POLICE are hunting thieves who took a valuable oil painting by leading Scottish landscape artist from a house.

The theft of the £6,000 work by John Lowrie Morrison from a cottage in Argyll and Bute occurred sometime between 1am on Sunday September 27 and 11am on Saturday October 3.

The artist, better known as Jolomo, completed Day Springs at Bellanoch around 2002, and sold the work at a local gallery.

The 30 x30 inches painting shows a blue boat moored in Bellanoch Basin, on the Crinan Canal, and is thought to be worth around £6000.

Police Scotland confirmed the was stolen from inside Bellanoch Cottage near Lochgilphead. It had not been targeted previously.

A spokesman added: "Our inquiries are ongoing in relation to this theft. It seems to have been an isolated incident."

Police are appealing for anyone with any information on the incident to contact their local police office, call 101 or Crimestoppers.

Morrison, a former art teacher at Lochilphead High School studied at the Glasgow School of Art in the late 1960s and early 1970s. However, he only became a full-time artists in 1996 and was awarded an OBE in 2011.

Based in nearby Tayvallich, the artist's expressionist style is said to be influenced by the likes of Kokoschka, Chagall and Soutine.

He is known for his turnover rate, producing 100 works per month and can complete three or four a day six days a week

Lovers of his art included the pop stars Sting, Madonna and celebrity restauranteur Rick Stein. He has a turnover of £2 million, with prices ranging from £800 to £15,000.

One London-based newspaper asked its readers if he was the 'new Jack Vettriano.'

Morrison told the Evening Standard: "I've always worked really fast. The more I produce the better it gets. It's an expressive way of painting. They're evocative of the mood of a place. If I slow down it doesn't work."

Three of Morrison's works were unveiled last month at the Scottish Parliament, where they adorn the members room.

"When someone rang and told me Sophia Loren had brought one, och, it was wonderful.," he added.