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Published: 04 August 2018

By Andy Ross

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Maud Lewis

One of the joys of running tours in Shetland is that we get to meet people from all over the world and we find out about their particular neck of the woods. 

This past week we have been touring some of the more out-of-the-way places in the isles and spent three days on the wonderful other-world of Fair Isle. What a stupendous time this small group has had, drawing, sketching and creating textile pieces with Shona Skinner, and eating, drinking and laughing our way across the islands. There were four on this tour, mainly because of the size of the 'plane going into Fair Isle, and  each was from a different country - England, Scotland, Canada and the USA. Every one of our friends was familiar with Shetland, having been on tour before or, in the case of one (hello Alison!) brought up in the isles, so it was much more relaxed and easy to go about because we could explore more than usual. 

Karen, our Canadian friend, told us about Maud Lewis, the folk artist who died in poverty but created lovely, lively and charming paintings in her lifetime, surrounding herself with colour and patterns of her own making. Isn't it amazing how, in spite of trial and tribulation, people can create beauty all around them? Have a look at the Maud Lewis Gallery in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to see what I mean and do click on the house in the picture. Thanks Karen for the heads-up. 

There was lots of interesting conversation on this tour - New Mexico museums and Navajo weaving traditions, the Pitt-Rivers collection in Oxford, etc, etc, etc. No doubt many of these things will be appearing in a blog near you soon but in the meantime thank you Mary, Mary Ellen, Alison, Karen and Shona for making this such a pleasurable experience.