Focus on the Uists

I found a new artist I like today.  Her name is May Byrne and her artwork mainly focuses on the islands of the Uists on the Outer Hebrides.  May says, “The paintings I produce are often heavily textured and expressive, working mainly in acrylics and oils onto various sizes of canvas. I use broad brushstrokes and palette knives and work loosely to capture the effects of the weather on the environment.”

I prefer not to copy an artist’s work onto my blog unless I know  it’s okay with them but I would encourage you to click on the link above.

I also happened upon an interesting video from National Geographic Magazine as Dan Stone, a reporter, travels to the Outer Hebrides.  As he said, in describing the machair (the coastal grassy plain),  “it makes me feel alive …”.


Ailsa Black






oh, I don’t quite know how to do this but I would love to show you Ailsa‘s gorgeous artwork.  I had a peek at some google images but I am always hesitant to copy artwork onto my blog.  I am not educated in the methods of art but if I was to try and describe it, I think it would be like folk art.  Ailsa grew up in Dumfries and Galloway and after a number of years living in Edinburgh, she has returned to the Solway Coast where she paints pictures of scenery, animals and people.  It is very heart-warming work.  Ailsa works in acrylic paint on canvas board with a limited color palette.  Her work is light-hearted, with simple images and a modern clarity.

John Bell


John Bell is a Scottish painter, born in Ayr (1968) and raised in Fife.  He was a painter at heart from an early age but entered into a career in Architecture so he attended the Mackintosh School of Architecture and graduated in 1993.  He did further study at the Glasgow School of Art and he has continued to paint and exhibit his work since that time.

He paints landscapes and seascapes from around Scotland, often of the Ayrshire and Fife coasts.  He is interested in the extremes of light and color and is known for his paintings of the sky.  He is also interested in the use of the ever-changing weather, which can affect the mood of  a picture.

More info can be found here

I first heard of John Bell when I came across a notice about his exhibition which has just started in St. Andrews.  It is free entry into the Byre Theatre on Abbey Street.  Click here for details.

John Bell writes:

“I will be exhibiting in Fife in a solo show at the Byre Theatre during September and October. The exhibition commences on the 27th of August and closes on the 29th of October. The gallery will be open daily, except Sundays, from 10 am till late.”

A little creativity


With all the fabulous information I have been getting recently on wool and textiles, I thought I would take these books out from the library.  The “Fleece and Fiber” book is more of a what’s what in the wool world.  It explains about different kinds of animals that the wool comes from and how it’s processed.  “The Knitter’s Book of Wool” is a bit more fun in that it does describe where the wool comes from and how it’s made but it also uses about half the book to give some wonderful patterns.  Skill levels are set for each project … easy, intermediate and experienced.  There is everything from the “Hill Country Hat” (Easy) to the “Comfy Cardigan” (also easy and very appealing) and “Cabin Socks” (intermediate) with the “Prairie Rose Lace Shawl, which is more of an “Experienced” level.  I particularly liked the patterns for the “The Three Bears Pullovers” … Mama, Papa and naturally, Baby Bear.  Mummy Bear and Baby have some rib to their pullovers while Daddy’s is just a straight knit with lovely Icelandic Lopi yarn.



I have become quite enamored with some of the Scottish artists, in particular those who paint island scenes.  I was thrilled to find a little shop in Oban that sold lots of the prints that I like.  Unfortunately, I am not independently wealthy so I was reduced to buying blank cards with the pictures on the front for 3 pounds each.  I was still enormously pleased with my purchases and when I got home, I went to Ikea and found myself this frame, in which I have promptly deposited my lovely cards.  I hope you like the result.  The pictures in order (left side, going downwards) are Pam Carter’s “Plockton Shores”, “Dyke to the Holding” and Rowena Laing’s “Scottish Hill Farm”.  On the right side, going downwards once more, Rowena Laing’s “Harvest Moon” and Pam Carter’s “Sheets to the Wind” and “The Wee Harbour Plockton”.



At this point, I need to give much credit to my friend Christine from Writing from Scotland as she was the one who began my journey into the world of Scottish artists with John Lowrie Morrison.  Christine kindly sent me a desk calendar last year which has now become another framed assortment of pictures on my wall.  This second frame is full of only JoLoMo pictures and I’m hoping you’ll forgive me for not writing all 12 pictures down.  I do have their names if you want to message me and I can give them to you.

I am enjoying my new paintings on the wall immensely and it makes me feel a little closer to the coast of Scotland.  I did also find an Art Greeting Cards site that sells prints of these artists and hopefully that will be helpful if you decide you want to get any of them. 🙂