“In Miniature”

Short Stories & Anecdotes


fbevent minatureThe Butterworth Gallery at Ballogie has a new display of my oil paintings, some of which have not previously been offered for sale. I’m delighted with the arrangement of these small paintings on the feature wall in the gallery with the bespoke framing from the Belvidere gallery in Aberdeen.

This original collection has some of my special paintings of favourite Scottish places that have meant so much to me over the years.

loch broom.jpg

“Sunlit Cottage, Loch Broom”

Over the years, I have frequently travelled the west coast of Scotland, being attracted to the rugged landscape with its dramatic light effects. My painting of the “Sunlit Cottage, Loch Broom” is a typical snapshot of both. I’m not sure if the red roof of the wee cottage was newly painted, but it allowed me to notice it and then capture it in my own paint. I knew I had an exact match!

This particular road trip took me through the scenic routes where visitors are now becoming more frequent and is known today as the North Coast 500.

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“Poolewe Sunset”

This painting was painted in the car park of the Poolewe Inn, now the Poolewe Hotel. I had been anticipating having an excellent evening meal on my carefully timed arrival, HOWEVER! when I arrived, I realised I had to setup and paint the dramatic sunset which i knew was coming from my experience of painting “En Plein Air”. Despite being covered in midge repellent and smelling of turps and oil paint, I painted and dinner arrived, not for me though, just for the midges! The next thing to arrive was the groups of well fed guests who admired  my painting skill and perseverance. Midnight feast was a well earned cold beef sandwich!

This painting is now available as both a signed giclee and lithograph. I get pleasure from the success of the image as it makes it all worthwhile.

I will be at the Butterworth Gallery at the weekends 2 – 4pm, and I’m available to personalise purchases.

The Butterworth Gallery is open 11 – 4pm Thursday – Sunday. Viewing outwith these times is  available by contacting Sarah on Tel 013398 86104

Thoughts of painting in Spain…

Headlines, Short Stories & Anecdotes

“Villa Azul” Limited Edition Giclee Print by Howard Butterworth

Finding myself thinking of Spain & hopes of warming up, to start my year of painting ; however finding myself in better weather at home!


Forest of Birse Church, through Finzean. Royal Deeside

My habit of starting the year with painting outside in blue skies, heat & with almond blossom has typically broken my January blues, however the light level over the past week at home has triggered me into action, despite it still being a bit cold.

So, whilst contemplating a trip to Spain, I find myself studying the weather reports, news and supermarkets!




Yes, I have found that the Norfolk Savoy Cabbage is still available, whilst the Spanish Courgettes are now not to be found locally.

These unexpected changes are keeping me home as I don’t think the art market is quiet ready to believe snow covered palm trees and beaches. Instead, the blues skies and frosted landscape of Royal Deeside is more believable and attractive.


Over the next few weeks I will continue my contemplation of my pros & cons. In the meantime you may see me out and about in my Hilltrek red jacket!

Above, I’m putting the finishing touches to an Oil painting of “Mickle Kinord”  Muir Of Dinnet in the Cairngorm National Park

Christmas Greetings.



Wishing all my friends and customers a Happy Christmas.

Here is a chance for you to be entered into a Free prize draw to win the only signed proof copy of my 2017 Calendar. All you have to do is “like” the photo of me with the proof below, or on the Butterworth Gallery FaceBook page. Closing time is midnight 07.01.17. The winner will be notified by 10th Jan 2017. We will send a regular A4 calendar too, as I think this may be more useful!

Good luck to all those that enter, however there can only be one winner!

Best wishes for a safe and prosperous 2017.




Winter scene near Blairdaff.

Christmas at The Butterworth Gallery


Christmas is just around the corner, come and join us at the Butterworth Gallery for some relaxed Christmas shopping in our stunning location, only 45 minutes from the centre of town.

If your looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, friend or colleague come and view our superb range of original paintings and giclee prints by Howard Butterworth and Mary Louise Butterworth. We also have beautiful handmade jewellery by Lava Jewellery, Tweedie Beastie doorstops, Lino prints and pastel pictures by HJK Designs, stunning wicker work by Helen Jackson and the perfect stocking fillers with the OrganicaJ range.

