From the Med to the Minch – A Painting Journey across Europe

Currently and until 28 June, The Torrance Gallery in Edinburgh’s Dundas Street has an Exhibition of some wonderful landscape and other paintings by Stuart Herd who lives in Tarbert where he has a Gallery and a studio. His paintings are, as the title of the exhibition says, ‘From the Med to the Minch – A painting Journey across Europe’.

For a time Stuart went to live in Jamaica where his drawings were particularly popular and in this exhibition I feel his spirit and sense of adventure shine through.

Stuart studied at Amersham School of Art before taking up photography. In the 1990s he came to Edinburgh and concentrated on very detailed pen and ink drawings of the architecture of the city, before moving to the inspiring west coast of Scotland, where he began to concentrate on landscapes, particularly of Kintyre and the Inner Hebrides, and opened a gallery and framing studio.

A dreadful accident at home when using a screw driver on a wardrobe cost him not only the sight of one eye but the eye itself. A less determined man might have given up at this point but Stuart says,  ‘I was determined to carry on.’  So Stuart continued to produce his lively and colourful paintings in acrylic, even going so far as to open the Harbour Gallery in addition to the studio which he still has.

There are 64 paintings on show at the Torrance, the largest number Stuart has exhibited at once so far,  and all are for sale and very reasonably priced. The ones I personally liked best were of Scottish scenes, especially ‘Winter’s Calling Again, Islay’ (pictured above right).  This depicts a lowering sky and whipped up snow with a bright red telephone box providing a brilliant contrast to the snow. I also liked  ‘Awakening Venice, Italy’, which has such charm you feel you could be there.

In spite of the many and varied locations, the exhibition has a homogenous quality which I believe is owing to the consistently high standard of craftsmanship, whether it is a street scene in London or the Old Course at St Andrews.

Just as a footnote, Stuart is judge of the Children’s Paintings at Tarbert’s Annual Flower Show – talent-spotting for future artists to exhibit perhaps!

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Christine Richard OBE FRSA

http://www.lothianlife.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Christine.jpg Christine has over 25 years' experience in public life in Scotland in the fields of politics, education, public relations and charity work. For 12 years she served on the City of Edinburgh District Council and was her Group's leader for 4 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1992 she was made an OBE. Christine is a member of the Board of The Friends of the Royal Scottish Academy. She has just completed six years on the Board of The Edinburgh International Festival. Christine's business experience has covered the fields of theatre, economic development, science, coal mining, education and training. She has held a number of non-executive directorships in these disciplines. She is a trained and experienced personal relationships counsellor and a business and personal mentor. In 2005 Christine established Christine Richard Associates who undertake Event Management and Public Relations as well as company and individual profiling. She coordinated the 'Yes to Edinburgh' campaign on congestion charging in Edinburgh. ten years ago Christine co-founded West Lothian Women in Business, which is a network for women who are self-employed and also for women managers. Christine has now stepped down from the Chair of this thriving organisation. For 5 years Christine was a magistrate in the District Court. She was also a member of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on the appointment of Justices of the Peace. She has been an adviser to Government in various areas of policy, including health, local government and education. Christine is a trained and experienced radio and television broadcaster and writer as well as an entertaining and accomplished speaker. She has a wealth of topics on which she is invited to speak. These range from witty after lunch and after dinner speaking to the more serious topics of the economy, health, education, enterprise, the Powers of the Mind and Life/work balance. She writes reviews and articles for lifestyle magazine, Lothian Life. She took part as a contestant in an ITV gourmet TV show, Chef V Britain, challenging TV chef Gino D'Acampo to cook her signature dish, Posh Cottage Pie. Currently Christine is a member of the Goodison Group in Scotland and Scotland's Futures. Also she is involved in the group Changing the Chemistry of Scottish Boards. Her first novel, Whitewalls, a modern Scottish family saga has been published by New Generation Publishing and is available on all internet books siets and from libraries. She is writing a sequel Autumn at Whitewalls. Her leisure interests include her family, literature, music, theatre, food, wine and horse racing. She is a member of a racing syndicate, which has two horses in training.

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