As you may have heard, Stirling Gin have released their long-awaited (and much anticipated) Folklore Collection Gin Liqueurs, the Red Cap and the Green Lady. We’ve talked about their taste and colour, their messy creation in a hand-wrung fruit press and the mythology behind their names; now it’s time to share the story of their beautiful artwork.
Ritchie Collins has been operating and working in his gallery near The Shore of Leith for the past eight years. He is tall and softly spoken and surprisingly clean for someone working regularly with such vivid and bright paints. After studying art in Glasgow, Ritchie worked in a gallery in Edinburgh’s Morningside where he started to develop his eye-catching and trademark style. His work is bold in colour, beautifully rich and harmonious, and many of his large landscapes depict the streets of Leith where he has so obviously found a warm home. He loves to paint places as he sees them and to represent the vibe of where he is – or as he so beautifully puts it, “capturing the dream of a place”.
While working in Morningside, Ritchie decided to delve into children’s book illustration and he found himself researching the world of myth and legend to inspire his paintings. We have been lucky enough to have worked with Ritchie in the past (the keen observer will see his work in the Wallace Monument and Stirling Bridge designs on our current gin bottles) and when Cameron and June approached him with their brief for the mythological Red Cap and the mysterious ghostly Green Lady it was clearly another match made in heaven. Ritchie has managed to capture the sinister side of both characters and the drawings of fruit festooning the lower half of the bottles are mouthwatering in their detail.
Ritchie’s paintings can be bought on his website http://www.ritchiecollinsgallery.co.uk and in his gallery in Leith and I can’t recommend a visit highly enough. His gallery shows other local artists’ work and is clearly a place where passion and beauty are forever intermingling. Do yourself a favour and simply stand in front of one of Ritchie’s large scale paintings. The effect is astonishing and with the Folklore Collection from Stirling Gin you can take a little piece of Ritchie home in your liqueur. Ritchie will also be designing the graphics for our upcoming Battle Strength Gin but we’re keeping that a secret. Just for now.