The gallery has something to suit every budget, we have packs of christmas cards starting at £5, The Butterworth Calendar 2016 at £10 and Wentworth jigsaws from £6, with seasonal special offers also available.(Please ask in store or call for more details)

As part of our outstanding customer service we can also arrange; framing, Christmas delivery and a free gift wrap service. At the gallery, we are more than happy to send calendar’s direct to your chosen recipient with a personalised card and message all done to make your Christmas experience with us totally hassle free!

So with easy parking, festive bakes and mulled wine while you browse on our seasonal sundays – why go anywhere else for your Christmas shopping experience!

Festive opening hours from now until Christmas:

Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11am – 4pm

Sunday 11 am – 5.30pm

Christmas Eve 11am – 5.30pm

(Collection out with these times by appointment only.)

The gallery will be closed from 25th December – friday 1st January inclusive and will reopen on Saturday 2nd January 11am – 4pm

*Please note all framing orders should be placed by Sunday 6th December for guaranteed delivery for Christmas and all orders to be posted to Uk mainland addresses should be placed before the 18th December.

Written by H.J.K

#FINDHOWARD raising funds for The Archie Foundation Saturday 13th June 2015

Short Stories & Anecdotes

Howard is out and about painting today in Aberdeenshire to raise funds for The Archie Foundation. To #FINDHOWARD  follow the clues below;  the first to #FINDHOWARD, take a photo and share, will have a chance to win a £70 gift voucher to use at The Butterworth Gallery.

1. What’s in the Graveyard. #geocaching #artbug

2.Banchory River Festival 2015

3. St Ternan’s Park 11am – 2pm

Watch Howard Paint Today……

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h769rxWpm_4&feature=youtu.behoward river

Howard and the Archie Foundation #FindHoward STARTS TODAY

Short Stories & Anecdotes
#FindHoward  30th May 2015

#FindHoward 30th May 2015

Howard celebrates his 70th Birthday in June and has decided to donate more of his immediate time to worthwhile causes; therefore over the next six months he is embarking on a marathon fund-raising event for the Archie Foundation.

Howard will be painting  twelve images in Scotland, giving avid followers an opportunity to see him in action, doing what he loves most, painting outdoors; capturing the ’emotional realism’ of some of Scotland’s most beautiful locations!

The project has been named #FINDHOWARD and at the end of the six months the finale event will be held at the Marcliffe Hotel at Pitfodels. The images will be sold with a large proportion of the proceeds going to The Archie Foundation; this is to raise the necessary funding to enable the Foundation to undertake a Digital Art Project at RACH (Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital) and as Howard passionately believes that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy art, it couldn’t be a more fitting cause!

The event starts today and a £70 gift voucher can be won if you’re the first person to #FindHoward!

Clue 1 – Head to Kemnay with Bennachie in mind.

Clue 2 – Spot Howard in red near Kemnay; the easel might give him away!

Clue 3 -Head for Monymusk from http://t.co/oMbgptghNX think of Bennachie.

Clue 4 -From Castle Fraser head to Kemnay, Keep River Don & Bennachie in mind.

11am – 2pm today ‪


Look out for Howard in his sponsored Hilltrek Outdoor Clothing!


written by H.J.K

Howard Butterworth painting ‘en plein air’


‘En plein air’ is a French term used to describe artists who paint outdoors; capturing the colour, movement, light and natural feel of their subject. Painting outdoors became popular in the mid to late 1800’s  and the transition in popularity from studio to the great outdoors became possible due to several inventions. These would have great influence on the art world, ultimately marking the beginning of the Impressionist movement. These inventions are still used today; the box easel (allowing an artist to carry all he or she might need in a handy case with extendable legs), the introduction of tubes of paints (rather than having to mix the pigment and oils within a studio) and also canvas panels.


Howard Butterworth has been painting outdoors and particularly Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire since the late 1970’s. He is passionate about this element of his work and believes it helps him to capture a particular scene just how it should be, full of movement, light and as naturally as possible. Howard has the deepest respect for many Impressionist painters who advocated this method, not least are Renoir, Monet, Manet, Constable and Sisley.

'The Magpie' by Claude Monet 1869

‘The Magpie’ by Claude Monet 1869

Painting outdoors can be problematic and mindful; while an artist works on a painting, they convey onto the canvas their own intense artistic expression; therefore the artist has created a 3D experience on a flat canvas encapsulating that moment in time for the viewer it gives that painting a presence. The viewer is able to see even through the paintings stillness on the canvas, the story, the movement, an exposed piece of the artists soul and through the artist’s eyes, embrace that one stolen moment in time…this creates a presence. Howard’s paintings hold that presence, for all to see and admire and “Source of Inspiration Loch Muick” is a wonderful example.

