Mary and Agnes and My Trip to the Hebrides

Hello,
It's been a while since my last post. I've been SO busy this summer. I can't believe it's October tomorrow. Where did 2019 go?

I'm just back from a wonderful, but exhausting, trip to the Outer Hebrides - Harris and Lewis. If you don't know where the Hebrides are, think top left of Scotland... then a little bit further. The Outer Hebrides are often called the Islands at the Edge of Europe. They are so far away from my studio (in Surrey) that it took me almost 3 days to get there, by car and ferry. I think I might fly next time! Although it was great to have the convenience of all my art equipment packed into the back of my Mini.
The weather wasn't great. The islands got whipped by the tail of Storm Dorian just as I was making the ferry crossing to Harris. But I did get 2 sunny days, and the beauty of the scenery made up for the rain and relentless wind.
Harris and Lewis is one island, with Harris to the south and Lewis to the north. The landscape is quite varied across the two regions, but always spectacular. Harris has some of the most beautiful, breath-taking beaches in the world.
I filled a sketchbook, took loads of photographs, and painted some small canvases. Now that I'm back in The Studio, I'm working on some bigger pieces and trying to capture the incredible colours and vistas of the island. I'll post some of these later in the year.
While in Lewis, I met up with local film-maker, Calum Angus Mackay, to get a preview of the documentary we had been working on for the last 2 years. That's him, below, standing next to my poster for the film in the lobby at An Lanntair in Stornoway, where 'The President's Mother' had its premiere.
Some of you may remember that I posted pictures of my gran, Agnes and her pen pal, Mary Ann Macleod, a few years ago, and that journalist, Torcuil Crichton wrote an article about them. Mary and Torcuil were both from the Isle of Lewis, so it seemed appropriate that another island son, Calum Angus, should make the film about her early life. 'The President's Mother' was funded by BBC ALBA and TG4 in Ireland. It was first broadcast on BBC ALBA in mid September and is still available on the iPlayer here .
I appear in the film, as does the comic I've been making about the pen pals, called, appropriately, 'Mary and Agnes'. The comic is now finished and printed and available here.
I've lots more news but that will have to wait until my next post!
See you soon! x

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