Stables Studio Artists

We have a number of permanent users of the Stables facilities, including local artists who occupy the downstairs studios, the local arts society who rent the gallery space for events and the Cromarty Group who hold their annual exhibition in August each year.

Early in 2002 the Cromarty Arts Trust were wondering how best to take the future of the stables forward. Following a visit from an inspirational octogenarian sculptor with a “just do it” attitude, they took a leap in the dark and adapted the stalls area in the Stables to become individual studio spaces for local artists: a rare commodity in the Highlands of Scotland. We then advertised the spaces for a contribution towards the running costs of the building, and held our breath wondering if the initiative would take off. Six people immediately applied, and the Stables Studios were born!Since then we have made room for a seventh artist, and over the years, 10 local artists have been given the space to work, at an affordable cost to help bridge the gap between semi-professional to professional status. Our seventh 'bay' space is mostly kept clear for those taking Residencies with us or others seeking a very temporary working space at short notice, for instance.

Many of the artists have collaborated on exhibitions both here, elsewhere in the Highlands, Scotland and the UK (and some overseas).  The Studio Artists also benefit from our visiting Artists in Residence, who in turn have appreciated the presence and camaraderie of the Studio Artists.

Find out more about the current Stables Studio artists:

Pat Hay


Leon Patchett


Rosie Newman


Thomas Keyes

Thomas Keyes is a Fine Art parchmenter and Celtic manuscript illuminator based on the Black Isle. With a background in graffiti writing and foraging the artist has found the graphic style of insular art and the lengths the monks went too to make use of the materials from their surroundings an inspiration. Recently he has collaborated with Glasgow School of Art in partnership with An Lanntair to produce a contemporary illuminated manuscript for the Stornoway-Uig corridor, with Groam House Museum to produce Celtic work in response to the George Bain Collection and next aims to create Celtic themed graffiti murals throughout the Highlands and an Illumination with the National Library of Scotland.

Michelle Knight


Arent Jack

Arent Johannes Jack (1978, Groningen, Holland) is the son a Scottish designer father (from Avoch), and a Dutch artist mother (from Groningen). On completion of his studies at the Film Academy in Amsterdam and at the School of Art and Design in Utrecht, he focussed on the painting of photo-realistic portraits and developed an impressive professional design career in the highly competitive commercial industry.

Active as design consultant and art director in the film and advertising sectors, he then became creative director for the film distribution company, Dutch FilmWorks. As Creative Director for Dutch FilmWorks he designed more than 500 film-posters, some of which were presented with prestigious Design Awards, becoming one of the most successful creative directors in this field of the Benelux, gaining international fame for his detailed dynamic compositions.


His portraits of people and of animals are extremely characteristic; they are modern, contemporary and amazingly photo-realistic. His mastery of airbrush in bringing acrylic to canvas, creates an intense depth and dynamic on the surface. The combination of abstract fragments and multi-coloured layers gives every portrait an impressive depth and dimension. From very close-up the portrait acquires and impressionistic precision, which when viewed from stepping back, a hyper-realistic portrait will emerge. Arent combines diverse styles and directions, through which each and every portrait becomes a multi-interpretable master-work, a never-tiring timeless quality.

Earlier in 2017, the Dutch Master painter decided his life should take quite another direction.

Moving back to his roots in Scotland, he now lives in the family cottage in Avoch, there to follow his passion, his passion for painting.

You can contact Arent to have a portrait painted......of yourself, your family, a loved one, your children, or of your wedding. Paintings can also be expertly done of the animals and pets in your life.



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Contact Information

19 Bank Street, Cromarty
IV11 8YE Scotland

T: 01381 600354