'Source of Inspiration Loch Muick' by Howard Butterworth

‘Source of Inspiration Loch Muick’ by Howard Butterworth

When you look at the canvas for the first time you see a scene of a warm summers day; but you feel the gentle breeze passing across the Loch, whispering through the birch trees, the clouds appear to be moving delicately across the sky, reflected in the Loch below. We can imagine the gentle hum of the insects in the background and the sound of summer bird song. We see the path opening up before us, beckoning us forward through the beauty and warmth of the pink heather and beyond to the waterfall and up onto the mountaintop. We feel tranquil, peaceful and perhaps memories past have been jolted from within. The painting is an opportunity to be truly mindful and Howard has captured that moment for us with his presence, with every colour choice, brush stroke he has given us that experience – what a joy, truly an inspiration and such a gift.

As an artist, part of the job description is indeed to convey that presence and that is ultimately what makes an artist successful. This presence may follow different styles and genres, however the artist must create a relationship between themselves and the viewer, a connection. This relationship is where two, minds, hearts and souls meet. Art is a very individual experience and what holds presence for one viewer may not for another. In some respect this cannot be explained, that’s just the way it is!

Capturing presence is not that easy and often takes demanding acts of physical and mental endurance for an artist to achieve… Painting in November on a fine cold winters day; Howard parked his car just off the North Deeside Road near Kincardine O’Neil. He arrived early at that spot, “to get the light effect on the river”, as it “is quite special”, however, “the thing you can’t see from the picture (Silver Dawn), is that it is a considerable way down to this pool from the road, where I had parked my car. So my nickname for this is ‘heart attack corner’, because I was up and down, up and down (from the bank to the car), because I kept forgetting paints, palettes, rolls of tissue and I was really quite exhausted!”

'Silverdawn' by Howard Butterworth

‘Silverdawn’ by Howard Butterworth

The harsh weather in Scotland can also battle against a ‘plein air’ artist like Howard, especially when he paints in the depth of winter. Early on in his career and many times since he has painted ‘The Auld Brig’ at Invercauld, he has a great fondness for the bridge and the surrounding views, believing it depicts the area of Deeside perfectly; “it’s got Lochnager in it, it’s got the history (of the bridge) and it’s got more or less all the important Flora … occasionally it gets deer” Howard’s painting ‘The Auld Brig O’Dee’ at Invercauld was painted on a day when he endured these harsh conditions”…it was so cold, the carpet (at Croft Cottage) was frozen 18 inches behind the front door. There was snow on the ground and after a gruelling day being battered by the weather in freezing conditions, I only just managed to get my car started, to get home…” The Auld Brig O’Dee is unsurprisingly one of Howard’s most popular images and is available as an unlimited print.

Winter time Brig O' Dee - photograph of work in progress.

Winter time Brig O’ Dee – photograph of work in progress.

‘Reluctant Spring’ is another painting completed from that viewpoint and was painted towards the end of March; Howard tells me that, “…I was told off for being so stupid as to stand out in the cold by a couple of passers by, which was hilarious, because it was only a matter of a day since I had been told off in Spain for standing out in the sun”, the joys of painting outdoors!

'Reluctant Spring' by Howard Butterworth

‘Reluctant Spring’ by Howard Butterworth

Howard has experienced lots of colourful characters, people and animals while painting outdoors; he has many stories to tell from his beloved Deeside, to Edinburgh and Europe. Not least is his experience while painting on Princess Street in Edinburgh. A beggar appraised his art, he was accused of being Dom Joly (Trigger Happy TV) and a well-dressed lady who was convinced she knew a “little old man that lived in a cave under the castle” kept Howard company for more than two hours!

'Street - Life' Princess Street by Howard Butterworth

‘Street – Life’ Princess Street by Howard Butterworth

Ultimately whether Howard is painting in the city of Aberdeen or Edinburgh, in the glens of Scotland, on the banks of the River Dee or on the sunny shores of Spain he believes that, “…doing it (painting) in that place is the reason why it seems right…you get the feel of the place, that’s what it’s all about…” that’s why he paints plein air and that’s why his paintings have presence!

written by H.J.K with quotes and stories by Howard

The Cadmium yellow Labrador and a few other anecdotes………..


