Season’s Greetings

Aileen, Cindie and Mairi would like to wish you all the compliments of the season. We have appreciated so much support from our friends and customers as well as from our artists and suppliers.  We’ve had a busy December thanks to you all. Our two Xmas Shopping weekends have been busy and we had a wee raffle which managed to raise £114 for the Howard Doris Centre in Lochcarron. Thank you. And, of course, we’ve kept things going despite the tricky snowy conditions up here in December!

Our current exhibition of small paintings will stay up for the rest of December and into January – very affordable art.  We are open on Friday 22nd and Friday/Saturday 29th/30th. After this, we’re winding down a bit as this is a very quiet time of the year. In January we’ll be open Friday/Saturday 5th/6th – with a bargain box – and we are planning to close for the rest of the month to allow us to do a bit of reorganisation. However, if you’re passing at any time or want us to open up, please check or email us and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.

We’re looking forward to exciting new developments in 2018 which we’ll tell you about soon. Until then may we wish you a very happy time at Christmas and New Year. Let’s hope that 2018 is a good year for us all!


Jonathan Shearer in June

Our Featured Artist for June is the painter Jonathan Shearer who is a frequent tutor for the Gallery’s ‘plein air’ workshops. He lives in Alness in Easter Ross and has a studio base there and in Cromarty Arts Centre. Jonathan graduated BA(Hons) Painting & Drawing from the School of Art, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen in 1993.

Jonathan’s work focuses on many of Scotland’s wild landscapes.  He visits and revisits particular places many times, where he walks, draws and paints out in the wilds.  He works repeatedly in these places to forge a deep and intimate connection with them.

“My paintings are concerned with trying to convey the sensation of being immersed in the landscape, the wind in your face, the soft bogginess of the moor beneath your feet, the clouds enveloping the mountain. The sheer exhilaration of wild places.

In the landscape I work on small oil paintings on board. Back in the studio I use them to develop larger paintings. Working quickly on several paintings at a time allows the changing light, ebb and flow of the tide and the elusive mood of the landscape to set the pace.

I hope to convey the changing seasons in the highlands. The hue of the earth through wet and dry days, the gathering and fleeting clouds working their dramatic transformation on the mountains, the play of the elements in the wild places. “

Jonathan has given us some breathtaking pictures of his chosen wild places – Torridon, Assynt and Balnakeil (all, incidentally, on the North Coast 500 Route) as well as Ardtoe in Ardnamurchan, and Glen Nevis.

Our other Gallery highlights this coming month are:

  • new jewellery from award-winning Edinburgh jeweller, Eleanor Symms
  • more of Greg Dobson’s popular metal fish and stags
  • Lochcarron Gallery mugs with three new designs
  • an extended range of hand-made clothes from Marigold Clothing by Jackie Parsons who is now in the Gallery one day a week
  • paintings and cards from emerging Hebridean artist Rhona Anderson, who is also now helping in the Gallery one day a week
  • plus lots of new work from us and our regular exhibitors



Featured artist: Alison Dunlop

Our ‘featured artist’ this month is Alison Dunlop RSW, a Canadian artist who has made Scotland her home – she lives and works in Opinan, near Gairloch.

Alison works in both watercolours and oils, and describes these two strands of her work as follows: “Watercolours, of the moment: an essence of fluid, melting movement, at times ethereal, at times riotous… and then the studied calm of the oils: motion slowed to a controlled, frozen, full stop, where it dances forever in one form. “

She is a member and former Vice-President of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour and a past President of Visual Arts Scotland.

The work featured in the Gallery this month is a selection from her ‘Inner Sound’ series. She embarked on this, in part, to honour the centenary of Jon Schueler, whose work and writing has inspired her. Jon was an American painter who lived and painted on the West Coast of Scotland for many years. His centenary was marked by The University of the Highlands and Islands’ Gaelic College, Sabhal Mòr Ostaig on Skye, during May and June 2016.

Alison spent her childhood on the shores of the Great Lakes, and “always yearned to go further into ‘the North,’ always searching for that, perhaps, mythical place where I might find it. I was certain that once here, I would also discover a freedom and an authentic visual language to explore and express my own deep identification with nature, which seems to be every Canadian’s birthright. Like Schueler, I was drawn to this part of the North-West of Scotland and here I found it. My childhood in Canada was certainly formative, but coming to live in the North West of Scotland has been nothing short of transformative.”

Art critic Duncan MacMillan wrote this about her ‘Inner Sound’ watercolours in The Scotsman earlier this year: “Alison Dunlop also uses her medium beautifully in Wave and Wave-Study. In both, an inverted arc of transparent blue hovers above a blue horizon. This is essential watercolour. She could not create such a luminous image in any other medium.”


