Thursday, 9 December 2010

New Directions

Hello again, after a bit of a writing holiday! No, the title doesn't yet mean I've found a new direction to paint in; instead, it means that I'm going to give the idea of producing a few limited edition Giclee prints of some of the bigger paintings. Initially, I'm going to start with Ceilidh! As well, I'm going to only produce limited editions of 50 worldwide. Hand signed, and on archival paper. I can start with Ceilidh! because I already have many of them professionally photographed. Again though, the main question is: will these wonderful images be of high enough resolution to do this without the initial outlay that has so long kept me from producing prints.

I've decided to do this because it will make it possible for people to have copies of images they may not have room for, or the funds to purchase an original.

I think the image here will be one of the first I offer. They'll sell for £200 each. So watch this space for more information as I get this ball rolling in this next week.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


I'm chuffed! My painting is flowing these days like water through my hands, and it feels good! But sometimes, in fear, we try to let a painting feel 'finished', because we want it to be ~ because we're afraid to ruin something that's 'nearly perfect'! A painting I posted on my website and Facebook of Ardnish was just such a painting. I kept looking at it, thinking, 'that's not right!', and trying to pretend I was leaving it because I wanted to 'keep it loose'! I'm always fighting the impulse to get tight in my work, and this time I wasn't going to let it happen! Funny how my words to my students come back to haunt me, and I'm required to live by my own statements! If somethings not right, its not right! The balance isn't right, its not resolved - doesn't matter if you're doing an abstract, a colorist, or an impressionist painting! I KNEW it wasn't right!

A dear friend stopped by the studio to see the new work, and while appreciating my prolific output in the past 8 weeks, he stopped at the problem child. 'This one's not right! The water's just not right!' The only thing he said! Then correcting himself to compliment the rest of the work in his usual, honest way, he came back to it, and repeated himself. I thanked him for his honesty, saying I'd thought the same thing but had been afraid to do the work. But his honesty made me find the courage to touch the painting again. An hours work later, and its finished. See what you think! go to or my facebook page from the link here. And the funny thing is that I was able to leap forward again with my work, once I'd fixed the earlier one! Complete honesty is what I think the message is here; honesty and courage to leap!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

New Inspiration

A couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to attend one of Glenfinnan House Hotel's more legendary Thursday night sessions (ceilidhs)! Someone at the pub counted musicians, and there were, I believe , at least 14! Part of the excitement was the fact that half of these were members of the Blazin Fiddles band, but I won't drop names here! The music was incredible, the craik brilliant, and while I left before most (as usual), I managed to capture some great images of the night! Looking at them the next day on my computer (I STILL prefer film guys!), I was inspired again; and picked up my brushes and began a week of intense painting. Ahhh, inspiration! The result is now added to my website - so go along there and enjoy the new work, mingled in with the older work!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Emerging from the Cave

A few days ago, I woke and suddenly realized that I absolutely was going to pick up a paintbrush that morning and start to paint. Soon as I finished feeding my Bed & Breakfast guest, I was going to just pick up the brush. Knew it without a doubt. And I did. I stood there working, while my guest and a neighbor sat having coffee and conversation not two feet from my easel! I'd had a conversation with myself that went somewhat like this, "tough up girl, you need to work, and it doesn't matter who is standing nearby or not! You just go out there, put on your music, and DO IT!" Then, long after my friends had decamped into the brilliant day, I stopped for a latish lunch, then saddled Dancer, and we had a 6 mile ride in the hills. An absolutely BRILLIANT day; and I couldn't help but think, "this is how my life used to be, this is how it should be again - instead of filled with endless tasks to make enough money to live to the next day!"

I think part of this is also an emerging sense of finding myself once again. We artists have to go thru periods of intense self-analysis and re-creation, I think. And I've certainly been forced into mine, kicking and screaming! I liked the comfortable, secure (ish) life I've created for myself here in Glenfinnan. But it seems that I'd gotten too comfortable, to settled, and that it MAY be time to start stretching my wings again. No, I don't know just where, when, or how, but at least I can begin to see that the decision will soon be upon me, and I'm content with it. As a result, my creative juices have fired on all cylinders! I can hardly wait to share the results with you all!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Get ready for new work!

I've been painting up a storm! I found a little pocket of cash in my budget and splurged on a small container of Gesso primer. As a result, I'm back in business for the time being! So be prepared, there will be more work to look at finally. The muse is upon me, and I'm feeling better than ever with the energy flowing though my hands. So bear with me friends! And check in again soon!

