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"Painting Scotland's Railway Landscapes" by Leo du Feu, landscape painter - Edinburgh meeting of 25th October 2011.

Leo du Feu, landscape painter with one of his works.d

Leo du Feu, landscape painter with one of his works.

Leo du Feu is a graduate of Edinburgh College of Art and has been commissioned by first Scotrail to paint the landscapes of the West Highland Line. This follows on from previous work on both the Aberdeen - Inverness line and the Ayr - Stranraer lines.

Leo began his presentation by providing a little of his background. He was brought up surrounded by art and from an early age he was interested in painting, winning prizes whilst still at school in Livingston. After school he attended Edinburgh Art College and after graduating, he secured a commission from the Royal Observatory.

His early work was of landscapes including some surreal landscapes. Leo showed some examples of how he got the inspiration from some of his works and outlined the process involved. An avid sketcher, he takes notes and sketches of places that are later turned into paintings. Leo paints in a number of mediums and variety of sizes and many of his works have a depth of detail that makes his works stand out from that of other artists.

Turning to how he was first commissioned by Scotrail, Leo said that initially he had written to Scotrail asking if they would care to sponsor him, but after a time, having heard nothing, he got in touch with John Yellowlees, who is well known to members of the Scottish Region.

John facilitated the first commission by Scotrail of paintings to mark the 150th anniversary of the Aberdeen - Inverness line in 2008 and this culminated in an exhibition in Elgin Museum. Scotrail then commissioned another set of paintings, this time of the Ayr - Stranraer line.

In addition to these commissions, Leo spend 6 weeks travelling across Canada having been awarded the Graham Munro Travel Award by the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour.

This enabled him to make a journey of 3,000 miles across Canada by rail, painting and sketching as he went. He found the landscape to be much like Scotland, just on a far bigger scale. This led to a book on the trip (copies of which are available from Leo's website). Leo has now been commissioned by Scotrail to paint scenes of the West Highland Line and he has started work on this project.

More information on Leo's work and details of his exhibitions can be found on his website at

The Scottish region would like to thank Edinburgh City Council for hosting this event.

Report by John Fender.
Photograph by John Yellowlees.


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