserve, it is sometimes referred to as an ‘upside-down’ landscape. Here, I have extended the theme to include simplified representations of inverted birch trees, the widened bases of which are set at the top.

CHARCOAL: UPSIDE-DOWN 2 Second variation of the above theme.

CHARCOAL: UPSIDE-DOWN 3 Third variation of the above theme.

CHARCOAL: WATERWAYS 1 Exploring the graphic potential of the hard edges where the rocks meet the water surfaces, diverting and splitting the flow in several directions simultaneously. These observations may lead to future mixed media work.

CHARCOAL: WATERWAYS 2 Second variation of the above theme.

BEATRICE’S BIRTHDAY at Hill of Tarvit Mansion Sat. 29th February

‘Meet the Artist, Watch & Try’ will be my involvement in this day to celebrate the birthday, and life of Beatrice Sharp, prominent member the family who were the past inhabitants of this wonderful stately home during Edwardian times. I’ll be working from floral still lifes (Beatrice had a passion for all things floral), showing the processes involved in creating a painting, as part of a day involving not only art, but live period music, guided tours of the mansion, and activities for all ages. 11am-4pm Saturday 29th February. I will also have an exhibition of paintings in the Conservatory Cafe where you can view (and buy!) my work while enjoying coffee and cake. What a full-on day!

Here’s their flyer:

MY NEW STUDIO at The Steeple, Newburgh north Fife

Next week, I’ll be moving into my fantastic new studio space at The Steeple, in Newburgh, north Fife, which will be another base from where I’ll soon be widening my range of classes. As it’ll be my working studio, you may also be able to see one of my paintings in progress when you come along. Also, if you want like to suggest a particular style or technique you’d like to learn (day, evening or weekend) just let me know, and I’ll look at putting together a new class. I’ll be in touch soon with an update!


To kick start your creativity in 2020, here’s some exciting new painting workshops at the fabulous J&G Innes in St Andrews to get you up and running. You may not be aware, but the popular bookstore and gift shop also has an excellent, bright studio and gallery space upstairs, and that’s where we’ll be. You’ll need to bring your art materials, but you’ll receive a 10% discount if you buy these in store Each workshop is £50, 10am-4pm with an hour for you to have your lunch (tea and coffee making facilities available throughout the day). Don’t worry if you lack creative confidence – all workshops are supportive and fun with a mixture of demonstrations, instruction and positive feedback:

January 25th – Watercolour Basics – putting skills into practice

February 15th – Pastel & Coloured Pencil – combining dry materials

March 21st – Watercolour Plus – exploring different styles and adding different mediums

April 18th – Perspective & Composition – understanding the fundamentals, and applying to your own artwork.

This is hot of the press, so more details to follow. Places are limited, so book up early!