Features 2


Painting The Living Mountain

In December 2020 I was commissioned by The Folio Society to create a series of paintings (see paintings below) for their new publication of The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd.

The book had previously been published by The Canons and Canongate Books, with an introduction by author Robert MacFarlane.

For their new publication, the Folio Society invited Robert MacFarlane to write an updated introduction. The new intro is wonderfully expanded with MacFarlane’s insightful observations, as well as anecdotes by Nan’s lifelong friend, Erlend Clouston (now executor of the Nan Shepherd literary estate).

Painting the series was an honour and privilege for me, as I loved the book from first reading it in 2014. Nan’s visionary prose enthralled me; she observed like an artist and I was not surprised to learn that she had explored Buddhist philosophy throughout her life.

You can read my artist’s diary about the process of painting the series, including research, an interview with Erlend Clouston, my trip to the snowy Cairngorms during lockdown and the challenge of painting Nan Shepherd’s vivid descriptions and experiences as I imagined them.

I’ll be posting updates on the diary over the next few weeks, and I’ll also add updates on any upcoming exhibitions of the paintings.