Exploring the Ancient Atlantic Remnants of Morvern and Sunart

AD Feature 

Not content with the confines of a warm and dry studio space, Inverness-shire based artists Jonathan Shearer and Michelle Knight are compelled to create art out in the wild and rugged northerly Scottish landscape.

Their most recent works can be viewed in the pair’s first joint exhibition: Atlantic Remnants, an exciting show that opens at Resipole Studios Fine Art Gallery on the edge of Loch Sunart on 15 October.

Works on display were inspired by time spent immersed in the coastal temperate rainforests of Sunart and Morvern on the west coast of Scotland, also referred to as the Atlantic Woodlands or Celtic Rainforest.

Maids of Morvern I, a mixed media work by Michelle Knight featuring a stunning hidden waterfall on the west coast of Scotland.

This unique environment is home to some of the planet’s rarest lichens and bryophytes, as well as ancient oak, ash, birch, hazel, and Scots pine: a rich source of inspiration for two artists whose work focuses on the wilder side of the Scottish landscape.

From their base on the southern edge of Loch Teacuis in Morvern, the pair worked largely on location in all weather conditions, exploring rarely trodden paths, crossing raging burns full of vast volumes of water flowing from the hills, in order to reach remote woodlands and bays.

It was these secluded, ancient living landscapes free of human activity, where ‘gnarled and twisted oak remnants shaping themselves to cope with the elemental nature of the western seaboard’, that truly captured their imagination.

The resulting works – drawings in pastel, watercolour and mixed media – depict densely populated woodland, ancient fossils, hidden waterfalls and remote bays.

For both artists, it’s the act of walking, drawing and painting in the Scottish landscape which has allowed them to develop an intimate connection with the wild places of Scotland.

Jonathan has garnered a reputation for being an ‘extreme painter’, who frequently hikes or paddles to some of Scotland’s most remote locations and peaks, whether that be in snow or sunshine, in order to capture the dramatic landscape firsthand.

Michelle, who is also a well-established art tutor and professional artist working in a variety of mediums, is equally as inspired by being in the Highland landscape, from where all her work emerges. 

The artists worked on location, in all weather conditions.

Atlantic Remnants opens in the main gallery space at Resipole Studios on Sunday 15 October and is on display until Friday 24 November. 

Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 11am – 5pm; Sunday, 11am – 4pm; closed Mondays. All artwork and exhibitions are available to view online at

Resipole Studios Fine Art Gallery, Loch Sunart, Acharacle, Argyll, PH36 4HX Tel: 01967 431506


Read more on Scottish Field’s News pages. 

Plus, don’t miss the October issue of Scottish Field magazine.