Monday 7 October 2013

Books & Paintings: A Visit to Edinburgh

Mount Adams, Pacific Crest Trail

A few days down south in Edinburgh recently included a meeting with a publisher, an art exhibition and a talk at a book festival as well as time with family.

The publisher was Sandstone Press and my meeting with head man Bob Davidson and designer Heather MacPherson of Raspberry Creative Type was to finalise details for my book on the Pacific Crest Trail, Rattlesnakesand Bald Eagles. I now know the format, how many words (I’d better start writing!), and the picture requirements. My photos are all Kodachrome 64 slides, the walk taking place long before digital, and I’ve just spent an evening sorting out 200 to send to Bob and Heather so a cover and around 150 for inside can be selected and scanned. For hours now I’ve been back in 1982 on that glorious walk.

Two days after my book meeting I was talking about wilderness writing and reading from Grizzly Bears and Razor Clams at the Portobello Book Festival. I shared the event with Kellan MacInnes, author of Caleb’sList, and it was interesting hearing how another writer works – not so differently it seems, except that he’s writing before I’m usually awake. After the event a stroll along the sea front and a pint in a pub with fellow outdoor writers David Lintern and Phil Turner was a good way to unwind.

Between the publisher and the book festival I visited the Peter Doig exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery. I didn’t know much about this artist but I was attracted by the big banners and painted pillars outside the gallery. Doig is an artist who does big, bold paintings with dense deep colours and solid powerful images. He’s a very ‘painterly’ painter in that whilst his works aren’t abstract they aren’t naturalistic either and you can see the daubs of paint and the trickles where it has run. This exhibition was about his work since moving to Trinidad in 2002 and the landscapes were lush and tropical. I liked the colour and the power and the size of the paintings. He’s an artist I’ll look out for in the future.


  1. Looking forward to the new book, Chris, as I really enjoyed Razor Clams and Grizzly Bears.


    1. PS ....or even Grizzly Bears and Razor Clams!