As the days grow shorter and I try to ignore the fact that flights to Australia are even cheaper, I stoke the woodburner and settle to painting for next years show on the island of Gigha off the west coast of the Kintyre penninsula throughout the months of March and April. This has been a productive period which has been further enhanced by the fact that I spent my informative years on the Kildalloig Estate on the Learside road out of Campbeltown. Then I had an accent thicker than porridge and my days where spent climbing trees, constructing dams in the burns rushed down to the foreshore and searching in rock pools and under squelching sea weed for crabs, winkles and shrips. The island of Davaar was a constant visual presence crouching toad like within the mouth of Campbeltown Loch its soaring weather beaten cliffs glowing in the low morning light as we waited for the taxi that would take us to Dalentober School. Crossing the Dhorlin in the Landrover at low tide and bolder hopping my way round to the caves and the painting of the crucifixion. Perhaps it all started there before that stark naked flesh in such a cold dark place or was it the large gilt framed oil painting above the sideboard of highland cows in the glen by Thomas Hunt, the paint laid on so thick the canvas seem to sag with the weight. Today I cleaned that painting of its yellow varnish and marvelled again at the vibrant colour of the wonderfully free brushwork.