Workshops Update

Winter can seem so long sometimes in this part of the world, but Lochcarron is already full of daffodils and other signs of Spring as we prepare to change to Summer season hours on Saturday April 1st. The day before that, on Friday March 31st, we have our last workshop of the Winter/Spring with artist Sarah Longley at Attadale Gardens. We’ll be exploring ways of depiction through careful observation. Rather than getting bogged down in botanical detail, the focus of this drawing day will be to work towards producing expansive, expressive studies.  Using concepts such as ‘negative space’ it is possible to create a wonderfully atmospheric drawing.  The shifting light and changing weather (just some of the challenges of ‘plein air’ drawing) should invigorate your drawing, encouraging speed and energy.

We will use charcoal (compressed and willow), water-soluble graphite, erasers and ink to explore forms in black and grey tones and create interesting layers and light effects

At the end of the day we will discuss how the studies may be used as ‘working drawings’ to develop into larger drawings or paintings. It will be an enjoyable, experimental workshop open to anyone interested in drawing.

This is a rare opportunity to spend time drawing in the Gardens at the start of the growing season when they are not open to the public.  The workshop will run from 10am to 4pm.  Tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided in the dining room of Attadale House where you’ll get the chance to view the impressive painting collection.
 Please check out our Facebook page if you’re interested to see if we have any places left.

Our workshops have been very popular and, as well as Sarah, we have been lucky16649479_405303403150106_6202973963273914302_n enough to work alongside Suzie Mackenzie, who’s a very talented printmaker.

Suzie spent two days with us in February and took us through the process of making collagraph prints. Collagraph allows a wide selection of mark-making, with a huge range of materials, everything from card and coloured paper to sheep’s wool and glue. Suzie’s work can be seen at the gallery and she will be our featured artist later this year.

We also had two more workshops with water-colour artist Steven Proudfoot who has been working with a group of keen artists over the last few months.

It’s been good to see everyone build up their skills during the workshops and gain more confidence in their abilities – but most of all great to have fun.

Over the summer we are planning more art activities. As well as Sarah’s workshop we’re planning running some sketching days and will be sending out a short survey to find out if people would be interested in short courses or classes during the summer.

Please contact us via email or message us via our Facebook page for more information, if you would like to be added to our email list so we can let you know about activies, workshops or exhibitions or to see some more photos of our art, makes and workshops.

To see more photos of Steven’s Watercolour workshops check out this album on our Facebook page







Winter Workshops

The cold dark nights and chilly mornings demonstrate that Spring is some way off but we’re already half-way through our Winter Workshop programme. We’ve been lucky to host a lot of wonderful artists in the last year and we’ve all been inspired by their work – and the work of their students.

Our first workshop was on a glorious October day at  Attadale Gardens with artist Sarah Longley. Thanks so much to the MacPherson family who hosted the event, and thanks to everyone who came along for the workshop and enjoyed a day out in the gorgeous gardens.

15025596_355796091434171_8897865978659582640_oWatercolour is one of the most challenging media and we are very lucky to have artist Steven Proudfoot living locally as he agreed to run two introductory workshops at the gallery, with 10 participants over two Wednesdays in November.

Steven is a very accomplished artist and a great tutor, too. Most people on the workshop had never painted watercolours before but Steven taught us all about the processes, paints and paper, etc. Steven’s workshops have also been so successful that we are delighted to have him with us for three further dates in January, February and March 2017.  For more information, please check out our Facebook Page.

We also had two printmaking workshops run by our very own Aileen Grant, ably assisted by Cindie Reiter and Mairi Young.


Six ladies from the Howard Doris Centre art group joined us on a wet and windy day in early January and Aileen taught everyone how to use gelatin plates to make prints. Everyone had a great day and we were also treated to some delicious scones, thanks to the centre.

We were also impressed by how enthusiastic and creative everyone was, and some beautiful prints were produced.

We’re really pleased to have been able to run these workshops this Winter and to be able to share media and processes that people may be less familiar with – for example, gelatin printing can be done at the kitchen table with readily available paints and ingredients, but lino cutting really requires special inks and a printing press.


Luckily, we do have Aileen’s printing press set up in the Gallery, so everyone can have a proper go. None of the participants had ever done lino cutting before and it was great to see the strong work produced by the students, who hopefully will be inspired to do more in future

We’re really keen to run more workshops and Aileen, Cindie and Mairi have been working on a programme for 2017, which will include a collagraph workshop with artist Suzie MacKenzie on the 8th and 15th of Febuary, as well as more sessions with Steven.

