Some of May and some of June, on the edge of the Cairngorms and the Moray Firth:

“10.23 Headed down to the sea

Towards hazy fret/ harr

tide out, expanse of sand

and indistinguishable landscape details, running over the mounds of pretty, smooth, pastel rocks

and on to the flat damp sand.

Unable to see the sea through the mist at first

but able to hear the rising, swelling and breaking waves,

a rush of joy at the anticipated sense of the freedom-

submerging in the giant mass of cool, salty, translucent-turquoise water will bring-

the freedom is already awakening inside me:

Accessing the edge.

All elements of our natural worlds EDGE: Stones, shells, seaweed and creatures (human)

are more beautiful when inside, beside, or within reach of the sea.

My natural habitat.

Reaching the edge, I body board- some gentle waves- and the smile extends beyond my physical parameters-

Shining across the bay- East, South, West and North, up to the invisible horizon and into the endless sky, the haar.

Swimming through the warm water, the seals raise their heads.

I say ‘hello’, hold up a hand and send out vibes of peace-

Three inquisitive seals take it in turns to shadow my movements in the waves, at a deeper position.

Black and White markings, like barnacles on whales and stones…markings from a passage of life- like a birth mark.

Swimming along, I am unsure how far I am going towards Burghead…

I can’t make out many shapes on the distant shore- accept a vague low patch, before the light in the sky.

Birds on the sand look to be the size of Elephants before they fly… The ambiguous forms seem mysterious-

Pieces of seaweed with minutely delicate tendrils float like

the internal network of lungs, breathing and expanding,

then swirling in response- to the swell of the current moving around them.

Red, brown, beautiful forms, which when lifted out into the air,

loose their delicate structure and become like fluff: Better salty and wetter.

A tiny crab,

landed on my wet-suit glove as I took a stroke.

A movement, a connection.

A white jellyfish with tendrils entwined in thin, snake-like pieces of seaweed.

And oak leaves floating on the gentle waves- trees and woodland, ocean tides: Worlds connected.

Trying to work out how far I’ve traveled- I look to the shore and think I see a big dog lying, looking at the sea,

but as I swim in that direction – I realise it is merely a small pile of tangled seaweed-

My sense of perception is disorientated- letting go, releasing; Whole being leveled, liberated and humbled: Powerful gratitude: Life. Ego, body, mind, soul- consciously separate: Rejuvenated and charged by the infinite environment: Being in the universe now.

Changed with breakfast and coffee, now watercolour painting on the beach- high wind and hot sun,

pages fluttering, grains of sand between the pages, wet marks quickly drying in the warm air.”

Dreams of painting, then real painting upon waking-

an upside down self-portrait with a big red question mark…

Space, air, red bell, new big triptych vision, splattering blue and pink,

a painting island and spray paint outside in the highlands-


Infinite internal and external balance,

Light and darkness: Constant exchange,

energetically connected,

constantly feeling layers and releasing


A journey to Nepal and Thailand after leaving China- deep healing…

Annual body, mind, dream, flesh memories,

Aware of mourning layers. Cathartic and ultimately nourishing-

Back to the sea- wild waves, choppy turquoise salty-water-scape,

Mountains across the Moray appearing and receding as clouds rise and fall, blowing high and low,

Sea spray whizzing through the air,

white horses racing across the sea surface,

breaking the horizon with fleeting, gleaming whisps,

powerful surges jumping: Illuminated expressive white crests.

A significant blue square dream- two portals- blue squares-

the blue that humbles and the blue that connects life and death.

Two pieces of blue, Polar Blues, Arctic spaces: Communicating:

Air, ice, sky, space: Neither alive nor dead: Pure awareness.

Connecting and respecting.

The Spey journey and Cairngorm explorations continue;

A two wheeled journey through snow to Einich Loch-

A rippling mirror- magical pool of colours, surrounded by colourful Earth, ancient rocks, the presence of

far away…

Drawing among the white legged mountain Hares,

a-top of Bhenn Rhines- views:

To the coast, to the Aberdeenshire peaks and to the patchwork, snow-scattered, Cairngorm giants.

Old Spey Bridge evening painting- whilst being eaten by Midge

Swimming with Salmon and Sea Trout now summer aproaches, sharing the current with the fish that call it home:

And spray painting the magical sunrise sky, surrounding the Arctic Moon

Temporary studio- ephemeral materials, flotsam and jetsam…

Daily pondering the moon and it’s energetic connection to the Earth it orbits…

The Earth, the Moon, water, air and rhythmic circling reflections…

The moon circles, water drops, ink runs, rivers flow, skies shine- with sunlight.

Journeys up towards the source and down towards the sea continue and inspire:

Intrigued by the gorge and Bridge of Brown- Humans jumping in wetsuits, up the white water, like Salmon

As COVID-19 lockdown endures- working in my living room studio, constantly contemplating the relationship between

my immediate surroundings and the Arctic landscape… 

An Arctic Ocean and an Ivory Gull

Then and now and beyond:

Daily investigations into new studio environments

and communications with people south and north…

Dundee WASPS # Highlands.

Painting home- base- access and COVID-19 inaccessibility… Highland/ Arctic