AN artist from Kilmacolm will represent Scotland at a Celtic festival being held in France.

Helen Mathie, 57, was an art teacher for 30 years and retired as head of the art and design faculty at St Columba’s in October 2017 after working there for 15 years.

Since then she has been concentrating on being a full-time artist and her work caught the eye of Tom Johnstone, the Scottish delegate for the Festival Interceltique, who is also from Kilmacolm.

Tom said: “The festival is in its 49th year and is the largest festival of Celtic music and culture in the world.

“I have to pick pipe bands, folk groups, Highland dance groups, solo pipers, drummers and an artist.

"I try to pick those who will represent Scottish music and culture at its finest.

“I was looking on the internet to hopefully find a good local artist when I came across Helen’s work, which I thought was both good and appropriate for the festival so I approached her.

The festival will be celebrated in Lorient, Brittany from August 2-11.

Before heading off, Helen needs to have 20 paintings of Scottish landscapes to showcase.

She said: "I have never been part of anything like this before.

“I am aiming to produce artworks that will be good conversation pieces.

"I hope that people will want to talk about the places on display in the paintings and there is a translator allocated to the exhibition so that I will be able to converse with the public.

"I hope that I may inspire people to come and visit Scotland.”

Helen will be accompanied on the trip by her husband Gus and her sister and partner.

The festival features Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Cornwall, Brittany, Asturias and Galicia.

There is also representation from the Diaspora of Celtic people - Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Around 850,000 people attend the festival to enjoy a variety of events culminating in a grand parade which sees more than 100 bands and dance groups walk through the streets of Lorient.

Helen said: “I am looking forward to being part of this amazing festival and seeing the artwork, the dancers and hearing the music and pipers from all of the other Celtic nations."