Friday, 14 November 2008


Took ourselves away for a week at my favourite self-catering cottage, Hope Cottage, on the island of Arran, just off the West coast of Scotland. This is our "bolt-hole" in times of stress and upset and every day we walked the hills, through the forests and across the moors all the time bathing in the most glorious weather we've had for a long time. Cleansing and refreshing, but no drawing or painting - couldn't get down to it.
So the best I can do at the moment is to translate some of the many photographs I took into these sketches:

Pencil on paper, A5: "Stone of Hope"; Fairly representational to start but a good exercise to remind myself about drawing.

Every morning I walked down to the shore to watch the Ringed Plover and Curlews, and throw some angry stones into the water:

Neocolour II on paper, A5: "Rock Pool"; Extending myself a bit further with a range of colour markings.

One afternoon after J had got her make-up on to face the world (takes all morning, y'know, and three cups of coffee! but it's worth it - a work of what I call Raw Visionary Art [but please don't tell her I said so :o} and we wouldn't like to scare any kids out there] we climbed up through the forests of Glenashdale, a circular route of only four miles but probably another two vertically! All the time you are puffing and stopping for some oxygen you look upwards at the towering pine trees, bare lower down their trunks showing glimpses of yellow Larch needles against a clear blue sky:

Neocolour II on paper, A5: "Towering Pines"; Trying to get this slender verticality in an A5 pad.
And then you break out into open ground where great swathes of forest have already been cleared leaving a small stand of European Larch turning to these wonderful shades of autumnal colour enhanced by the clear blue sky:

Neocolour II on paper: "Autumn Larches"; There may be other pine trees that are deciduous but these are probably the most common, and a beautiful sight to behold with the freshest green needles in Spring and these rich yellows and orange in the Autumn.
Lastly, looking across the Kilbrannan Sound in the gloaming:

Neocolour on paper, A5:"Kilbrannan Sundowners"; This is a wonderful stretch of water between Arran and the Mull of Kintyre. Often we see the most glorious sunsets looking in this direction and sometimes, if we are lucky, we can see whales or dolphins swimming down the Sound on their way to the open sea. And one day we did! A large pod of at least a dozen animals gently working their way Southwards not too far from shore that we got a good sight of them. Spellbound we were - for a while. But the spell of this wondrous sight was broken by a complete eejit on a powerboat who came skelping round the point and charged straight into the middle of the pod. Dolphins going everywhichway trying to get away from him, but he continued to chase them for miles, past Davaar and Sanda, out into the Atlantic.
Some humans don't deserve the title! Fortunately there are many more, like you dear readers, who do.
Thank you for your time, and goodnight!
ps: a special thanks to Brian for getting me up off my butt and writing again. Cheers mate!


Melinda said...

So very glad to have you back. I check on your blog nearly every day and am delighted that you had a refreshing outing. You've been energetically prolific as well.

Reading your post and seeing the images made me feel as though I could be there in all of that beauty. However, I would be screetching at the boater...not a pretty picture.

The "Rock Pool" is especially emotionally charged and wonderfully intense. I love the contrasts.

In "Autumn Larches", there is a real sense of altitude and exhiliration. While, the "Kilbrannan Sundowners" has a sense of contemplative peace. You must have finished this just before the in-humans arrived.

my croft said...

I second that emotion. It was so good to see your name and neocolor pop up over at the croft today. Welcome back.

(My thanks to Brian as well. I thought it was about time to poke you in the cyber butt, but didn't feel I know you well enough. Yet.
Yes I know, it's hard to believe such discretion from the Hoover-scold.)

I think Towering Pines is my favorite in this posting. I like the spareness, the verticality, and the abstraction.

Andrea Kobayashi 小林アンドレア said...

Good to read your new post and see your lovely landscape sketches. A bolt hole on Arran sounds divine. Hope you're feeling better!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Thank you ladies!

It's good to hear your take on each of these pastels Melinda. Helps me view them again with fresh eyes.

A bit of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles there Melanie with "I Second That Emotion", but perhaps you are too young to remember it first time around?
And you don't need to stand on ceremony with me - if I need a kick on the butt then kick as hard as you like :o)

Feeling a lot better now Andrea. Thanks for asking and pleased you like these sketches.

Now the big problem for me is how to convert them into artwork worthy of the name. Do you think "Towering Pines" should be done at least 1.5m high? And what would be the best medium?

Brian McGurgan said...

David, I love the vibrant color and linework in Autumn Larches and the richness of Kilbrannan Sundowners. Good to have you back online, my friend. I'm jealous about those dolphins you saw - I've only seen them "in the wild" a couple of times and it is always pure magic. Would love to see whales and am amazed that you can see them from the shore there (we don't get much of that in the Long Island Sound or East River here in New York).

Andrea Kobayashi 小林アンドレア said...

Ink on paper about 2m in height! Make it biiiiiiiiiiig!!!

daviddrawsandpaints said...

Thank you very much Brian (sorry I haven't replied sooner) glad you like these.

Andrrrrrea! (an extra rrroll of my Scottish rrrrs for you since I missed one the last time I wrote your name!)

Aye Biiiiiiig! I'll have a go at the ink on paperr sometime just forr you :o) Cheers!