COLDSTREAM is gearing up for its annual Civic Week and at the same time the town’s Gallery is getting ready to celebrate the work of one of Berwickshire’s best known artists.
It’s not been an easy year for Duns’ Lida Hadtrick following the death of her mother but she has found comfort in her art and although living in the Lammermuir Hills where she is blessed with plenty of breathtaking views it is the words of a poet that have proved particularly inspiring.
Lida, who is exhibiting in Coldstream Gallery for the third time, told ‘The Berwickshire News’: “I am known for my landscapes but I have included a few watercolours in the new exhibition.
“I lost my mother last year and following her death I’ve fallen in love with the work of one of the poets she was a big fan of. The poet is Gerard Manly Hopkins and it’s his descriptions of nature that really draw me in. He has such a great insight and the enormous vibrancy of his vocabulary is very inspiring.
“His words are so vivid that you can see in your mind’s eye a summer afternoon or an autumn morning; you can also get a feel for the movement and shape. I have produced a number of pieces based purely on his words.”
But that’s not to say that the Berwickshire scenery still doesn’t have a massive influence on Lida’s work.
“I’m still walking the moors,” she continued. “I’m continuing my project which is based around ‘the countryside and me’.
“Places can change dramatically due to weather conditions and the time of day. I can be painting something that I’ve seen lots of times but then suddenly it’s not so familiar but this helps you gain a better understanding of nature.
“I can be sitting on my stool and feel like I’ve been somewhere before but then different shapes will emerge.”
Lida and her husband live on the road to Longformacus but her craft has led her to venture further afield.
“I’ve gone right into the hills where they dip down to Gifford,” she added.
“The sculpture of the hills and the shapes are repeated at Bass Rock, North Berwick Law and Priest Law. Although fantastic, the views on my doorstep are too panoramic in some ways.
“As well as studying the landscape, I absoloutely love painting trees and I can often be found in the woods at Abbey St Bathans as there are so many to paint there.”
But it’s not just nature that Lida likes to capture, she is also a big fan of drawing people and she admitted that their features can change just as quickly.
“I love to paint my family everytime they come round and they seem to look different every time I see them.
“Because I know them so well and love them so much I like to bring out their expressions even more. It’s my husband I feel sorry for; he is my experimental model, I’m forever drawing his hands and feet!”
When she’s not scouring the hills or woods for inspiration, Lida spends a lot of time in a studio at the end of her garden and she said that anyone who’s serious about art needs to have somewhere they can immerse themselves in their work.
She explained: “Life is very busy for me just now but I always find time to go into the studio and spent some time drawing or painting. It’s a converted greenhouse so it’s beautifully sunny, particularly at this time of year.
“Every artist has to have a studio as you need somewhere you can put all your books, cuttings and collages and somewhere you can make a mess.
“It’s also good to have everything in the one place as it means that you can lock it all away and walk away when necessary too.”
Lida’s exhibition at Coldstream Gallery will run from Tuesday, August 9 to Saturday, August 27.
The gallery in the trown’s High Street is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-4pm.