On Mayfield Road, in Edinburgh is a great wee gallery called the Stick Factory and, earlier this year I was absolutely delighted to be asked to give them some work to display.
I met with Mike, one of the owners of the gallery in early February and discussed giving him some of my work to display. It was quite a tight schedule and I didn’t have a lot of time to create new work. I had already committed to my anniversary promotion, wherein I launched my Etsy Shop, and uploaded 20 paintings from my village and surroundings, one a day for twenty days at only £20. That promotion is now over, but I wrote about why I was doing it previously on my blog. I loved doing it, I learned loads and am now comfortable with selling my work online in a more formalised way.
I was also continuing to work on the art course that I have been doing with Edinburgh Botanic Gardens (more about that soon!) Sadly that meant that I had less time than I would have liked to get together a decent body of work for the Stick Factory. However, I did manange to give them 10 large paintings, a number of small paintings, some decorative trays, some wee original paintings for their browser and 25 handmade cards. The exhibition is now hung, and while I haven’t been able to pop in and see it, the Stick Factory have shared some photos of it on their social media pages, including their Instagram account
Several of the paintings that I gave them were still life paintings, but the core of the exhibition consists of a series of landscapes From Letterewe to Skye, this is what a wrote about the series:
“I live in one of the most beautiful places in the world and, as a landscape artist I spend a lot of time, sketching and painting in this place. This series of paintings is titled from Letterewe to the Isle of Skye as this is where they were painted.
My village is Lochcarron, which runs like a ribbon along the Northern shores of Loch Carron. At the head of the loch is Strathcarron and the flat valley and raised beaches left by the last ice age. From my home I can be at Letterewe, within an hour, as long as I don’t keep stopping to sketch or draw or just look at the beauty all around me. This road takes the driver through Beinn Eighe nature reserve, the mountains of Liathach and Beinn Alligin dominate the views and are reflected in the sea lochs along the route.
Letterewe is near the centre of Loch Maree, an inland loch that is steeped in myth and legend and that is considered one of the most beautiful in Scotland. To the West lie, Gairloch and Poolewe, to the North is Ullapool.
Heading South again, gives a different vista. Back past Loch Torridon, Loch Kishorn and the Bealach na Ba. Past Loch Carron and on the Road to Skye, the driver can stop at any number of view points and look back at Fuar Tholl and towards the mountains of Strathconan, or look ahead to the Cuillin range on the isle of Skye.
This scenery is primordial. Man is inconsequential in this landscape. And yet there are wee houses sheltering beneath the hills, the trees are distorted by the strong winds and the roads fringed by broom and gorse. This is the land of the storms and of gentle breezes. This is the landscape that I try to capture in my paintings.
The land at the edge