It is a Highland peninsula peninsula, surrounded by expanses of water, with the Cromarty Firth to the north, the Beauly Firth to the south and the Moray Firth to the east.

The Black Isle is known for its beachfront villages such as Rosemarkie and and a historic harbour at Avoch.

And it was its openness and wild landscapes that proved to be such an inspiration for a Scots artist Erraid Gaskell who says her childhood growing up on the Black Isle is something she has never forgotten and enthused about being able to roam forests and fields.

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Like many graduating students celebrations didn't go quite to plan in 2020 as the country was plunged into a national lockdown. Events such as graduations were cancelled and the large gatherings were replaced with virtual graduations.

However, two years on the Edinburgh-based artist is no planning her own special kind of graduation with a solo show which opens this Sunday on Mother's Day.


Erraid Gaskells exhibition opens on Sunday, March 27

Erraid Gaskell's exhibition opens on Sunday, March 27


Described as a modern expressionist painter, Ms Gaskell, finished her degree in Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in 2020 but, like many others during the pandemic, left university quietly, without a fanfare.

This Sunday not only marks the opening of her solo show at the Green Gallery in Buchlyvie, near Stirling, her family are treating the event as her graduation ceremony, and will be celebrating accordingly.

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Still only 24-years-old, Ms Gaskell’s bold use of colours makes for a visual feast, arresting the eye and drawing you into her almost three-dimensional, dream-like, luminous landscapes.

Although born in Scotland, her father’s work as a doctor took the family of six, she has a twin brother and two elder sisters, to the Black Isle when she was eight and then on to Bangladesh, where her dad practised medicine for the Foreign Office.


Erraid Gaskells exhibition opens on Sunday, March 27

Erraid Gaskell's exhibition opens on Sunday, March 27


“In the Black Isle we lived on an estate that I called my ‘wild garden.’ I loved nothing better than going out exploring, roaming around the fields, forests and rivers by myself," Ms Gaskell said.

"This love of landscapes grew when I moved to Dhaka in Bangladesh. There I experienced ‘Holi,' the two-day Hindu spring festival, also known as ‘the festival of colours,’ which made a huge impact on me. You just couldn’t escape being surrounded by all the colours of the rainbow and to me these colours also represented the warmth and generosity of the people.”

Ms Gaskell moved back to Scotland to continue her education at boarding school where an art teacher spotted her talent and encouraged her to experiment with colour and form. Although separated geographically, she remained close to her parents, calling them my "biggest supporters”.

“Both my mum and dad are very creative people and my mum has the most amazing eye. Wherever we lived in the world she had a real flair for making a home.”

Her first major solo exhibition, ‘Fragments of Home,’ showcases a range of colourfully compelling pieces reflecting m Gaskell's interpretation and memory of the different places she has lived - including the Australian Outback for a time after her parents divorced.

The family will be reunited on Sunday for her show - her father is coming over from Australia especially for the occasion.

She remarked: “I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate my graduation - and Mother’s Day.”


Erraid Gaskells exhibition opens on Sunday, March 27

Erraid Gaskell's exhibition opens on Sunday, March 27


The Green Gallery is owned by Becky Walker who will also be marking Mother’s Day at Ms Gaskell’s exhibition. Ms Walker's mum, Ann Johnston, a professional painter, established the the gallery nearly 30 years ago and has also taught many well-known artists.

Ms Walker, who now runs the business, said: “Mum is always on hand with advice and I’m very aware of her legacy of only showing good work of the highest quality.

"Erraid continues this tradition. She has very distinctive style and a level of artistic maturity that’s unusual for someone her age. As soon as I saw her paintings I knew she would be an artist very much in demand and I’m delighted to be giving people the opportunity to buy a piece of art to help create their own sense of home.”

‘Fragments of Home,’ featuring the work of Erraid Gaskell will preview on Sunday, March 27 at the Greengallery from 2-5pm. The exhibition will run until Sunday, April 17.