Tag Archives: paintings of trees

‘The Green Woods Free’

Below are all works that will be included in this Friday’s exhibition (details here)

The Green Woods Free

Preview Evening: Friday 17th July, 7 – 9pm (including live cello performance by composer/cellist Atzi Muramatsu)

Whitespace@25 Howe Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6TF

Exhibition continues until 23rd July (open every day 10am to 5pm)


Borders Country Day 22

'Birch Trees, Gladhope'. Mixed Media on 40x30" canvas

‘Birch Trees, Gladhope’. Mixed Media on 40×30″ canvas

Birch Trees updated. I felt it needed more contrast and texture. I think it’s pretty much finished now. I just have the largest painting on panel to complete, and I’ve started on this smaller painting…

In progress..

In progress..








Five days now until the exhibition launch at Whitespace Howe St! Four days really as the paintings must be hung in the gallery, wine ordered and so on.

Here are a few photos of the gallery, also one of composer/cellist Atzi Muramatsu contemplating paintings last year at Howe Street (he’ll be performing cello again at the launch this Friday, which I’m really looking forward to. I’ll make sure I record everything and will post it here in a week or so – all details Here)






I love painting for a living, but it’s quite a financial roller coaster – a constant boom and bust that’s pretty unpredictable. After a month-long flu and lung infection earlier this year I was diagnosed with quite severe anaemia, so the rest of this year has been all about recovering and catching up. I don’t know what I’d have done without friends and family to help out. Much love to you and a huge, heartfelt, thank you!

Borders Country Day 20

P1250985Getting together a body of work now, so I can see it taking shape and the general feel the exhibition will have.

I did a bit more work on ‘Wood Cabin, Leithen’ and I’m a bit happier with the reflections –

'Wood Cabin, (Leithen) 2'. Acrylic on 20x16" canvas

‘Wood Cabin, (Leithen) 2’. Acrylic on 20×16″ canvas

Today’s experimentations (I can see a nice muddy stream emerging in the bigger work and might bring that out a bit)

In progress. 40x30" canvas

In progress. 40×30″ canvas

In progress

In progress (20×16″ canvas)


Serendipitous effects in this one as it’s painted over an earlier painting (‘St Abbs’ – I wasn’t happy with the postcard view feel of it). The texture beneath created the horizontal lines at the top when lightly brushed over.

As you can see I’m painting more and typing less, I’m off to make dinner now!

Borders Country Day 14

'Scots Pine and Overhanging Rock (River Tweed)'. Acrylic on 20x16" canvas

‘Scots Pine and Overhanging Rock (River Tweed)’. Acrylic on 20×16″ canvas

'Forget-me-nots (Keslo) 2'. Acrylic on 20x16" canvas

‘Forget-me-nots (Keslo) 2’. Acrylic on 20×16″ canvas

Today’s paintings – a beautiful Scots Pine at River Tweed near Peebles, and forget me nots in a sycamore grove in Kelso. These were a joy to paint, especially the river and pine.

You can somehow sense, looking at these trees, that the Scots Pine is native to Scottish Forests (hence the name!) and that Sycamores are a later addition. Although sycamores have been around for about 600 years, the Scots Pine goes back to ice-age times. Both are beautiful, as all trees are, but sadly the Borders has very few areas of native wild forest, in comparison to the rest of Scotland. Partly because the landscape is lowland and fertile, so farming practices have almost completely changed the original forests, save for a few pockets here and there.

The Borders Forest Trust (along with many other forest/woodland trusts across the UK) are changing this by re-introducing native plants and tree saplings so that the original diversity will eventually return. Its a fascinating process which can quite radically alter the eco-system for the better.

The original champions of Scotland’s wild forests were H.M. Steven and A. Carlisle, who in 1959 created an inventory of native plants as they were concerned at the loss of the original ecosystem, and its effect on landscape.

Glen Affric

Glen Affric

Their work was followed up by Finlay Macrae, who was seen as an eccentric at the time; a bit of a hippy probably. In fact back then re-introducing native plants and trees was seen as regressive or anti progress, but McCray, who worked for the Forestry Commission, persevered and began re-planting in Glen Affric, which had large areas of native Scots Pine forest. This was often at odds with Forestry Commission policy.


Nowadays though, the landscape of Scotland is slowly, gradually being brought back to its original beauty and diversity. The Borders Forest Trust have several projects on the go near Talla Reservoir, the Devil’s Beeftub and Carrifran Wildwood.

If you’re interested in these projects throughout Scotland, I highly recommend the excellent series by Dr. Iain Stewart – ‘Making Scotland’s Landscape’. I’ve attached the first episode and the next four can be found on You Tube. I learned most of what I know about Scotland’s forests from this wonderful and moving series!