For more information on Suzie’s workshops or the rest of our programme for 2017, please check out our Facebook page or email us at info@lochcarrongallery.co.uk.


Thanks for everything

As we head towards the shortest day and midwinter celebrations, the Gallery is keeping its doors open. Thanks to you – our friends and customers – for getting us off to such a great start this year. And, most recently, thanks for making our Christmas Shopping weekend a success. It was great to see you and show off all our new stock.


We’re building up an interesting array of art and gifts. And we’re continuing with our principle of seeking out work by Scottish artists and makers – ranging from driftwood clocks made in Argyll, to wooden coasters made in Aberdeen, and glass art made in Penicuik. And of course we have our own craft work and that of other local regulars.

Over the year, we’ve sought out a few new artists, sticking to our idea of having original artwork on the walls – paintings, drawings, and hand-crafted prints. We’re pleased to report that many of our artists have been featured in the Scottish open exhibitions held in the RSA (Royal Scottish Academy) building in Edinburgh. Rona MacLean and Cat Outram had work in the RSA open exhbition this year; Gillian Murray was one of the featured artists in the Scottish Society of Artists show; Cat Outram, Amanda Baron, Eleanor Symms and our own Aileen currently have work in ‘FLY16’ the open exhibition of Visual Art Scotland (on till 27th December). In fact, Eleanor Symms has won the Inches Carr award for her jewellery – and we still have some of her ‘Cartography’ range in the Gallery.

Over the winter in the Gallery we’ve run a few popular workshops. Jonathan Shearer is always a favourite for outdoor painting, and Sarah Longley held a good day’s drawing at Attadale Gardens in October.  And we hope to repeat these in 2017.  Steven Proudfoot’s recent watercolour workshop proved so popular that we’re continuing with extra workshop days in 2017.  Printmaking workshops are on the cards too – lino-cutting with Aileen in January, and collagraphy with Suzie MacKenzie in February.

Jonathan Shearer au plein air in Lochcarron...
Jonathan Shearer au plein air in Lochcarron…

Our high-profile event of 2016 was undoubtedly the session with Graeme Macrae Burnet, the Man Booker shortlisted author – there’s plenty about that event elsewhere on the website. It does make us think that we should try and hold one or two other sessions like this, especially as we now have a few books on offer. Art and books seem to go together, don’t they?

We hope you like what we’re doing in the Gallery, and we want to continue to grow and improve to make the shop a place that you want to visit – an added attraction in Lochcarron. We would welcome feedback from you and any ideas you might have about future workshops and events. So, please email us with your thoughts.

In the meantime – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes. And don’t forget, we’re continuing with our Winter opening hours – there’s still time for last-minute Christmas Shopping and we’d love you to first foot us too!


Meet the Artist

On Saturday 12th November, one of our favourite artists will be visiting the Gallery. Edinburgh printmaker Cat Outram will be in the Gallery between 2pm and 4 pm.  Please come and join us for a coffee or tea and meet Cat.  She’ll be delighted to have a chat with you about her work, the art of printmaking and life as a professional artist.



Autumn and Winter

We’ve gone on to Winter hours now – open on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11am to 5pm. But this doesn’t mean we’re having a rest. Far from it: we’re gearing up with new stock to satisfy your Christmas shopping needs. In fact, we’ll be open on Sunday 6th November 12-4pm for an extra session. This is when the Arts and Eats Christmas Fair is on in the village hall and we’ll also have a stall there. We’ve also been getting new stock from new makers – glassware from Amanda Barron, jugs and vases from Loch Broom Pottery, and clocks from SeaTree. Plus, we’ve been stocking up from old favourites too.

Our workshops have been going well and both Drawing Attadale with Sarah Longley and Outdoor Painting with Jonathan Shearer enjoyed fair weather. Events in November will be indoors – meet the Artist, Cat Outram on 12th November, and Steven Proudfoot’s Watercolour Workshops on 9th and 23rd November. In December we’ll focus on pre-Christmas events, but we’ll be back in January with some printmaking workshops.
So, despite our winter hours, there’s still plenty going on in the Gallery.

Virtual Exhibition @ Attadale Gardens

This Spring, we planned to have a special exhibition in Attadale Gardens but of course like so many other events, the Coronavirus crisis put an end to our plans. There is no substitute for real life but we thought it would be good to take you to the “virtual exhibition” in a video.  Hope you like it. 

A new beginning

It’s been a busy year for Aileen and Cindie since Lochcarron Gallery closed. Both artists have been concentrating on their own art, taking part in exhibitions. They have been working quite closely together over the last year or so and will be running several exhibitions and workshops in 2020, watch this space for lots of new developments

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