Light relief

Fairly moor

Fairlie moor

If you’ve been reading these blogs over the last month or so you’ve probably gathered that there’s been one thing very much on my mind …the exhibition at The Strathearn Gallery.  Getting all the work finished, framed, photographed, catalogued and wrapped …has been quite a lot of work.

On Monday we went into town and hired a Transit van, and went back to the house to load all the pictures.  Of course, after several weeks of generally mild weather, Monday morning dawned very wet but cold …just 3 C here in Irvine and the forecast of snow for the Central Belt of Scotland …great!  The rain was really heavy here and we decided we could afford to wait a while to see if it would ease before loading the paintings into the van.  Thankfully it did improve and we were able to get everything on board in a relatively dry state.  The journey up to Crieff though was interesting. The rain turned to snow on the M77 and we had a mixture of rain, sleet and snow all the way.

Towards Arran from Whatside Hill

Towards Arran from Whatside Hill

By the time we reached Stirling the ground all around was white and on leaving the A9 to take the smaller road to Crieff ….well, everything was really quite white, including the road!  This particular road goes up quite high at one point and Nita found herself driving a hired Transit van containing almost a years worth of work, along a snow, slush, ice and water covered road.  At one point we went through a huge pool of water that sprayed up onto the screen and made it impossible to see.  No sooner had the wipers cleared this than a large lump of snow fell from an overhanging tree and once again covered the screen!  At this point, Nita just started laughing …well, it was rather funny.

Overlooking the Firth of Clyde

Overlooking the Firth of Clyde

We got to Crieff unscathed though and quickly had the work unloaded and into the gallery. What a relief, now it was in somebody else’s hands.  Mind you, I still fretted for a couple of days about whether the work would look any good but was most relieved to receive an email from the gallery yesterday to say it was all up and looking great …phew!  Oh, and they’d sold a piece as well …so a fine start.  I’m really looking forward to the preview tomorrow.

After all this, I really needed to take a wee break and yesterday in clear sunny calm weather I went for a smashing little walk with my friend Guy.    He’d plotted a nice route that led up onto Fairlie Moor and along its western edge over Whatside Hill before descending into and then walking through Kelburn Glen and on along the shore to Largs.  It made a great little day, catching the train to Fairlie and then returning by train in the evening from Largs.

Overlooking Great Cumbrae

Overlooking Great Cumbrae

As we were right on the edge of the North Ayrshire coast we had superb views out over the Firth of Clyde, across Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae islands to their bigger neighbours of Bute and Arran.  From this location you get an interesting view of the Arran Hills.  In the bright sunshine, the colours looked lovely and it was definitely very spring like.

Both Guy and I tend to like the bigger hills and the wilder places but this really was an excellent walk and one to be recommended to anyone living in North Ayrshire.  For me, the surprise came towards the end.  On descending into Kelburn Glen, we followed the path that led down the glen through beautiful woods and above the roar of the river as it poured over a whole series of waterfalls.  It was really quite spectacular especially with the late afternoon sunlight illuminating all the trees and rocks.


In Kelburn Glen

In Kelburn Glen

Kelburn Glen Waterfall

Kelburn Glen Waterfall


A fish supper while waiting for our train home finished off the day nicely and I’m now already thinking about the next walk.  With the exhibition opening tomorrow morning, I can now just get back to the painting and getting some more walks done.  I’ve started a new piece of work based, not on the hills, but on the view across the river and saltings outside my studio.  It’s a bit different but still Scottish landscape.  I’m quite enjoying this slight tangent and it’ll be interesting to see where it leads.

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