Plans..What Plans?

Francis Boag Blog


Photo one was the canvas on the easel when I went into the studio today and, what I thought I was going to be working on throughout the day.

If only things were that simple...

Francis Boag Blog

I allowed myself to be distracted by a barely started canvas lying on the studio table and that was me for the rest of the day.

Photo two is what I ended up with.

I don’t know whether to be annoyed at my predilection for ‘kicking the can down the road’ ..again or, just be happy that I managed to scratch another itch?

Francis Boag Blog

Photo three shows the new painting framed (thanks to FrameBuilder app.)

I think I might be secretly pleased with my days' work...


Blair Atholl

This painting is another case of a carefree day out providing unlikely inspiration.

My wife, Teresa, is passionate about horses and persuaded me I would enjoy a day at the International Horse Trials at Blair Atholl. And she was right, I did, however, like all these big sporting events, as well as the horses, there was a large tented village thronged with people and selling everything from AGA cookers to Alpaca mittens. It was quite a dull day and in contrast to the bustle of the areas, Blair Atholl Castle could just be been seen rising through the mist like something from Brigadoon.

As the mist cleared, the whitewashed building set against the backdrop of dark, brooding hills, looked like it was made of icing sugar. As usual, I wasn't thinking about making a painting, but the very next day in the studio, the idea of a painting showing the contrast between the cool, crisp vision of the castle in its natural surroundings and the hot, hustle and bustle of the tented village just jumped out almost fully- formed.


Open Studio Weekend: April 8th & 9th 2017

If your memory is better than mine you may recall receiving a similar invitation to this just over a year ago.

The event in 2016 seemed by all accounts to be very well received so I have decided to repeat the same format for a ‘Meet the Artist’ event on the weekend of April 8th and 9th 2017.

I have been working my socks off over this exceedingly mild winter and this will be a first chance to see the fruits of my labours.

I hope everyone who joined me last year enjoyed it enough to want come along again and we look forward to welcoming many new faces.

As well as a large body of brand new original paintings, BoagArt Publishing will also be launching two very different print ranges, and once again there will be a selection of books, cards and small framed prints.

We will be open Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 1pm-5pm.

Full details of the event will also be on the Boagart Publishing website and Facebook page.

My address is:

Old Mill Steading
Home Farm
Ury Estate
AB39 3ST
Tel. 01569 762764

For directions to the Ury Estate see below.

The only way into the Ury Estate at the moment is via the Slug road.

Follow signs to Banchory B957.

As you leave  Stonehaven, after about a mile, on your right, you will see a blue sign saying ‘FM Ury Estate; Blue Lodge’. That is the entrance to the estate.

You should pass over two-speed bumps spaced a few yards apart and 50 yards further on, at a granite roadside sign saying  'Ury Home Farm’ take a left turn.

Follow the road round and we are the last house on the right.

Find me on -

TWITTER: @FrancisBoag
INSTAGRAM: @francisboag
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/boagartpublishing
TUMBLR: www.francisboagart.tumblr.com

Look forward to seeing you all. 



The Castle Collection

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position on the Castle Rock. By its very nature it imposes itself upon the surrounding landscape, and looking up it seems to fill the very sky.

My early attempts  to capture this feeling featured the most common viewpoint from Princes Street but, I was soon looking for alternative viewpoints such as, the view from the approach to the Grassmarket.

Other vantage points which stand out are looking across from the terrace at Harvey Nichols or the Tower restaurant in the Chambers Street Museum.

Edinburgh Castle, Evening

In the paintings of this and other Scottish Castles, I enjoy exaggerating the contrast between a very free, fluid interpretation of the area below the Castle, while using a ruler and mapping pen to create almost an Architect's drawing of the Castle structure.

I also strive not to be too influenced by the 'local colour' but to experiment with colour as an emotional response to what is one of Scotland's great landmarks and a scene whose impact is never less than highly dramatic.

Edinburgh Castle, Witchery

Winter Hills Dunoon


My normal method of beginning a painting is to create as much excitement as I can with liquid paint applied in bold strokes and splashes. Most of the time, this is then refined and painted over as the painting progresses, but I always try to retain some of the original marks as they are usually the most freely painted and full of energy.

However, in this painting I was so pleased and excited with the qualities of the early stages of the work, I determined to leave as much as I could in the finished piece. I anticipated some difficulty in resolving the completed work with a recognisable landscape element, but knew instinctively that the transition between the two areas would be a river bank.

My first thoughts were to integrate the coast at Cowie in Stonehaven, as seen from the harbour area, but then another image began to insinuate itself into my thoughts and I decided to go with that.

Several years ago, I was given the use of a cottage on the Cowal peninsula by a gallery in Glasgow, who were hoping it would inspire me to paint some west coast landscapes. We had a lovely family holiday and I did manage a few paintings from my travels round the local area.

The view in this painting is my memory of the ferry journey across to Dunoon, which we took a couple of times towards the end of the day. It is now quite a few years since I made that journey, and I am not sure why it popped into my head, when I was contemplating this canvas.

However, I have learned over the years to trust that 'wee inner voice' and so 'Winter Hills, Dunoon' was the result.


Welcome to BoagArt Publishing

My year long residency as Artist in Residence at Fraser East in St Andrews has now drawn to a close and its time to look ahead and make new plans.
The residency certainly fulfilled one of its main aims, in that it provided plenty of opportunities for engaging and interacting with a huge range of people who came to the Gallery to view my work.
I didn't encounter any negative reactions, at least not to my face (!) however there was one thread running through some of the responses which made me pause for thought.
People would look around the show and on leaving say something along the lines of,

“I love your work, I've always been a big fan and when I win the lottery I'll treat myself to a painting”
This, or a similar sentiment, was expressed too often to ignore and I thought 'when did you have to become a lottery winner to afford one of my paintings?'
But, looking around at the prices on the wall I could understand. You need an awful lot of disposable income to treat yourself to even a comparatively modest painting.
So, what could I do about it?
I have always been proud of the fact that my paintings appealed not to a small ‘cultured’ elite but to a wide spectrum of people, across all sorts of boundaries, whether they be geographical, social class, gender, intellectual and culture. The last thing I want to happen as a result of any success I have achieved is to price people out of owning and enjoying my paintings.
With this in mind I have, in collaboration with my children, created ‘BoagArt Publishing’ - an online resource as a means of providing access to my entire back catalogue of paintings at affordable prices.
Through this venture anyone wishing to own one of my paintings should be able to find something to match their budget. The range stretches all the way from greetings cards, books, open edition prints, limited edition prints and framed original paintings.
The top price for any item is £500.
This is not the first time my work has been available in print, but new technology means that almost any painting you see in an exhibition can be reproduced as a high-quality, signed, limited edition print.
We also intend to keep the size of the editions low which should increase the feeling of owning something special (as well as the residual value).
I am also very happy to now be able to offer small original paintings direct from my studio at a very competitive price.
As far as my paintings go, I truly feel 'small is beautiful' as I put as much thought and effort into my small paintings as any of the bigger pieces. In fact sometimes the smaller works have a spontaneity or 'va-va-voom' which can be hard to replicate in larger work.
I hope that I have done my bit to make sure that anyone who would like to own an original Francis Boag painting will never again be able to say to me “I love your work, but I can’t afford it”.