Wednesday 18 October 2023

Postcards from the Line - Linlithgow - 21st Oct to 19th Nov 2023

(sorry for such horrible varied font sizes etc, I can't work out how to make the glitches go away)

October! It must be time for Postcards from The Line

Postcards from the Line is an annual exhibition at the Line Gallery in Linlithgow - my lovely hometown gallery and the first gallery to ever exhibit my work, at least 20 years ago.

There are usually well more than 200 artworks, all sized A5 or under, all unframed, huge variety of media, 2D and 3D, all £100 or under***. It is a really really exciting exhibition. I delivered my ten this week and was allowed a sneak preview as the big sorting began:

The exhibition begins with an opening celebration this Saturday 21st October at 2pm. 

Then runs until 4pm on Sunday 19th November at:

The Line Gallery
238 High Street, Linlithgow, EH49 7EF

Opening Hours:
Thurs - Sat 10 - 5
Sun 1 - 4

If you're interested in buying any of my ten works please contact Gail and Elisabet at the Line by emailing or phoning +44 (0)1506 670 268.

They are all based on places I have been, things I have seen. Nearly all painted out in situ. Here they are:

Loch Arklet, watercolour, 15x21cm, £55

Longhaven cliffs, ink, 15x21cm, £55

Montecassino, watercolour, 15x21cm, £75

Scurdie Ness lighthouseink, 21x15cm, £50

cormorant isleacrylic, 15x21cm, £100

Old Wardour Castle, watercolour, 15x21cm, £75

woodland rainink, 15x21cm, £85

the early morning mist, Rosemount, acrylic, 15x21cm, £100

drumming snipe, watercolour, 15x21cm, £85

Bass Rock & Tantallon Castlewatercolour, 15x21cm, £95

If you're interested in buying any of my ten works please contact Gail and Elisabet at the Line by emailing or phoning +44 (0)1506 670 268.

Monday 9 October 2023

November exhibition - a family trio - Edinburgh 4-9 Nov 2023

A family exhibition of painting, printmaking and ceramics on Edinburgh's gallery street. A family show by me, Susan Smith and Dorothea Reid. Dorothea and Susan are first cousins and grew up in Peterhead on the Aberdeenshire coast. Susan is my mum. All three of us are very much inspired by environment and place and are delighted and excited to be exhibiting together after well more than a decade of talking about it.


We'd love to see you on our opening day, Saturday 4th November 10am - 6pm.
Refreshments will be served 🍷
All are most welcome.

23b Dundas Street
(access is up a short flight of external steps)

Following that our opening times are:
Sun 5th, 11am - 6pm
Mon 6th, 11am - 6pm
Tues 7th, 11am - 6pm
Wed 8th, 11am - 6pm
Thur 9th, 11am - 5pm

All three of us will be there on the opening day. Other days we will take it in turns a bit so if you hope to chat with a particular one of us please get in touch first to check which days and times we'll be in.


About the Exhibition:

Leo du Feu, Dorothea Reid, Susan Smith

a family exhibition of painting, original printmaking and ceramics

First cousins Dorothea Reid and Susan Smith grew up in and on the outskirts of Peterhead on Scotland’s North-East coast. Both went on to study art, Susan completing her MFA in Fine Art at Edinburgh College of Art in the 1970’s, Dorothea her BA Ceramics & Glass and MA Art & Design Ceramics at Bucks New University in the early 2000’s. Susan’s son Leo du Feu followed in his mum’s footsteps attending Edinburgh College and completing his BA Honours Drawing and Painting degree in 2006.

Around the time Leo was finishing at ECA the three relatives spent time together on gallery visits to London and in Buckinghamshire where Dorothea now lives near a magical ancient woodland called Burnham Beeches. As they explored the woods they sketched and talked and decided they one day must exhibit their work together. A decade and a half later, their November 2023 exhibition in The Life Room on Dundas Street is the result of this.

All three artists are inspired by natural things. By place, landscape, trees, plants and creatures. By history, people, culture. Dorothea is a ceramicist and a printmaker. Susan is a painter, a linocut printmaker and a tapestry weaver. Leo is a painter and sketcher-by-train with a love for miniature and discovered worlds.


I will be displaying a selection of works covering the various different aspects of my art output: outdoor pastels and paintings; Scotland By Rail pieces; Discovered Worlds; wood engravings; and a new batch of my miniatures painted on found pottery sherds, stones and the like.

Leo du Feu

Leo du Feu

Leo du Feu

Dorothea Reid

Dorothea Reid

Dorothea Reid

Dorothea Reid

Susan Smith

Susan Smith

Susan Smith

Susan Smith


Please feel most free to share this info and/or the exhibition poster with your friends, family and colleagues. If you would like a higher res version of the flyer to print out and put anywhere such as your office or friendly local cafe or library please let me know and I'll be delighted to send it to you! It's exciting and nerve wracking to be putting on an exhibition again and all help with spreading the word is very much appreciated.

We look forward to welcoming you to our exhibition :)

Thank you.

Leo, Susan, Dorothea
The Life Room
4th - 9th November 2023


Let me know if you wish to sign up to my art e-mailing list for future exhibitions and other arty things - 


Wednesday 19 July 2023

Scotland By Rail - Aviemore - Rothiemurchus forest

A Scotland By Rail trip to Aviemore.

This blog post doesn't explore the town itself but travels straight out to Rothiemurchus forest at Coylumbridge for wildlife, walking in prime Scottish native woodland, mountain views.

