Friday, 22 February 2013

Water on the Brain

I can still hear the water running close beside me as I doze in the afternoon sun.

I dream of the water rising at it's source, soaking out of the peaty hills and gathering together to form small rivulets and conjoining together to make larger streams, then busy tumbling burns on their way to rivers like this, and onward, gathering like-minded fellows, to the Avon, to the Clyde, to the sea, to the oceans of the world:

"Glengarvel Water", Acrylics on canvas, 50x100cm.

Where the moisture is sucked out of the mighty floods and condensed into thunderous clouds that rush inland and burst again over the hills, and so the cycle repeats itself continously, endlessly, round and round, and round....

No wonder I fell asleep!

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Me and the Gang

I know truly that painting is a lonely occupation and that unless you are partaking in a joint collaboration with one, or more artists, you is most definitely on yer own.

Or unless you have friends to keep you company in the long hours between sunrise and sunset (or vice-versa whenever you do your painting) to encourage and support you.

Here are some of mine from Subconscious that popped in to say hello during yesterday's morning Musings [sounds a bit like morning prayers, or meditation, which in a strange way it is]:

"20 February 2013", mixed media on sugar-paper, 59x86cm.

Thankfully these pals of mine are not real in a real, material sort of way, unlike my virtual friends on the internet who I believe (against all rationality) to be real people, otherwise we would all be tripping over one another in the narrow confines of my padded cell, studio.

What fun we had that morning with everyone listening to my hypotheses on Life and laughing at all my jokes.

Happy days.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Sun Shines on the Righteous

What a fantastic yesterday - bright sunshine, if a little hazy, and a bit cool around the nether regions, (just as well I had my long-johns on!), out tramping the hills and glens and finding secret waterways to sit myself down besides and draw:
Glengavel Water, mixed media in sketchbook, 18x2x25cm.

Sitting on my little fold-away chair in the sun under the branches of a straggly tree the running water was sending me to sleep like  some old cat content to simply be alive.

But that's not why I was out here! I was here to draw, and half-a-mile down the road I spotted this huge buzzard hovering over the hillside:

"Cairnsaigh Hill", charcoal on paper, 30x40cm.

And a mile further on this big lump o' a hill sticking out of the otherwise flat landscape:

"Loudon Hill from the South", charcoal on paper, 30x40cm.

This great rock, with scrubby trees growing out from it's sides like some sort of garnish on a great plum pudding:

"Loudon Hill from the West", charcoal on paper, 30x40cm.

Just enough time to make these charcoal sketches then off home again as the sun dipped towards the horizon.

A happy days work methinks!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Soft Fruit

I bought these cherries, raspberries and brambles as a tasty treat for the birds to help them through this cold winter, and the oranges as a small helping of vitimin C for myself but, apart from the cherries, they were largley shunned  by our ungrateful local egg-laying avians!

"Soft Fruit", acrylics on paper, 43x59cm.

The exception, however, was this one hen blackbird which devoured all of the cherries to itself.
Now, instead of buying out-of-date cherry punnets at 29p I am having to fork out in-date punnets at £2 a throw.
But I do know she appreciates it and that makes me happy!

Friday, 15 February 2013


A few days ago I started this Musing with charcoal and acrylic paint when about half-way through the wheels came off!
Well, not literally speaking, of course, but figuratively - one side was going swimmingly well but the other side was descending into a quagmire of confusion. Can one person's mind be like that? All clarity, sweetness and light on the right and utter tripe on the left?

Even though I consider these Musings be be whatever they turn out to be I still have the desire to "make something of it" satisfy my need for compositional structure. I ended that session by blocking out the entire left-hand side with a very tasteful grey sludge and left it alone in the dark to sort itself out.

A few days later when I got back into the studio there it was still waiting for me, accusingly, on the easel. What to do?
Take it down and start again afresh or...a wee still voice of intuition was whispering in my right ear "c'mon David, all is not lost, there is still some work to be done here, don't give up, what you have is one side partially resolved and the other a mid-tone blank waiting for inspired musing!