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Adventures in Glenfinnan

I know, I know, for this blog to be interesting at all, I've got to get online more than once a month! But its been an action packed month!

First of all, I spent 2 weeks in New Mexico and Arizona, visiting friends and familiy. I'm always so torn leaving the beautiful Southwestern US! But then I get home to Glenfinnan, and life takes on its rhythm and I don't miss the views because I'm continually inspired by this beautiful landscape and its people and music!

Secondly, in a response to a difficult recession time, I've opened my studio to take in Bed & Breakfast. I have a pleasant room to offer guests, and surprisingly, I've already had a few new clients! If you want to take advantage of my early low rate for the double room (same rate for single or double), just go to my website and email me from there!

Third, as always, I am painting - alot! Running close to the edge with materials. There is always the need to trust that the people will start to come so that I can purchase more materials to work with! But no matter....I'm working, solidly, in a wonderfully focused way that has been escaping me lately!

I have work in 2 group exhibitions: Ealanta Lochabar at the Lime Tree Gallery in Ft. William ( ); Kranenburg Fine Art in Oban ( ) - both of which open this month and will be up for the summer. And of course, I've decided to produce a little exhibition of CEILIDH! at the Glenfinnan Pub (the site of many sources of inspiration for me!) for more information! A busy summer - and great potential for so much more!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Making it!

I've discovered new creative ways to keep body and soul together in these financially difficult times! Advertising for a roommate, looking for part-time work, and best yet, taking in B&B customers during this hectic summer season. All of these things are difficult at best for someone who values their quiet, creative time. Time so necessary for creating paintings for the public to see and purchase! I've always said that if I've time to work a job - even part-time, then that time should be used in my studio, or in the business side of being an artist. But sometimes we have to compromise! And so, while I've had painting sales, I've had to make the very difficult decision to do one or all of the above things in order to recover from the very difficult 18 months of this recession.

So, my studio will be come a bedroom for B&B (or the roommate - whichever comes first!), and I'll use my sitting room to paint in - which I'm doing anyway. Sometimes I just need to move myself around and paint WHERE I feel like painting, not just WHEN I feel the urge; and I found that I didn't want to work in my studio, and am currently happy with my easel in the sitting room. Perhaps it will add an element of exoticism to my little B&B!

I've also finally put up an exhibition of CEILIDH! at the Glenfinnan House Hotel. It made sense to finally bring it home, to allow people to see the work in the room than many of the paintings were inspired in! CEILIDH! AT GLENFINNAN HOUSE HOTEL will be up at least a month and possibly longer. You can learn more about the hotel and this exhibition at Its my favorite place to have a pint or dram and watch the world go by, and now you can do it in the company of paintings depicting some of the best traditional musicians in Scotland!

Resipole South continues to make headway as a new virtual gallery, and I'm truly impressed with their drive, connections, and enthusiasm for the artists they've chosen to show! Don't forget to visit their site:

I've more work to show, new landscapes that I can't yet put online. However, rest assured, when I return from my trip to the US beginning the end of this month, I'll have my new computer and will be able to once again begin to share new work with the world. And perhaps, offering B&B to people traveling through will give me more quiet time during the day to do my work, rather than having to WASTE valuable creative time working for someone else!

Friday, 23 April 2010

Sometimes you just have to pitch in!

Newmarket has been an exciting, invigorating, and challenging time. The exhibition was a success for our dealers, and I've sold a painting, which is good for me. But now the real work begins - the follow up so necessary in the art game that is so often ignored!

I found when I arrived here, that all artists and dealers present for the Resipole South exhibition had a wonderful camaraderie; a real willingness to pitch in, help set up the exhibition, help talk to clients, etc. I found that because of a volcano eruption last week, I couldn't go home, and decided the best use of my time (beyond a trip to Nice which I REALLY need to do - but that's another story entirely!) was to pitch in and help in any way I could. So, I'm still here in Newmarket, because of the volcano, and because sometimes the artist has to get down off the pedestal they'd like to sit on.

Saturday, 10 April 2010


I've been silent, but I've been painting.....that is always the way. When the creativity wells up inside me, the more worldly parts of my life tend to fall away and have to go on hold! I've finished my jaguar mask (photos to be uploaded soon), and have begun painting Scottish and Moroccan landscapes again. Always such a trip to find out I NEED to paint more to make up for the work taken out of my studio in March for exhibition! I'm working from my photos over the years, but am very much aware that it is time once again to 'hit the road' for new inspiration! The price of petrol this past year has kept me from going out and exploring new parts of Scotland, and I'm suddenly beginning to feel it! I'm also feeling the loss of my digital photos of the high country around Lochaber....means I'm going to have to just walk up to the tops again and reshoot it! Damn!!! But these are all easy problems if I'm creating. Creating also brings in new energy, and I find that people start to visit the studio again.

