The Scottish islands are stunning and Cumbrae is no exception. Island scenes have been depicted in paintings by a myriad of artists and as we conceptualized our distillery, we knew right away we wanted to engage local artists and showcase some of their amazing talent.
If there is anything that can create nostalgia for this island more than our gin, it is one of Harry Sutton’s beautiful paintings of Isle of Cumbrae bays, his ability to capture the harmony and depth of colour in the land, sea and sky and to marry it with the ever-changing island light.
His paintings evoke a longing for something familiar, the smell of the sea, the sound of the waves, the feel of the sand, the majesty of the surrounding mountains – a powerful emotional
longing for Scotland and Millport.
Meet Harry Sutton, our fabulous mural artist. A relatively recent island resident since 2016, Harry was quickly embraced as one of Millport’s own with his beautiful depictions of island views. Having graduated from Glasgow School of Art in the 70’s, he had a successful 35-year career as an art and design teacher before he retired and bought an island home in Millport with his wife Audrey.
When you come and visit us at the distillery, we can’t wait to show you our feature wall, a mural depicting many of our lovely island bays and viewpoints, hand painted by Harry. We hope these beautiful images will inspire people to visit, to enjoy the views, to sit awhile, to breathe in the salt air and to listen to the sound of the sea.
Meet Jack Sutton, our amazingly talented Nostalgin label artist. When we thought about our first gin, we knew we had to create a label that would stand out from the crowd and that would connect with our customers emotionally and inspire them to keep our bottle, long after the gin is gone.
Nostalgia is the word most often associated with Millport, a sentimental longing and wistful affection for a place associated with happy personal memories. It is not surprising that the term Nostalgia is derived from the Greek word “homecoming”. Marry the notion of longing and happy memories with the iconic Millport Harbour and the idea for Nostalgin started to form, with the black and white imagery breathing life into the feeling we were trying to create. But where to find the perfect artist! Fortunately for us, connections were soon made that led us to Jack Sutton, a skilled young artist with a family home in Millport, who works specifically in black and white ink drawings. With a critical eye for detail, a love of Millport and an appreciation for the feeling we were trying to convey, Jack created the perfect piece of art to balance the purple hues representing our botanicals and the regal gold lettering of our named gin. Jack, who professes to have only taken up his art seriously in the past few years, has already created quite a niche for himself with his incredibly detailed drawings. We are delighted to feature the work of a young Scottish artist on our label.
Meet Julie Mapes, a 7th generation “Millportonian”, whose family connection goes back to 1832 when Millport was in its infancy and her ancestor moved over from a farm on Bute to become a cobbler in Millport. More recently, her family has been associated with the well-known and much loved Mapes Cycle and Toy Shoppe, which her great-grandfather opened.
A graduate of the Duncan at Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD), Julie now works as a Knitwear Designer for ERIBÉ, a world-renowned specialist knitwear design house based in Scotland. She is an artist with a love for patterns and a growing technical knowledge for garment construction.
We reached out to the public with a competition for our third gin label, Restoration Gin, looking for the perfect design to celebrate the restoration of Millport’s town hall. Julie’s entry thrilled us with its rich colours, matching our exotic botanicals of pineapple, mango and elderberry. We loved the reflections of the town hall in the water, suggesting that we should all reflect on and honour the past as we look towards a future of promise with the restoration of the heart of Millport.
Julie indicated that the colours were also inspired by her own childhood memories of Millport’s bright shop fronts, noisy to grab your attention.
Meet Hope Blamire, our Maura label artist, a celebrated Scottish painter, who actively engages with and captivates a loyal following of over 50,000 on social media. Her vibrant artwork is inspired by nature and captures the coastal landscapes and glistening landscapes of the West Coast of Scotland. Her artwork is featured in galleries and shops across the UK, and in homes throughout the world.
Born in Ayrshire, Hope studied Illustration and Printmaking at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee. She lived in France, Canada, Egypt, and Malawi, where she taught art before returning the UK. Hope now lives in Bath with her husband and sons, but her 'spiritual' home will always be the West Coast of Scotland. She is a highly regarded and exceptionally talented artist, a passionate campaigner for responsible tourism and a champion fund-raiser for several important causes.
She is also a self-described gin enthusiast!