And it comes in the form of the blackest black I can muster, a few deft strokes and what was unsatisfactory before is now just as it should be:

Subconscious Musing: "12 February 2013". Mixed media on sugar paper, 59x86cm.

Hurrah...I can now move on to a happy days painting :o)

Thursday, 14 February 2013

My Sunny Valentine

"Nella sua giardino", acrylics on paper, 59x43cm.
My funny valentine
Sweet comic valentine
You make me smile with my heart
Your looks are laughable
Yet you're my favourite work of art

Is your figure less than greek
Is your mouth a little weak
When you open it to speak
Are you smart?

But dont change a hair for me
Not if you care for me
Stay little valentine stay
Each day is valentines day.

[Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, 1937]

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


Having a bit of fun wi' Harry yesterday playing with this Etch-a-Sketch-type freeby from a comic:

"Portrait of Pappa"

Sad to see the passing of André Cassagnes who gave us all such playtime fun with his 'Etch-a-Sketch' drawing tablet.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Going Out, Staying In

All dressed up and nowhere to go!

Not such a nice day today and feeling a bit wabbit from yesterday's exertions walking the length of Troon beach. It was so nice with the sun shining and inspired by Lisa's Seaside Studios blog a walk along the strand was just what Doctor David ordered. But today we both needed to conserve our energy before Hurricane Harry comes to visit on Monday. So it was a day for staying in and doing a bit of Life Drawing from a real live drop dead gorgeous model:

"Jacqueline #1", charcoal on paper, 59x43cm.

"Jacqueline #2", charcoal on paper, 59x43cm.

"Jacqueline #3", charcoal on paper, 59x43cm.

For number #1 J was up for it and patiently held the pose for a good fifteen minutes. Number #2 she needed a rest (and another cup of coffee!). But for number #3 she was feeling weary so we hardly spent any time on it  - about five minutes. It will be enough for me to use for future painting studies.

Which is what we went on to do in the afternoon. But I'll keep that for next time.

Hope y'all had as good a weekend and are raring to go for another week's artmaking.

Buona fortuna!

Saturday, 2 February 2013


Winter in Scotland. Summer in my head!

Ain't it just great to be an artist that can let the mind roam around whither and nither as it pleases?
And then turn those daydreams into images of remembrance of warmer days?

Today the sunshine outside (and near tropical temperatures inside [is 18.5degC too high for this time of year?]) brightens up my day that has just begun and flying thoughts of holidays in Majorca spring to mind - taking the bus from Puerta Pollensa to Cala San Vicente, lunch at Hotel Bis (tuna salad and white wine) overlooking the cove below with sunbathers on the sand and swimmers in the sea, and strolls around the headland to Cala Molins, and in the passing, a cactus growing apparently from out of the rock:

"Cactus", acrylics on paper, 43x50cm.

Cala Molins with it's purple pine treetrunks on an orange sloping hillside and bright blue sky between:

"Cala Molins", pencil and Neocolour in sketchpad, A4.

Aperitif under a bamboo shade, olives with herbs, and the afternoon is gone. Time to get the bus home and dinner again under the stars.

Ach, there's nuthin' else for it - I'll just have a curry and watch the telly till summer returns again!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Mr Fox Bought the Farm

On one of my frequent walks along the farmland roads around Auldhouse, qui vicino East Kilbride, I came upon this perfect but dead specimen of Mr Reynard Fox:

"Mr Fox Bought The Farm", acrylics on paper, 43x59cm.

He was lying on a verge of dead grasses partially hidden from view and my guess is that he had been struck by a passing car. There was no sign of blood and apart from the slighly awkward turn of the neck looked as though he was asleep. When I looked in closely I was ready to run a mile if he was actually still alive.
But alas, no - dead as a doornail, and he wasn't resting. He had "kicked the bucket, shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!". He was a dead fox.

Arrivederci Reynard!