My next exhibition, with 5 other scottish artists @ Resipole South opens on Monday, 12th April @ The Palace House, Newmarket. I've 16 paintings in the show - a wide range of subjects - and I love the work of the other artists, so its well worth the visit if you happen to be in the south of England next week. The opening is April 13 from 6 - 9 pm, rsvp please. For more information:

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Spring Enthusiasm!

Well, things are heating up nicely now. I've finished some hard graft to make some old expenses, still have more to cover, but its time to begin to think creatively again! I can feel the itch in my hands as I type this!

First of all, the exhibition at MacGregor Fine Art ( is going to be at the Glasgow Art Fair, opening the 25th March (Thursday). That means two stands will be showing my work! One Ceilidh!, one landscapes (Duncan Miller Fine Art).

And now, announcing a new exhibition I've been asked to participate in: April 12 - 17, Resipole South will host an exhibition of six artists from Scotland (myself included), at Palace House, Palace Street, Newmarket, CB8 8EP The opening reception is April 13 from 6 - 9 pm. For more information, please go to the website, and if you're interested in attending the reception, please RSVP!

I'm excited and energized by the forward thinking and enthusiasm of my friends at Resipole South. So much depends on this exhibition for us all, as it always does with artists! Wish us all luck!

I'm also designing a mask of a Mexican Jaguar to be worn in a production of Noah's Fludd (produced by Loch Shiel Festival in Glenfinnan) this May. Artists from all over the world were asked to create a mask to be worn by children of an endangered animal from their neck of the woods. Since I come from the Southwest US, I chose the Mexican Jaguar. This is so much fun!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

New Possibilities!

After a tough beginning to 2010 - a crashed hard drive, frozen pipes, bad back, and of course the neverending financial challenges we're all faced with right now - I've got some real news and something to say!

First of all, I have 19 CEILIDH! paintings in an exhibit opening March 5 at MacGregor Fine Art, 34 West George St., Glasgow . there is an opening reception on March 5, from 4:30 - 8:30 pm. the exhibition will be up from March 5 through the 27th. Other artists in this exhibit are: Callum MacFarlane-Barrow, Victoria Maxwell MacDonald, and Jonathan Shearer. All welcome!

I've also made it back to the easel after discovering that the best of my Moroccan digital photos were saved for posterity in facebook (thank you!!!), and was able to finish a lovely little painting of a berber shepherd and his youngest son. Its always such a relief to again pick up the brush and find out that yes, I CAN still put paint to canvas and come out with a good painting! But you'll have to wait until I have my computer back to see the work! Challenges keep getting in the way of this creative life I've chosen, but I know from long experience that nothing else will serve me. And so I keep putting one foot in front of the other and hold high expectations for this little exhibition coming up. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Soaking up the sun!

Sometimes, as artists, we have to take time - time off from the process of painting, of constantly seeing the world with the eyes of a possible painting, or meeting someone with the idea of "is this a possible client?" I don't do this easily. My creativity is hardwired into my very being, and I can't help but look at everything with an eye that says "is this a painting, or a client?" But I'm here in Dallas, Texas, trying to find the right mix of relax vs make the trip count! It helps that the sun is out and its warm and I have running water and am surrounded by people I love and who love me!

Next stop, Tucson, Arizona.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010


Heading to the US for some R& R, and to perhaps do a little marketing of paintings. Alas, thus is the life of an artist; every trip has to involve the potential of sales or paintings. Hopefully by the time I return, my computer problem will be sorted out, and I'll have water in my house so that I can finish the latest oil painting from Morocco, and start another!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Trouble in Computerland

Well friends, please bear with me for awhile. My trusty old laptop developed a fatal hardware error and my hard drive has crashed. While I scramble to find the means and/or funds to recover the data (most important!), and also to purchase a new laptop (I hope against hope that I by some miracle won't have to), it's going to be difficult to keep up with my blog and website. I have only one word of advise, no matter how many problems you may be having, DON'T FORGET TO BACK UP EVERYTHING! I did, but usually once every 6 months or year. This time it was a year.....I say no more!

I've a beautiful little Moroccan painting on the easel at the moment. A portrait of a Berber nomad and his youngest son (18 months). The challenge now is this: can I finish it without the photograph I took last winter? The photo is on my hard drive....