Tea towels, teaching and trips

tree top birds printed organic cotton tea towel

I have a new tea towel design. 'Tree Top Birds' is taken from one of my screen print designs and is printed by a British company on organic cotton. If you would like one you can buy them directly from me for £12.50 inc. P&P or you can find them in a few places across the UK  - currently Concrete Wardrobe in Edinburgh, The Watermill nr Penrith in Cumbria and Market Street Arts in Ullapool.

July has been a mixture of teaching, being a student and being on holiday!

The Cleaver, St Abbs head, painting, gouache and ink

The first week of July was spent on the seabird drawing course. A brilliant six days shared with like-minded people drawing along the East Lothian coast (including the Bass Rock). It is always a productive week for me and serves to feed my ideas for the months that follow.

Kittiwakes, seabirds, ink, drawing, dunbar

After the seabird drawing course I made preparations to head up to Ullapool for a week of teaching at Bridge House Art. Sketchbooks into print was the aim of the week - a subject close to my own practice. Working in the newly refurbished printing studio was very inspiring, it was the old petrol garage and was filled with interesting things to look at. The students produced some fantastic work, the weather was good and Ullapool was alive with pipe bands and skiff racing.

Prints drying in the studio

Print studio, Ullapool

rolling presses, ullapool, printmaking, courses

After Ullapool we headed up north for a week of exploring. It began with a boat trip to the uninhabited Handa Island, somewhere I have been wanting to visit for a while. I was not disappointed! Greeted by a busy colony of arctic terns it became quickly apparent as we set off to walk round the island, that Handa was occupied by large numbers of great skuas and arctic skuas. Having never knowingly seen arctic skuas I was thrilled to be able to watch these graceful birds, alongside their larger cousins the great skua, as they wheeled around taking ownership of the place.

Arctic Terns, Handa Island

Great Skua, Handa

sketching on Handa Island

After Handa, we went further north to Thurso, en route we drove through the stunning, dramatic landscape of northern Scotland. From Thurso we crossed to Orkney and had a few days on Westray, a northern island in the Orkney archipelago.

Common Gull in the mist, Westray, Orkney

Bridled guillemot, Papa Westray

Fulmar chick, Papa Westray

The trip was wonderful, if a bit fleeting, leaving me with lots of places I would love to return to for longer and lots of wonderful birds, which will no doubt be circling in my mind and imagination over the next few months.

Loch Insh view, beautiful Scotland