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painting of the old pack horse bridge

The Barrel Brig, Queen Mary’s Road, Fife

A few months ago I entered the NYAS open postcard competition, to paint a local landmark on a postcard. I didn’t win, but it was an interesting challenge. I primed the card with shellac, so that the oil paint wouldn’t seep through.

On the back of the postcard, I wrote the following info about this ancient pack horse bridge:

“The Barrel Brig, Queen Mary’s Road, Fife”
Oil on shellac and acrylic primed card.

The Barrel Brig, south of the old mining village of Coaltown of Balgonie, Fife, is a narrow 18th century barrel-vaulted pack-horse bridge, built to replace a medieval bridge. Spanning the river Ore with two arches, cutwater buttresses and no parapets, this route was in use when Mary Queen of Scots rode from Wemyss Castle to Falkland Palace in the mid 1500s. An ancient right of way, it has recently been the subject of a local protest against Network Rail’s proposed closure of pedestrian access to the Barrel Brig due to the re-opening of a rail link to the coastal town of Leven. (Latitude: 56.1726 / 56°10’21″N Longitude: -3.1166 / 3°6’59″W)

You can now buy an A4 print off the NYAS website for £18! (I’ll get a small percentage if you do!)

Here’s the link:

painting of the old pack horse bridge

Country Cottage Painting Commission

Here’s a stage by stage painting sequence of a recent painting commission which became more enjoyable the more I worked on it. It’s a painting of an out-building beside a holiday cottage in the North of England where we stayed with some of our extended family for a week last year, so it brings back good memories of the happy time we spent together. One wonders if our political ‘leaders’ will ever have the humility to step back from the unnecessary carnage they’ve inflicted on us over this past year and give us their ‘permission’ to enjoy such innocent and normal pleasures again. So, all the more treasured a memory this is.



Bible Prophecy Panoramic Chart

Several years ago two good friends in our church, Neville and Helen,  commissioned me to re-create a full-size copy of a Bible Prophecy Chart used by Harry King, a respected Bible teacher and authority on Bible Prophecy. I ordered a roll of good quality Belgian linen canvas and working from some photographs I’d taken of Harry’s chart many years ago, when I accompanied him during a series of special meetings he held at Myrtle Hall – the meeting place of the Church of God in Lerwick, Shetland – I painted a new version of the chart.

Part of Harry’s original chart, on the wood panelled wall in Myrtle Hall, Lerwick, Shetland

At the time of the commission, Neville and Helen were seriously considering a house move to a small Castle built in the Baronial style. It had a huge dining room and their plan if the property became theirs, was to hang my painting like a tapestry on the wall. Unfortunately the deal didn’t materialise and the chart remained rolled up except for an occasional outing when Neville gave a presentation on the subject of Bible Prophecy.

A few years back, Helen died. Last year, Neville was clearing things out and generously decided to return the chart to me as a gift. I was very grateful, put the chart away and thought no more about it until Neville phoned me just at the start of ‘the lockdown’ with an idea. (Now, I should say, when Neville has an ‘idea’ – it usually involves a considerable amount of work for someone else – in this case, me! Neville is a past master in the art of delegation.) For six months we collaborated on a book featuring coloured photo’s of the chart. To cut a LONG story short, I designed and laid out the book including cover, allocated an ISBN number and uploaded the files to Ingram, Amazon and Apple Books. We launched the book last month.

Check out the following links to find out more:


APPLE BOOKS (digital e-book version for iPad)

Rosebine Press (my book publishing website)