Autumn in Drumrunie
This piece was commissioned to celebrate the birthday of a local resident, whose house nestles beneath Coigach’s famous mountains. I so enjoyed using pink and orange together, with the print marks of local plants adding to the texture and creating a harmony out of the autumn splendour of this part of the world.
I was delighted to hear from a loyal customer that he had just bought a house near Kinlochberbie. And so he commissioned me to make both a view of his house and of the nearby, spectacular, beach at Oldshoremore. The two pieces will furnish this new house and on the darkest of days in the winter, should remind him of the glories of summer, when the north west highlands are full of yellow and brilliant blues.
Suilven, for Sasha
This panel was made as a birthday present for one of the many climbers for whom Suilven has a special place in their hearts.
The composition (100cm x 130 cm) was based on the view of the mountain from Ledmore, just to the north of Elphin, with the Ledmore river winding its way towards Cam Loch.
The client requested that I use the burnt orange of the bracken and old heather that is found on the slopes of the low hills. To this I added the range of faded yellows and gold found in the wide variety of grasses that are found on the flood plain of the river. And, of course, the unmistakable silhouette of Suilven stands proud above it all.
This was an enormous commission - 2.5 metres by 0.75 metres. Enormous in size and, I hope, in terms of success. It was commissioned by a woman from London who has happy memories of sitting outside her tent on the old campsite, on the dunes at the back of Achnahaird beach, watching the sun set behind the brooding mountains of - left to right - Canisp, Suilven, Cul Mor, Stac Pollaidh, Cul Beag and the Ben Mor Coigach range. A little artistic license allowed me to include the beach, as if you could see it from the top of Achnahaird Brae.
Uallach na Mara
(The Burden of the Sea)
This is a romantic interpretation of a phrase favoured by the client, who lives at Ardmair Bay, the beautiful sweep of beach just north of Ullapool.
I chose to find the positive in the word ‘burden’, imagining the sea full of herring, with shoals of them regularly finding their way into the nets of the fisherman of the west coast. The boat is white and ‘gold’, giving it the status of a precious object, the source of plenty in the fisherman’s life. And I particularly enjoyed writing this beautiful phrase – Uallach na Mara – over and over again on the fabric that turned into the bountiful sea.
Climbing Cul Mor
This large embroidered textile collage was created for a regular hill climber from London, whose favourite mountain happens to be Cul Mor. This is a subject I know well, given that our house looks on to the mountain and is named after it too. As well as the opportunity to depict the huge but gentle presence of the mountain (and its little sister, Cul Beag, peeking over its shoulder) the commission gave me an opportunity to show the slow and lazy route that both the road and the burn take as they wend their way through Elphin village.