Snowy Path


Snowy Path, soft pastel on board, available to buy on Etsy and Artfinder.


Flower Field

Flower Field, soft pastel on watercolour paper, 41 x 31cm (16 x 12″)

This was an experiment for me and I think it went well. I started off with a soft pastel wash (adding vodka to the pastel to work it like paint) and then tried to work as impressionistically as I could. I love the muted colours, and I am planning on taking this way of painting further.

Flower Field is for sale on Etsy or Artfinder.


Rider, soft pastel on board, 51 x 37cm (16 x 14″)

This was the first painting I worked on as Artist in Residence at Horatio’s Garden in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. Patients and with the visitors sat with me and chatted while I worked. One was a life long horse rider, and gave the painting its name. I love the colours which is a pleasant surprise as I rarely use yellows.

Rider is available to buy on Etsy or on Artfinder.

Old Farmhouse, soft pastel on board


This painting is of my father-in-law’s farmhouse situated in the North East of Scotland. The turquoise blue was my mother-in-law’s favourite colour, and naturally that was the colour used for all the woodwork. The gardens around the house are a wee bit run down now but that’s what gives Hillhead Farmhouse its character. I can’t tell you how much I loved painting this.

Old Farmhouse, soft pastel on board. Finished and available to buy on Etsy or Artfinder.

Loch Garry, work in progress – defeat

I’m too ashamed to show you the latest version #utterlyhumiliated

Yes, this is the painting I wrote a post about in my last post, and it just hasn’t worked.  And I’m so hacked off, I can’t face trying to solve it’s problems for the moment. I also think it’s too awful to show you at the moment.  Colours are garish, the sky is blotchy, clouds are nondescript, the loch is flat and uninteresting and the shades I used when preparing the background just aren’t shining through – I think that’s enough for now.  There is nothing more frustrating than working on a painting and not liking it.

I am feeling both defeated and deflated, but it won’t last long.  I’ll start working on the Loch Garry painting again (no idea when though), and suddenly, out of nowhere, it’ll start to work, and everything will be rosy, birds will be singing and I’ll accept that I can still paint after all.

That’s what I hope, anyway.

Loch Garry, work in progress 1


I’ve just started a new painting of Loch Garry.

I am working on especially cut MDF board because I already have a frame that I need it to fit. I painted the board with purple and gold acrylic paint, squeezing the colours directly onto the board and mixing them as I messed about with my brush.

When it was dry, I sanded down the surface to give my pastels something to grip onto and then sketched on the outline of the landscape using a pastel pencil.

I’ll be working on it all tomorrow.

Happiness is a red dot

Blossom Avenue, mixed media on board, sold

I was at a private view a while back. It was for a group show at Smithy Gallery, and I have a couple of paintings exhibiting.

Just about anybody can go to a private view, you don’t need an invite, really, as they are all about selling the artists’ work; and they are what they seem to be on television, lots of people milling about talking about art and to artists, drinking champagne. A group of passing backpackers turned up and were welcomed with a glass and a catalogue list – I think they bought cards and prints.

However, from my point of view, private views can be something very different. I am a nervous wreck before I even arrive, and when I walk in, the first thing I do is look around trying to find where my paintings are hanging; then I check out if there are any red dots (meaning they have sold). I try to avoid looking at anyone while they look at my paintings (will they buy, won’t they buy), then there are the people who just glance at my work and walk on (obviously no taste). I don’t know why I put myself through them. It’s much more fun doing something else and receiving the good news by phone from the gallery.

My Dad coined the family motto, “Happiness is a Red Dot”. So true, but I like to think of it with additional small print – “…but only when you are not present”.