The Isle of May

 I have just spent a wonderful week on the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth, walking, watching, drawing and absorbing the rhythm of life on the island. Predictably the weather was changeable and there were moments of battling the wind as paper and drawing board threatened to blow away or having to dry out a sodden sketchbook by the stove. But it meant seeing so many different facets of the island as sea spume swirled around the cliffs at Altarstanes Harbour, the magical appearance of vast numbers of puffins from the gloom of a murky morning or shags preening and glistening in the sunshine.

More to come soon!


A recent collagraph I've been working on after spending many happy hours watching the cormorants and gannets diving off Waternish Point on Skye earlier this year. This is a working proof yet to be editioned but I think its just about ready to go. I really love those rich, velvety blacks full of texture which collagraph can achieve.

And some fresh inspiration from a recent trip into the Cairngorms just in time for the first serious snowfall of the year. The walk up was eerily misty but once in the bowl of the corrie it suddenly began to lift, revealing spectacular black rocky outcrops and snow filled gullies.

Notes from the Sketchbook

 I always enjoy heading off in whatever direction my feet happen to carry me with a sketchbook and selection of drawing equipment. Normally fairly basic, quick and easy to use items like watercolour pencils, a few soft pastels and plenty of soft pencils. This year has taken me to Shetland, Sutherland, Galway, Skye, the Lake District and the Perthshire hills so far with some great wildlife spotting including huge bird colonies, dolphins, orca and a sparrowhawk which made itself at home on my parents lawn on Skye one morning.

Here is a small selection from the current sketchbooks....

New linocut prints

 So I have been busily printing away over the last month or two making these couple of new linocuts among other things. The terns were inspired by a trip to the Isle of May nature reserve earlier in the year and the experience of being mobbed as we made our way up through the nesting site away from the jetty. Its somewhere I'd like to return to for longer with a big blank sketchbook!