Howard can often be found painting near Loch Muick or by the River Dee, truly beautiful places to be on Royal Deeside.  Painting days can often involve colourful events, people and animals;  Howard has a few funny anecdotes of these occasions…

On a lovely day a few years ago, after finishing painting for the day, Howard tells me that he, “…put (his).. palette on the ground and a woman came along with her golden labrador” he asked the lady to keep the dog back, but before you knew it the labrador promptly stood on his palette right in the middle of the cadmium yellow…”and got a real dollop on it!  Now Cadmium yellow is the most difficult oil paint to get out of labrador’s paws, in fact carpets, coats or anything you get it on.  It really is very, very persistent and even though I washed the paw…., I’m absolutely certain that the woman’s car would have (been covered in it)….and the dog would have remained (spreading cadmium yellow) for about six weeks!”……….. oh dear, let’s hope she hasn’t held it against him!

Howard’s favourite time of year to paint is the summer, when it’s warm and Deeside blooms in all it’s glory. However, this time of year painting outdoors still has it’s pitfalls, including the blight of the Scottish Midgie!

“On one occasion I stood the midges for as long as I could and then rushed into my car to get away from them, only to find that the car was more full of midges than the outside, …I had left the window open; they didn’t stop biting…..and I was at screaming point!” His children fondly recall times when Howard has been known to use his painting palette and the sticky oil paint  to swipe them from above his head in an attempt to rid himself of their pestering……I think we can all have empathy with that, but I wonder if they end up on any of his canvases?

Although Howard loves all the flora and fauna to be found on his beloved Deeside and is very knowledgable when it comes to the local wild animal community they can make him exasperated at times……”I had planted a Victoria Plum tree, which had taken about five years to get to about five feet high and it had produced a Victoria Plum, a perfect plum and it had ripened beautifully…..(I thought)tomorrow that will be perfect and I will harvest it and eat it”, the following day much to Howard’s discontent there was no plum, there wasn’t even a plum tree….the Deer had eaten the whole lot!!

He must of forgiven them though as they do feature in one or two paintings … one of the most beautiful and a splendid example is Highland Territory;  can you spot them!


written by H.J.K with quotes and stories by Howard.

Howard Butterworth gives his time and talent to local charities.



Charity begins at home, but shouldn’t stay there…….everyone is capable of doing what they can for a good cause and a life can be enriched by what we can do for others. A donation of money is not the only way to help a charitable organisation in need; for Howard it is also offering his time and expertise. In giving his time and talent to an organisation he is hopeful that this will provide the catalyst that allows the charity to benefit the most. Anne Frank said, “No one has ever become poor by giving.” This statement is so true, by giving time and energy to a cause we are opening our lives to meeting new and interesting people;  passing forward a good deed to help others which in turn we hope encourages others to do the same. The simple task of holding a door open for someone, passing the time of day or even just a smile allows us all to know we are not alone and maybe the receiver of this small gesture will go on and do something kind for another by our own example. Howard has given his time readily over the years and supports many charities; Children 1st, The River Dee Trust, Friends of Anchor, Archie’s Art, Wild Dolphins, Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital, Teenage Cancer trust, Marie Curie and The Children’s Hospital Edinburgh.

On Sunday 17th May 2015 Howard in conjunction with The Rotary Club of Aberdeen Deeside hosted an art evening at the Hilton Treetops Hotel in Aberdeen. During the evening Howard completed the painting “A breath of fresh air” and was also able to give a running commentary of his techniques, tips and advice to budding artists, art enthusiasts, students and collectors. The audience was given the opportunity to witness the process of undertaking a painting to it’s completion and admire Howard’s talents for capturing the “emotional realism” of the scene. Howard’s laid back approach to the evening and funny anecdotes about life and issues close to his heart made the evening truly special, the audience where also able to ask Howard questions which he answered in his own funny and humorous way.



To help raise even more funds for the nominated charities of the evening,(Teenage Cancer Care Trust and Friends of Anchor) the Rotary Club of Aberdeen Deeside held an auction. Several of Howard’s framed prints as well as some original paintings were included, as well as the completed painting from the event, “A breath of fresh air”.  Everyone was delighted that the substantial sum of £4,550 was raised on the evening and this will benefit all the charities involved; a truly successful event!


written by  H.J.K