I can finally share details of a project that’s been three years in the making – painting a big mural across the walls of the Masonic Lodge in Grantown-on-Spey.
I was initially approached to paint the ceiling in spring 2017. Members wanted to have a sky from sunset to sunrise, running from one end of the room to the other. It also includes stars and a crescent moon at the darkest point.
Scaffolding was put up to help me complete the job – a first for me.
The Masons were so pleased with the results that they asked me back to do the walls the following year. They had a specific brief, which incorporated a lot of elements that are symbolic to the organisation. However they allowed me some freedom within the design to include a local landscape and cloudscape, which is what I love to paint.
I was able to split the work into two sections, painting the huge landscape for the background last year. It shows the Cairngorms range from Finlarig, near Dulnain Bridge. I returned to the building this year to paint the foreground, complete with a ruined temple.
It was an excellent opportunity to work on a large scale – that’s something I don’t often get the chance to do. I am grateful to the Masons for the commission.
But the scale was also one of the biggest challenges and there was a lot of planning and sketching before I put a brush on the walls. It was also fun to swap my wee airbrush for a paint gun. This helped to achieve smooth blends of tone over a great distance for the sunrise and sunset.
You can go and see the mural at an open day at the Lodge, timed to coincide with the Thunder in the Glens rally of Harley Davidson owners on Saturday August 24. I’ll be outside in the Square as part of the craft fair and stalls.