Paintings, Graphics,

 Design and Cards


Slice of Life - Shetland Series

A Kishie o' Paet

(A Basket of Peat)  From a photo taken around 1890 in Scalloway, Shetland.  Peat was the main heating fuel and was carried home on the (padded) backs of the women.  No idle hands here, she knitted as she trudged along, with her heavy load.

Landing the Flock - Spiggie Voe

The sheep, used for their fine wool and food, often had to be transported from lsland to lsland by means of fishing boats. The sheep were quite accustomed to eating seaweed too, when feed was short.

Tarring the Ropes

A skipper and his crew make ready the bush ropes for their next fishing trip, while on the beach, the woman folk pack salt herring into barrels. Scalloway early 1900s.

At Da Hilltop Grind

(At the Hilltop Gate)   As there were no trees in Shetland, any piece of wood even wrickwid (wreck or drift wood) was put to good use.  Fences and gates were shared rather than owned.

Winnowing Corn

Corn was usually winnowed on to a 'flakki' - a mat made of straw - sort of like a sack, out in the open, in the wind that never lets up. 

 From a photo taken in Shetland around 1880.

Twa Yoals - Peerie Voe - Spiggie

Two yoals (double pointed fishing boats) beached safely at Peerie (little) Voe (inlet), Spiggie, a picturesque bay in the south of Shetland.

 These two yoals were built around 1900 and were still in use in the 1970s.


Gutting Herrings

A Scalloway Harbour scene, watched over many a time by the crumbling Stewart castle in the background.  From a photo taken in the 1920s.

Daaís Midder

( Dadís mother)  From a photo of my grandmother (Barbara Moffat nee Nicolson) taken in Scalloway, Shetland, in the mid 1920s.

lt was said she knitted so fast, that she didnít always wind the hanks of wool into balls.


Auld Lizzie Spinning

With a hap ( shawl) to keep the draughts off her neck and shoulders, and a clean, pretty brat (apron) on, auld Lizzie glowers (probably at the new fangled camera). Though aging and arthritic, the auld lass was still able to do her share of the never ending chores.

 From a photo taken in Scalloway around 1920.


Cairdiní an gairdiní

Alert to the slightest movement, Loki, an old Shetland sheep dog sits patiently on guard, while the lady of the house, Minnie (Grannie) makes the most of a quiet moment to card a few more strands of oo (wool).

 From a photo taken in Shetland in the late 1800s.


Weíre aye pups ad hairt, Missie

A kindly crofter shares fond thoughts with his aging dog, Missie, while touching up the edges of his scythe. From a photo taken in Shetland around the 1900s

Shetland Blessing

This dry sense of humour is typical of the kind l remember from Shetland relations and friends in my childhood. The knitting in the background is a detail from a jersey that Dadís mother knitted him before she died in 1947.

HAIRST - Oat Cutting

Hairst is Autumn or harvest time when the ripe oat crop has to be cut and stored for the long stormy winter ahead. From a photo taken in Shetland about 1890.