Week 1 @ Cambo Gardens

Here are some sketches from my first week or so at Cambo – see previous post about my residency or in my newsletter number 6 – a link is attached on my About Me page of this website. The weather is everything when working outside because I sit still and look, and look, for many minutes or maybe even hours because that is what it is all about for me.  So I have been wrapped up in layers of clothes and even fingerless gloves. The bare winter trees, springing into life after the winter, and the bright spring bulbs are just looking fabulous at the moment. These mixed media sketches below may be developed further into new pieces or oil paintings in time for my exhibition at Cambo in the early autumn. I like the contrast between the greys of the dead wood and the fresh colours of new growth. I have seen quite a bit of birdlife too including tree sparrows, blue tits, jackdaws, buzzards, bumble bees and also a butterfly – flying too fast to identify.

Cambo Artist in Residence

My first day at Cambo was full of sunshine and bright flowers emerging below fruit trees that are waiting to burst into leave and flower. There should be a succession of blossoms emerging over the next two months.  I  can tell that I am going to be inspired! Here are a few pictures of the walled garden at this time of year. If you’d like to follow my progress please look on instagram or facebook page or my account. Their website has details for visitors and as I have been visiting for a couple of years I know it is beautiful and colourful all year round. There is a tree-lined gully leading down to a sandy beach below, as well as the formal garden. At this point I’m not sure where the residency will lead me in my artwork because there is a huge choice of reference. As well as on insta/facebook I will leave a few images and examples of work, from day to day, in the stables next to the cafe at Cambo so if you can’t find me in the grounds or a I have retreated to my studio, there will be something to see.

New Large Bird Paintings

Just finished, four large – for me – bird paintings, based on my observations of the local bird life. Prices and any other information on request – please email me for details on my contact page or by my facebook account if you’d like to know more.

Redshank Running Red Legs, unframed 70 x 50cm, oil and mixed media on canvas. I was fascinated to see what looked like two shadows on the beach when I watched a flock of redshank on Crail Harbour Beach. Then I realised one was a reflection on the wet sand.
Castle Walk View with Fulmars, Crail, 92 x 61cm, oil on canvas, This is my almost daily winter’s view on our walk around the town, down to the harbour with a low sun and Bass Rock way off in the distance. The fulmars come and go all year.
Curlew Take Off, 50 x 70cm, oil on canvas. Using a slowed down film I took of a local curlew, I was interested to see what they do when they take flight. Just like a human when they jump, it bobbed down before springing upwards.
Gannet Colony, 92 x 61cm oil and mixed media. Based on the experience of being eye to eye with the gannetry on Bass Rock, when the birds were nesting, using natural and found materials, which I have included in the painting.

2019

I’m currently spending plenty of time in the studio working on bird/landscape paintings in oils. Using charcoal sketches, watercolour colour ideas and photographs, I am developing some large pieces, as usual, working on several at a time to give drying and thinking time in between. I’ve just updated the News page on the menu above to show what I have planned this year so far, and it looks like it will be a busy one! I have an exhibition of some work in Kingussie, one at the new Dundee Art Fair and then Open studios, Crail Festival, and then there is the Pittenweem Art Fair! So I’m pretty busy painting…

Work in Progress…

Sky Landscape Artist of the Year 2018


I enjoyed being a Wildcard on the third episode of this programme, to be aired on 30th October 2018, and it was a very dull and damp start to the day! You will probably not see me as I was under a golf umbrella most of the day. My memories of the day and notes-to-self about joining in next year are on my ‘Wildcard Experience’ page on the menu above.

Post Pittenweem

Now back in the studio after the marathon of an arts festival, followed by a couple of weeks holiday, I am beginning to paint again. I was able to plan all sorts of ideas during the festival and have a sketchbook full. The difficulty is deciding which ones to start! I have added all the Pittenweem paintings on my Gallery page and a couple of the unsold ones on my Paintings in Oil page. Please get in touch if you would like to be included in my next newsletter mail-out or are interested in purchasing a painting.

Whitethroat, as seen singing from the top of a bush beside the beach at Kingsbarns, oil on canvas, 30 x 30cm.