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Alasdair Hilleary (Loon)





The name Loon is a Scottish colloquialism, often used when referring to a young boy. It is a nickname I have had since the age of 5! Some people think it is short for lunatic but I can’t imagine what gives them that idea! I live between London and Inverness where I have both my studios.




I have drawn and painted for as long as I can remember and have nurtured an ambition to become an artist since the age of 7 or 8. The cartooning developed itself in the back row of the classroom at Gordonstoun, the school where I also received the only formal training for painting that I have ever had. So what I create now is to all and intents and purposes self taught. After Gordonstoun I attended Grenoble university in France before heading for Courcheval where I worked on the ski patrol skiing all day long from dawn to dusk for a whole season. I then served a four year commission in the Scots Guards and was stationed in Germany, Northern Ireland and London and I have many great friends from those days who provide me with endless inspiration. You will find the story of when I put three live white mice up the Piper Major’s kilt amongst other anecdotes which appear in my book, “The Sporting Cartoons of Alasdair Hilleary”. I left the army in 1978 and have been painting for a living ever since.




Ideas and images for cartoons stem from personal experiences that I have had, and I try to participate with enthusiasm in all aspects of the activities that I paint. A sketch book accompanies me on all my travels, at home and abroad so that I can jot down ideas or impressions as they occur; so you will find me researching my subject out stalking, on the river bank, skiing or riding the Cresta run, riding, hunting, racing, sailing, playing golf and now kite surfing!


I paint in watercolour and finish off the work using pen and ink and occasionally crayon. My aim is to create an attractive and colourful painting with a humourous content. My wife often accuses me of laughing at my own jokes more than anyone else which I can do to my heart’s content in the privacy of my studio!


I have exhibited all over the world in London, Edinburgh, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Melbourne, but particularly in St Moritz, Switzerland where to date I have had 17 exhibitions of my work. I have also done a wide variety of commissions and if you are interested please read more about this on my commission page.


Biography courtesy of the artist’s website.