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An autumn / winter update 2021

So then it has been another slightly strange few months. My sight, which has been very bad for many years, has deteriorated further in recent times and as such, even the easier tasks and walks have become somewhat more problematic. We’ve still been getting out walking, but not doing some of the more challenging mountain routes we used to do. Instead we’ve started to explore more of the lower level tracks. We have had several short breaks away and one of the best of these took us over to Angus to visit our good friend Norma and to join her on a fabulous wander in the low hills around Glen Esk. The broad gentle paths here were perfect for me, but still led us up to around 600 m and so gave us some great views.

Autumn Holiday in Achmelvich

We also had an extra holiday, spending a week in a caravan in Achmelvich in Assynt in September. Anyone who has followed these blogs over the years, will know that we have visited this beautiful place in Assynt many times …….but never in the autumn. The colours were great and it was so nice to see this familiar landscape as the trees were turning and the sun getting lower. It has always been a very peaceful and quiet place when we have visited it in May and so we were rather surprised to find it a lot busier and sadly, more noisy. We walked along the beach most days, but instead of just being accompanied by the sounds of the waves, wind, birds and the chatter of people enjoying themselves, the calm this time, was spoilt by the constant annoying buzz of drones. Heck, I must be getting more grumpy as I become older ….. or maybe I have just become more aware of the beauty of natural sound now that I need to listen more and have started recording my surroundings rather than sketch them.

Achmelvich, a September evening (2021)
Assynt, an autumn landscape (2021)

Latest Landscape Paintings of Scotland

I am pleased to say that I am still painting, albeit far more slowly than before. I have generally been working on the larger paintings but have managed a couple of the long thin 76 x 23 cm pieces ….. although these take me almost as long to do as the 80 x 80 cm ones. When I look back at my records, I see that I used to get somewhere in the region of around 30 paintings completed each year. Now I reckon I’m lucky if I can get a dozen completed in the same time. For the moment I’ve held my prices but of course as there is less work available and each piece takes so much longer, I will have to increase my prices before too long. So then, not wanting to sound too much like a sales pitch, but if you’ve ever considered buying one of my paintings, well, it could be a good time to do so! Enough said! Here are images of several of the paintings I’ve completed this year:

Ref. 438 ‘On the slopes of Mid Hill, spring’, Oil on canvas, 2021, 80 x 80cm
Ref. 439 ‘Overlooking Loch Stack, Sutherland.’, Acrylic & Pastel, 2021, 80 x 80 cm
Ref. 442 ‘Memories of a winter walk near Braemar’, Acrylic & Pastel, 2021, 80 x 80 cm
‘A Sutherland landscape, Meallan a’ Chuail’. ( I finally completed this painting after almost three years. )

Next Art and Sound Exhibition

Finally, you will remember that back in March this year, in collaboration with audio engineers Graham Byron and Drew Kirkland, we were to have held an exhibition of our audio visual work at The Barony Centre in West Kilbride here in North Ayrshire. Sadly the show had to be cancelled due to the COVID 19 situation at the time. I am pleased to say however, that we have been invited to hold the exhibition at The Barony Centre in the autumn next year instead. The dates pencilled in are September 29th – October 22nd 2022. We will be holding a meeting in early February to finalise everything and I’ll give more details then. That said of course, as I write this, news of the latest COVID 19 variant is causing concern …… so we’ll just have to wait and see how things develop. In the meantime, why not watch and listen to our video exhibition; just click on the link below. The video contains three of our audio painting projects along with a small selection of my usual Scottish landscape paintings and drawings: