A HELENSBURGH artist who found her “freedom to experiment” during lockdown has raised over £1,600 for charity.

Lesley Carruthers, 68, runs her studio from 5 Upper Colquhoun Street and took part in the recent Artmap Argyll event in late August, where art-lovers could visit local artists’ studios to raise money for those less fortunate.

Throughout lockdown, she also decided to paint and sell to raise further funds and added her own personal financial contribution on top.

Lesley told the Advertiser: “I decided during lockdown that I wanted to use the remaining time available to me to paint, however short or long that was.

“I am healthy but find myself already 68, and I also wanted to do something to help others who were suffering or struggling.

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“I raised £1,600 for the Stephen Lawrence Trust over July/August, prompted by the Black Lives Matter campaign, and am currently fund-raising for CHAS and Robin House in Balloch.

“I am on target to raise a similar amount for them in August and September.

“I had no other responsibilities and could spend every minute painting in my studio. I found the freedom to experiment with and explore different styles and techniques.”

She continued: “Lockdown made me acutely aware of how vulnerable we are, how fragile our hold on life is, and how things can change in a split second. Also, how interconnected and interdependent all life on this planet is.

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“I plan to continue to paint to raise funds for deserving causes. The challenge is of course to promote sales online since selling direct maximises the money I can give to charity, rather than paying gallery commissions.

“I sell via my website, and via Facebook and Instagram, and I open my studio to visitors the last weekend of every month, weather permitting.

“Spending my time doing this feels right, to me, and although I am not a natural fund-raiser, I am learning to be one, as well as an artist.”

To find out more or contribute, search Art by Lesley Carruthers on Facebook or visit lesleycarruthers.co.uk.

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