Monthly Archives: August 2016




It’s been a couple of weeks since the Lindisfarne outdoors landscape painting workshop and it was lovely to receive feedback today that Ros Duncan of the Peregrini Landscape Partnership collected from the participants…

Excellent tutor”    “Friendly helpful organiser”    “Wonderful location”      “Lots of tips”   “Fun!”  “ An artistic challenge”  “A nice break from the day to day”   “Good teaching”   “Happy”   “Friendly”   “Generous” “Inspiring” “Enjoyable”   “Productive”   “Stimulating”   “Motivating”   “Satisfying” ”Creative”   “Informative”

There was some feedback about the quality of paper provided being not so great, and the momentary confusion at the start of the day when we couldn’t find everyone in the car park! But those are very resolvable issues, so overall it’s been a great success.

13658962_1279379745405600_714112986053294461_nI’m really touched that folks enjoyed the weekend. It’s all thanks to Ros Duncan of the Peregrini Landscape Partnership, who came up with the idea of painting workshops a few months ago and has been one of the most positive, organised, fun and helpful people I’ve worked with in all my years in the arts!


Ros is also planning an exhibition of the paintings on Lindisfarne, so I look forward to that, as well as running more workshops in future (I’ll post any updates here).

In the meantime, plans for the Hebridean trip which starts on the 16th September are gathering pace, and I’ll soon post interviews of fellow collaborators – author Louise Palfreyman and cellist/compser Atzi Muramatsu. I can’t wait to start our journey!

Here’s one of the places we’ll be staying on Skye, in the amusingly named ‘luxury cowshed pods’ 🙂


Painting workshop on Lindisfarne


Demonstrating painting techniques on Lindisfarne this weekend. (Photo by Ros Duncan)

The landscape painting workshop on Lindisfarne this weekend was a wonderful experience, I couldn’t have wished for a better day or more enthusiastic participants!

Some feedback from participants…

Excellent tutor”    “Friendly helpful organiser”    “Wonderful location”      “Lots of tips”   “Fun!”  “An artistic challenge”  “A nice break from the day to day”   “Good teaching”   “Happy”  “Friendly”   “Generous” “Inspiring” “Enjoyable”   “Productive”   “Stimulating”   “Motivating”  “Satisfying” ”Creative”   “Informative”

A warm thank you to everyone who came along on Saturday and Sunday, for their good cheer and for throwing themselves into the challenges of painting. Most had painted in watercolours before, but for this workshop we used acrylics since they’re adaptable.

They do have their challenges though, and everyone did a fantastic job of experimP1100122enting and mastering some of the techniques I demonstrated with palette knife and fan brushes; creating highlights, atmospheric effects and building up layers to show contrast and texture.

It was a real pleasure to see the results, I think everyone captured the atmosphere of Lindisfarne beautifully – shimmering sea, cloud patterns, the vivid warm colours of the landscape in summer. I was truly impressed and delighted to see these.

(I tried to photograph all paintings and hope I’ve included most). Here they are! –

Weather on Saturday was dazzlingly sunny, also extremely windy so we had a challenge keeping everything pinned down at some points! Sunday was calm but midgy, all part of the challenge of outdoors painting. I really enjoyed chatting and offering feedback to everyone throughout the afternoon, it was lovely to see the works in progress..

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Before starting their painting for the afternoon, everyone experimented on sketch paper fixed to a large board , with some great results…


You can see the effects of drybrush, sand mixed with paint, rain effects – and sea shimmer, lovely stuff!

Ros Duncan and I are really keen to continue offering these free workshops and I’ll be posting more info here when we’ve confirmed new dates and times.

Idylic view from my bedroom window in College Valley, Northumbria

Idylic view from my bedroom window in College Valley, Northumbria

A huge thank you to the Peregrini Landscape Trust and to Ros, for making these workshops happen , also for Ros’s warm hospitality over the weekend – I had a wonderful time discovering more of Northumbria, and look forward to return visits in the near future!


If you’d like to participate in future workshops, contact Ros Duncan (Community Engagement & Heritage Education Officer of the Peregrini Landscape Trust) at –

And lastly, a few more photos below from this weekend; a spontaneous Tai Gong demonstration! and the beautiful landscape of Lindisfarne…









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Gallery closed

Peter Potter 0021_591632228.jpg[ToFit1200x800]I was very sorry to hear that the Peter Potter Gallery in Haddington had to close because of discontinued funding, yet another indication of how galleries and businesses are being affected due to council cuts..

'Cockenzie Power Station, 26th September 2015'. Mixed media on 17x11" wood panel

‘Cockenzie Power Station, 26th September 2015’. Mixed media on 17×11″ wood panel

My limited edition set of prints ‘Cockenzie Power Station’ were exclusively on sale here (I chose the gallery as it’s close to Cockenzie) so today I dropped in to pick up the remaining prints and I’ll be looking for a new gallery to sell them from. (The original sold at the Royal Scottish Academy Open Exhibition in 2015/16).

It seems a real shame though, that this beautiful town now lacks a gallery. It was small but respected, regularly showing renowned artists across many contemporary forms and it’s been there for decades, situated at the end of 16th century Nungate Bridge.

(Below, my photo from today, and  a painting from 1901 by William Darling McKay). Haddington has a long and fascinating history, as do many Borders towns; this was where King Henry VIII attacked the local cathedral because Scotland refused to agree the marriage between his son Edward and Mary of Guise (Mother of Mary Queen of Scots).

20160807_145606 2012AA03442I hope the gallery will find a way to continue in one form or another once the practicalities of closing down and clearing the gallery have been sorted out. I wish it the best of luck.


Learn to paint on Lindisfarne..

Lindisfarne_castle_at_sunset,_boats_at_low_tideJust two weeks now until my landscape painting workshop begins!

I’ll be running this workshop on the 13th and 14th August, there will be loads of tips, encouragement and feedback for beginners. You’ll definitely emerge from this having learned a lot about painting landscape, from selecting a view, composition, line-work, sketching, capturing tone and light, colour, texture and more…

These workshops are provided by the Peregrini Lindisfarne Landscape Partnership Trust, completely free (materials also provided). To book your place for either or for both days, please contact Ros Duncan –

More info on the workshops Here

Other news; I’m currently planning my Hebridean creative adventure with author/poet Louise Palfreyman and (of course!) composer/cellist Atzi Muramatsu.

More on that tomorrow…