I appear to be putting together a collection of paintings of letterboxes. I am not quite sure how the idea came to me - it was way back in January, I think, while staying on the west coast for New Year. Nearly all the letterboxes around Gairloch in Wester Ross have spectacular backdrops. I have learnt from various sources that landscapes are best painted with some feature in the foreground, whether it be a pair of mallard ducks, a rickety fence or a characterful tree. Having spotted several letterboxes in the vicinity of Gairloch during previous visits, they seemed to fit the bill rather snugly. On a bitterly cold January day, we drove around the area and I spent some time, in the rapidly disappearing daylight, taking photographs from various angles, of these rural relics. They may not be relics just quite yet, but it did make me start to wonder how long they will be there, how many pieces of mail pass through each one every year, and should I send myself something from each one?
The upshot of all this is that I will be holding an exhibition of these paintings at the relatively new GALE (Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action Forum) Centre in Gairloch from 6th-11th August. You can have a sneaky preview of some of them in the paintings section. They will all be framed and for sale. So far, I'm nearly half way through production. So I'd better sign off here and get on with some painting!
I spent this past weekend in beautiful Perthshire, with friends. It was supposed to be a hill-walking weekend – indeed they all went off and bagged four Munros. My fitness levels did not permit such strenuous activity, so I broached the lower reaches of the mountains with them – high enough to have a lovely view back down the valley, but not so high that my oxygen levels were compromised. I then took the opportunity to explore the surrounding countryside, including a drive up the stunning Glen Lyon, through Bridge of Balgie and then down to the banks of Loch Tay. Some time was spent sketching and painting. Many photographs were also taken. I feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful country and have promised myself I will get out and about to explore other areas as much as possible.