I work from my home is sunny Fife, Scotland. In a fine place called Dalgety Bay, which is in fact the name of the bay on the shore of the Firth of Forth. It has a southern aspect overlooking the river Forth with the iconic Forth Bridge to the west and Edinburgh to the east. We have been here for a number of years and just love it.
The countryside is on our doorstep and we can walk the length of Fife courtesy of the Fife Coastal Path, which is good when you have three dogs! Nature's constant shift provides endless inspiration for me as I strive to understand the symbiotic connections of all around me and man's marks on the landscape always fascinates me. [I have to say that some marks on our landscape are a disgrace, the plastic debris on the foreshore and litter in woodlands are one of my pet hates... but that is a subject for another day.]
Within a few hundred meters of my home lies the ancient monument of St Bridget's kirk. It stopped being used as a place of worship many years ago and is now part of Historic Scotland's gems. I walk past it every day and quite often linger in the grounds as my bairn's bairns play in the 'castle' walls. I say it stopped being a place of worship, however, the Dalgety Parish Church hold an open air service in the kirk on one Sunday every year. It is 'open air' as the kirk has no roof!
Further along the shore to the east of the bay lies Braefoot. An ancient woodland that hides the fortified buildings used to defend the Forth Bridge during the first world war. The gun placements and support buildings were upgraded and brought back into use during the second world war. Now listed as a group of buildings with special interest, but being reclaimed by the forces of nature.
The next village along the coast is the beautiful Aberdour, steeped in history and has just about everything you would want, or need, within its small, but perfectly formed, confines. I had the great privilege of living there for a few years and last year, and the year before that, I shared a little art gallery on the harbour wall with a few other artists and one very special maker. The photographs of the harbour and Hawkcraig Pier were taken from the gallery on the Gallery. Alas, the little Gallery is no more, however Aberdour has the fabulous Quay Gallery which is owned and run by Aberdour's very own Artist in residence, Alan Dawson.
Aberdour has inspired many of my watercolours and I am proud to say that the village baker and the McTaggarts café have adopted one of my works as their own.
'The Village Baker' features on mugs and magnets and other livery in both of these fine establishments. But, F C Lonie the bakers is up for sale....!
What will life be without the famous Lonie pies?
Aberdour Art Festival is part of the summer festival and is where I started showing my work. It seems a long time ago, but just the blink of an eye. In 2016 I will again be featuring at the Aberdour Art Festival and have been asked to help organise the event... I am very pleased to be able to give back some of the joy I have received from exhibiting. I look forward to the challenges ahead.
In the meantime I will continue to be inspired as I walk the dogs on the foreshore of Dalgety.