I live in Burntisland and the journey north from here to Aviemore is so good. (Even better from Edinburgh as you get to go over the Forth Rail Bridge) The gorgeous Fife coast, Lomond Hills, views across the River Tay, Perth, Dunkeld, Pitlochry, through/over the Drumochter Pass - the highest point on the UK mainline rail network at 1,484ft. Through Kingussie, past Ruthven Barracks, Loch Insh. Then arrive into Aviemore. If you're lucky a Strathspey Steam Railway steam locomotive will be there to meet you, sharing the lovely wooden chalet-style station with ScotRail and other operators.

Once you're in Aviemore you can easily get to our walk start spot - buses leave Aviemore hourly and the journey is only a few minutes. Get off in Coylumbridge and you're pretty much in the Rothiemurchus forest. We took the Glen Einich track which starts on the west side of a small woodland campsite. Or you could walk to here from Aviemore station, an approx 3km walk, not quite two miles, pavement all the way.

We spent the afternoon in the forest, just walking there and back along a main footpath.

Scots pine, ash, silver birch, rowan...

At a small lochan we watched a pair of common sandpipers and their full-size but still slightly fluffy youngster. We sat near to the lochan and watched them do their stuff. I took shaky videos including the young one among the grasses. At one point one of the adults perched in the branches of a Scots pine - listen to the sound on that video and you can hear the sandpiper's call.

listen to the call in this one

We watched a young bullfinch, a young robin, a young wren, young long-tailed tits. We heard and saw a great spotted woodpecker and a crossbill as they flew (separately) over our heads. Willow warblers sang loudly in quite a few places. We saw lots of moths and once there was the flicker of a lizard as it darted off a lichen covered rock.

We watched a wood ant slowly and jerkily pull along a metallic blue beetle, dead, many times the ant's own size and weight. A bit later we stopped at a wood ant nest, the whole large brown rounded mound alive with movement.

We looked at orchids and other flowers all alongside the track. We ate from the blaeberries which were growing in great numbers amongst the heather. Juniper lined our route a lot of the way.

An is-it-a-golden eagle quickly became a buzzard. For that first moment its wingtips had looked so long and spread, then it mewed and became the buzzard that it really was

One of our stops was looking over open land - pine and other native trees regenerating rapidly thanks to deer being fenced out. Imagine if we had wolves back here, doing it naturally.

I worked in soft pastel looking looking over the open land and past the pine tops to the exciting jagged sheer scree of the Lairig Ghru.

Many thanks to Maurizio De Vita Photography & Storytelling for the photo of me working.


Aviemore station is easy to reach by rail from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Inverness...

Check before your journey at

Thank you for reading my Scotland By Rail blog.

Spread the word and let me know about your own favourite railway days out.

Leo du Feu
ScotRail Community Rail Champion
July 2023

#ScotlandByRail on facebook, instagram, twitter

Wednesday 7 June 2023

Scotland By Rail - Cupar & walk to Ceres village

A railway day out to Cupar earlier this year. A damp day, but I like that. What an interesting place I found Cupar to be and what a lovely walk out into the countryside and over the hill to the village of Ceres, footpath all the way.

Cupar is just what I like. Historic, old and interesting buildings pulling my eyes all over, alleys and wynds to explore. Good charity shops, cafes, bakers. A museum & heritage centre. Countryside nearby and a riverside walk through the centre of the town.

Before I caught the train I was in my studio (Burntisland Station Studio) - contact me to find out when next Open Studio will be or to arrange a visit) looking at one of my favourite art books - The Coast Road Diaries by Kate Downie - knowing I was going to be visiting her (stunning) studio in Ceres later on. This day I was especially drawn to a large painting, The Burren Lime Path. The colours and the cool fitted well with the weather. 

Kate Downie, The Burren Lime Path, oil on linen, 85x130cm.
The Coast Road Diaries published by The Scottish Gallery, 2009

On the train I made my own sketch through rain streaked window, later I realised the colours had turned out very similar to those in The Burren Lime Path. 

Alighting at Cupar. Note the signal box.

Cupar is part of Fife's Artline, as is my own Burntisland Station Studio. 
Read more about us here -
And in the latest edition of artwork newspaper, page 4 -

From the bridge by the railway station, looking down on the river Eden, note the riverside walk.

But I didn't go down there yet, I explored the town first.

Four or five charity shops later, down to the river.

Blackthorn was in full blossom (sloes follow blackthorn blossom, I grow them in our hedge at home).

Here stalked a heron.

And a small furry mammal.

Then walking south out of the town, past a big Tesco and an ALDI and onto Ceres Road. Stay on the pavement as you pass the entrance to Cupar Golf Club then whole length of cemetery.

Shortly after the cemetery wall ends the road angles slightly left and you cross carefully over to get onto the footpath. Next stop is Ceres village, off road all the way from here.

This blackthorn was glowing in the damp. Blackthorn flowers come out before their leaves do so you seem them set strongly against dark spinkey wood. Hawthorn flowers come out after their leaves do so you see them set against a background of green.

Walk uphill uphill. At this first junction continue straight on, not right. Detour right to explore old earthworks. A short while later you can detour left to explore Owlet Wood.

Further up, now field on my left, in the woods on my right I spotted...

Can you see it now?

Now? There are two...

Scroll to very end for the answer.

I stopped to sketch again, oil pastel in sketchbook.

A red van drove past.

Between the gorse.

And down into Ceres.

In Ceres is the Fife Folk Museum

A mile or so from Ceres is National Trust for Scotland's Hill of Tarvit Mansion and Garden

I hope to go back and make these the subject of future Scotland By Rail blog posts.


Cupar station is easy to reach by rail with direct trains from Edinburgh and Dundee.

Check before your journey at

Thank you for reading my Scotland By Rail blog.

Spread the word and let me know about your own favourite railway days out.

Leo du Feu
ScotRail Community Rail Champion
June 2023

#ScotlandByRail on facebook, instagram, twitter

*** nature quiz answer - two Roe deer!