An Aberdeenshire retreat

The journey north

Imagine a dark December afternoon, cold enough to keep your hat on in the car.

Driving north, snow shines on the fields and hills beside the road. You’re glad to have your thermals and a bottle of whisky packed in the back, tucked alongside your sketchbooks and drawing kit.

The sun has long since disappeared when you turn into the long approach to the castle and stars are beginning to emerge from behind icy clouds. The impressive silhouette of Drum Castle comes into view as you move slowly through the arboretum giants. Small windows in one corner of the castle glow warmly – you’ve arrived.

Drum Castle in Aberdeenshire

A creative break

At this time of year I find the creative energy ebbs away a little and I need some reflective time away from the studio. This year I chose to properly get away


Out of the Wood online exhibition

Originally planned as an extensive joint exhibition at Drum Castle, Aberdeenshire, ‘Out of the Wood’ will now be shown online through Edinburgh Palette’s online exhibition facility.

Margaret and I, and National Trust Scotland curator Vikki were so disappointed that we couldn’t mount the exhibition as hoped due to the Covid-19 pandemic. None of us could ever have imagined the scale of the crisis that was to unfold just as we began to make preparations for hanging. Thankfully we’ve remained safe and well and I’m delighted that my former studio complex have given us the opportunity to show the work online.

The exhibition will be live to view here from 7th to the 21st August. After the 21st it will remain on the website in their past exhibitions section.


Drum Castle


This year I will be exhibiting at the magnificent Drum Castle, a National Trust for Scotland property just west of Aberdeen. I will be sharing the impressive exhibition space (formerly Jacobean era bedrooms) with printmaker Margaret Pitt, who makes woodcuts.

The estate includes the Old Wood of Drum, an ancient woodland containing many old and interesting oaks. I had the opportuntiy to explore the woodlands on two visits last year and will be going back for a drawing trip next week.


The exhibition opens with a private view on Saturday 4th April and runs all through the Castle’s open season until 31st October.

I will also be doing some workshops and an artist’s talk – more details to come.