ALTHOUGH she was an influential teacher to many successful artists during a 25-year-long career at the Glasgow School of Art (including Ross Sinclair and his contemporaries on the art school's groundbreaking environmental art course), Sam Ainsley's did not stage a solo exhibition of her own work during this time.

Now freed from teaching commitments, Ainsley has chosen An Tobar gallery in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull as the place to present her first solo exhibition in Scotland for thirty years.

The surroundings of this small harbour town reflects the content of Ainsley's paintings as contemplations of scale from the microscopic to the geographic, which she terms "from the micro to the macro".

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Her images are an exploration of the human relationship with the world and with the experience of living. Notions of human existence are scrutinised and re-formed visually through multiple themes; nature, landscape, the human body, politics and feminism, in an ongoing process that she has described as "emotional mapping".

There is an earthy elemental feel to Ainsley's work, with its intense blasts of pure colour. She has used the high-ceilinged space at An Tobar to full advantage, with one whole wall given over to crimson-based site-specific painting. Inside this "red sea" is a five metre square drawing that imagines 17th century French writer, Madeleine de Scudery Map of Tenderness.

An Tobar curator, Mike Darling describes this as: "A map of an Arcadia where the geography is all based around the theme of love."

On another wall, small circular paintings bob around like organic balloons while on the wall, small square paintings are tightly grouped together. There's a simultaneously tight yet free-form lightness to these paintings. Figures appear like spectres while seemingly microscopic organic forms echo the beauty of nature under close scrutiny. I have fallen in love with the beautiful yet terrifying Parched Planet; a loose depiction of a map of Scotland depicted as a series of patterned purple spores surrounded by a white, cracked "sea”.

Sam Ainsley, An Tobar Gallery, Tobermory, Mull. PA75 6PB,

until November 25. www.comar.co.uk