View from the Past


Just getting to my blog and thought that this might be a nice way to start.  My past in Orkney began in 2010 when I was staying at Heatherybraes, house of the late Orkney artist, Sylvia Wishart.  This very long, 45 foot painting is how I kept myself occupied during the worse winter weather I have had yet.  The house was up a few hills and the roads were snow covered and I barely left.

I had no tv or computer access, so this view was like my tv.  The windows all looked out over the Scapa Flow and over to the island of Hoy. This is a view from my past, as I was only there for 6 months and then moved down into the town of Stromness.  I may not have a window view of Hoy, but it is always in my view as I walk my dog.

For about 4 to 5 years, this painting was rolled up on carpet tubes and it sat in my stairwell.  It did come out in 2 parts and for a short time it was in my first Dundas Street studio.  But it became the first exhibition at the Northlight Gallery when Cary Welling bought it and took over.  She was so gracious to ask me to hang it and then spent a great deal of time figuring out just how we were going to hang it.  Due to the larger size of the painting compared to the gallery, we worked it out so it was curved and one stepped into the gallery and into the middle of the painting.  Viewers were surrounded by it. It was a challenge and took a great number of helpers to get it up. I am always grateful for all that help.  I remember it fell down once and I was so glad that it happened when gallery owner, Cary, crawled underneath it!

For two years it was hung in the Peedie Kirk in Kirkwall during the Orkney Science Festival but it was flat against one wall. and it was out for one more view in the round in 2016 for Stromness Shopping Week at Northligt Gallery.  That was when I received the most unique compliment. A woman came into my studio after having done into the gallery and said with tears in her eyes, “Thank you. I have just been hugged by a painting.”  That…brought tears to my eyes.