Mairi Hedderwick @ EIBF

Article by Sue Lawrenson | 18 Aug 2010
  • Mairi Hedderwick


Talking about how she creates her watercolours of Scotland, Mairi Hedderwick says she doesn’t paint at the scene itself – ‘somebody would notice me’. But her paintings, illustrating both her books and other authors’, have become her signature, making her work easy to pick out. Retracing John T Reid’s Art Rambles in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, she re-viewed much of Scotland in Highland Journey. She describes her work on this project as detective work, from locating Raploch housing estate’s view of Stirling Castle to downsizing Reid’s ‘cliffs’ on Arran which were largely the creation of an ambitious editor on Reid’s original. She’s also part missionary, as were her grandfather and Reid himself, but her zeal is to convert us to standing in awe of watery Scotland. Most interesting is her take on the lifecycle of her watercolours. The originals, often in Quink ink, are not for sale – as they will not last; but photos which she confesses to using, though more durable, can make her paintings tighter and less impressionistic. Her acutely observed sketches demonstrate environmental and societal changes, especially juxtaposed with Reid’s work – a definite sign that, as we all agreed, adults do need pictures. [Sue Lawrenson]


Mairi Hedderwick appeared at the Edinburgh International Book Festival on 14 Aug