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Spring / Summer 2023 – Latest Life & Exhibitions Update !

Walking and working …..but getting there

I finished my last blog by saying that there was an awful lot of work to do …….and this is my excuse for not writing another Life & Exhibitions Update – until now! That said, it has not all been work.

After several years when we have failed to get into the hills on a regular basis, we were determined this year to get back out and if possible, reclaim some of our hill fitness. To start with we were doing fairly short walks, heading for the smaller hills Beinn Dubh, Ben Inverveigh, Ben Cleuch and Beinn Leabhain. Then, as our legs started to complain less, we ventured a little further and managed some good hikes in the fine spring weather.

Towards Arkle

By the time we were heading off for our annual early May holiday in Sutherland we were feeling reasonably fit and one of the first trips we did was to venture up close to the remote and rugged peak of Foinaven. It is a fairly long walk in and the conditions weren’t great to start with, but as we made it to the rocky escarpment leading up towards the hill, the cloud lifted and we had amazing views across to Arkle and up to the serious parts of Foinaven. It all looked fantastic and definitely worth another visit …… time with an even earlier start.

On Meall an t’Seallaidh

We enjoyed several other fine walks that holiday and on getting back had a really fine couple of days on Meall an t Seallaidh above Glen Kendrum and Meall nan Subh in the Southern Highlands. It is difficult to pick any one day out, but here are a few photos from our trips.

At the summit of Meall Odhar
From Beinn Chaorach


Most of my time at the studio, over the last year or so, has been spent creating new work for the next ‘Painting with Sound’ exhibition. This show, titled ‘Painting with Sound – Short walks along the west coast of Scotland’ is to be held at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine and will open on 14th October 2023 and run until mid January 2024. The museum has a purpose-built exhibition space in the main body of the museum and it will be perfect for this combination of visual and audio landscape work.

Ref. 461 ‘Sandwood Bay, river song’, Oil, 2023, 120 x 40 cm

As with the last exhibition of Painting with Sound at the Barony Centre, this show is a collaboration with sound engineers Graham Byron and Drew Kirkland. The exhibition will include 23 paintings, of which 17 will have accompanying soundscapes. Eleven of these will be 120 x 120 cm canvases and it has been these larger pieces that have taken up so much of my time recently. The paintings and soundscapes are based on locations from Sandwood Bay near Cape Wrath in the far NW of Scotland, down to Garlieston and the Crook of Baldoon on the Solway Firth.

Ref. 465 ‘High tide on the west coast of Harris’, Acyrlic & Pastel, 2023, 80 x 80 cm

At the time of writing, all but two of the 23 paintings are completed and 15 of the 17 individual video soundscapes are finished. The exhibition will have a special video soundscape playing live that will have excerpts from all 17 pieces and for anyone interested in hearing the full length versions or wanting to get a more immersive experience, each piece will be available to listen to through their phone and ear-buds via a QR code. The following link will take you to ‘Wetlands. Crook of Baldoon, Solway Firth’. It will give you a taste of what the exhibition is all about.

Ref. 467 ‘Stoer, 2018, part 1’, Oil, 2023, 120 x 120 cm
The Seagull Gallery in Gourock

Finally, I have also made several new acrylic and pastel paintings and two of these are currently showing at The Seagull Gallery in Gourock. Both are based on the kind of views we had last September when we did a walk on Quinag in Assynt.

Ref. 456, ‘Overlooking Loch Assynt, a September afternoon’, Acrylic & Pastel, 2023, 80 x 80 cm
Ref. 457 ‘A September afternoon in the mountains of Assynt’, Acrylic & Pastel, 2023, 80 x 80 cm