Friday, 22 April 2011

We Are Sailing

Tomorrow we are off to the rainy Island of Arran so I thought I would post this painting before I go:

Mixed media on board, 59x87cm.

The important element in this is that when I do my Subconscious Musings each morning I do them on A1 paper. But on Tuesday there my Musing got more and more extended to the point that it has become a painting in it's own right:

Acrylics and oil pastel on paper, A1.

The obvious question which arose was: "Aye, but can you do it directly on a board responding only to your inner being and without a safety net?

You bet your sweet bippies I can.

And I did.

See y'all in a couple o' weeks when I get back from Arran weather-beaten and brown as a berry.

We are sailing,
we are sailing,
across the sea,
to have our tea (just made that bit up).

Sunday, 17 April 2011


Still searching for the image that says "abstract" while expresses "figure":

Acrylics on canvas, 30x40cm.

I feel that I'm getting closer.

The real step forward for me here is scratching through one colour to get to the colour below. That requires  thinking ahead which, of course, is my forte.

Aye, right!

Thursday, 14 April 2011


Fritilaria meleagris to be precise. Coming up everywhere in the garden they are. Except the ones my darling wife planted - turns out she put them in upside down, so all you Aust-raa-lians down under, "Cheers Mates, g'day, and enjoy!"

Pencil and watercolour in sketchbook, A4

Pencil and watercolour in sketchbook, A4

Pencil and watercolour in sketchbook, A4

The 'Snakeshead' common name refers to the resemblance these flowers have, with their scale-like markings and open mouth, to the head of a cobra.


Saturday, 9 April 2011

Peter Tudhope at Gracefield

A fabulous summer-like day and a fine drive through wonderful countryside south from Glasgow to Dumfries and the Gracefield Arts Centre where we went to see some very fine paintings by fellow blogger, Peter Tudhope.

The main gallery:

A very nice venue but who is that wummin posing for her photie?

Gallery 2 set in beautiful mature gardens:

Environmental sculpture by Charlie Poulson:
No idea what it's about...

A corner of the cafe where Peter's paintings are displayed:

A nice space and a nice lunch surrounded by excellent paintings.

Another view:
There's that wummin again...I think she's following me! "Paintings?", "What paintings?" "Another coffee, please!" - that's all I get....
Actually all joking aside it was great to see Peter's painting 'in the flesh' so to speak - bold, energetic, and powerful strokes of colour that a computer screen hardly does any justice to. Much to enjoy and ponder on. My favourite is Galloway Hills which was the complete package - great colours and brush-strokes set off well in just the right frame. And I hope he doesn't mind me saying that his "Treescape" is pure Soutine - all slanty and expressive brush-strokes!

Congratulations on the exhibition, Peter!

Sunday, 3 April 2011


Spring is rushing up on us here in Scotland and this can be seen potently with the bursting forth of brand new rhubarb leaves:

 Neocolours in sketchbook, A4x2.

First drawing looking down on top of the 'barb stalks shows that give-away pale bulb of a flowering-head which will have to come off before too long if I want to have any stalks worth eating.

Second drawing from the side of my second clump is much more refined and will provide me with lots of strong stalks to bake in my crumble:

Neocolours in sketchbook, A4x2.

The ice-cream is in the freezer and the oven is warming in anticipation.

Good things come to those who wait. 

Friday, 1 April 2011

Scratch My Back.

 A number of weeks ago while travelling home from Glasgow on the train I started doodling in my brand new A5 sketchpad. This is one of the pages in which I was considering what it would look like to try to scratch that annoying itch on my back when I could hardly reach it (lower sketch):

Ink on paper, A5.

This was developed a few days ago with a B&W value study first:

Neocolours on paper, A5.

...then a whole series of colour studies trying different colour combinations culminating in this one where I made a fantastic leap of the imagination to use orange and red to show where the irritation was just out of reach of my finger-tips:

Ink and Neocolours washed on paper, A3.

...don't know why it didn't occur to me earlier but there you are - the process has to be gone through and, with perseverance, there it is when it was in fact obvious all along.

And then, just as obvious when it happens, I see that the whole image needs to be turned upside down for the legs finally to take on the same contortions of the arms to express the madness of having an itch that cannot be reached!:

 Charcoal and Neocolour on paper, A2.

I have got no idea how to paint it, but the good news is that my darling wife was able to put me out of my misery with a well-placed scratch after I put new batteries in Thomas the Tank Engine for her :o)

Prior to all this cavorting around the day was started, as usual, with a bit of Subconscious Musing:

Charcoal, ink, acrylics on paper, 59x87cm. 

So, all-in-all a very good day and satisfying too, and no more itchy back. What more could a boy ask for?