Acrylic and linen on cradled panel, 61 x 61 cm, 2022

Tarry blacks and repeating reflection shapes in the pink and the cream. It maybe an evening loch, whatever, it is abstract and mostly about paint! Note plenty of watery runs and slurpy translucencies make it pretty definitely about water.


Acrylic, charcoal, paper, linen on canvas, 61 x 61 cm, 2022

The Lochan of the Green Corrie, or Lochan à Choire Ghuirm, which rather sadly, from being a remote and undiscoverable lochan (Norman MacCaig’s final request to Andrew Greig was to go and fish in this mysterious and hard to get at place) high up in Assynt, seems to have become a popular spot to fish in. It’s quite present on the internet, possibly due to Andrew Greig’s book, At the Loch of the Green Corrie. We walked part of the way to it, though our aim was the waterfall lower down. (and we didn’t even get to that). I doodled a fish into the paint with my palette knife.


Acrylic and oil pastel on canvas, 61 x 61 cm, 2022

Words scratched into the surface of this one are Allt a’ Bàthaich, the name of the burn that flows down from between the two north peaks of Quinag via waterfall after waterfall.. Scots Gaelic meaning the stream of the byre – the flatter patch of grassland under the main ridge of Quinag is called the Corrie of the byre, Choire à Bàthaich, which was a shieling, a summer grazing for cattle, and might be the reason Quinag (Cuineag) is the name of the hill itself, as it means milking pail. That is supposed to refer to its shape, but it could mean literally a place to fill your milkpail.



Acrylic, paper, linen, gold mica flakes on canvas, diptych, 80 x 120 cm, 2022

the shimmer of the gold paint in this one is hard to photograph. I need to have some Gaelic lessons so I know how to pronounce these titles. But it’s all about a place, its view of the Summer Isles, its hopes, the hay harvest, the potato harvest …. in Coigach. (A’ Chòigeach’), meaning the five fields, is derived from the ancient tradition of dividing land into fifths. the five ‘fields’ being Achduart, Achnacarinan, Acheninver, Achnahaird and Achiltibuie. perhaps a bit like Irish “townlands”.

as Tim Winton says in his 2014 essay  ” perhaps it’s you, the viewer, who is changed; something has stuck, something’s going on … a listening gaze. ….. open to the steady yet returning stare of a creation that groans in travail even as it feeds us.”




Acrylic and pencil on deep cradled ply panel, 41 x 41 x 5.5 cm, 2022

After spending hours researching geology and many other things about Assynt for my blog. Gaelic place names. I have been reading that every small spot had a name and a meaning. The place where this or that happened and it’s very similar to the naming used by First Nations in north America. Every spot having a meaning is a bit similar to Indigenous Australians’ involvement with country, but it was not a sacred meaning nor did it reach as far back into deep time as that in Australia. But as a deeply felt part of the Scots Gaelic speaking identity much of it is sadly lost now.


Acrylic, pigment, marble dust, cold wax, oil and oil stick on canvas, 50 x 50 x 4 cm, 2022

The geology of paint – the Gaelic (Gallic) name of the disappearing burn, Allt nan Uamh, layers of cold wax and raw pigment then words scratched into the surface of this one, covering up, revealing, and scratching into it with a palette knife.



Acrylic, paper, marble dust, charcoal, oil stick, cold wax on canvas, 50 x 50 cm, 2022

“walking to the bone caves”, a bit of a theme – or even the Gaelic (Gallic) name of the disappearing burn, Allt nan Uamh, the stream of the Caves, both scratched into the surface of this one, which I worked into with cold wax medium and oil paint and zest thinners. wiping off, scraping off, drawing into it with pigment sticks. For information about the bone caves see my blog all about our stay in Assynt, in the far north west of Scotland.


Acrylic, charcoal, cold wax, marble dust, mica flakes, oil and oil stick on canvas, 80 x 70 x 4 cm

the title is from the OS map, the pass between the peaks of Quinag. Bealach means pass, Chornaidh stony.

trying to keep the feeling of the preliminary work on paper, but remembering all that Lewisian Gneiss, the gritty twisted rock with its nooks and crannies, the tiny special flowers, mosses and ferns we found.