Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A Week to go till the start of the 365 project...

New Daler Rowney sketch books arrived yesterday in super fast time from Jackson's Art Supplies. One hundred and fifty pristine white pages to help send fear and doubt into the heart of the artist. Just what is it about a blank white page, canvas or board that can be so daunting, smile! Busy cutting and priming various sizes of mdf and searching through reference photos for subjects to paint or draw. In other words getting as much done that can be done before the 5th August. Feeling more than a little nervous, with a smattering of self doubt but, also looking forward to just pushing painting around, and drawing. I just want to regain the joy of art in my heart again.....ok off now to do another coat of gesso!!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Mending a broken art heart....."Sleepy" - pencil drawing

"Sleepy" - Pencil drawing
Well finally finished "Sleepy" this morning (started last Saturday) which probably doesn't bode too well with the new project I'm about to announce. Couple of days ago while scrolling through facebook I noticed a post on Katherine Tyrrell's Making a Mark page. She shared a link to a British artist called Bryan Eccleshall who had been one of the selected artists to exhibit in this years Jerwood Drawing Prize. But, she also drew attention to a project that Bryan completed in 2013. His 365 project in which he shared a drawing a day for the whole year. Reading the article got me thinking that this could be the answer to my prayers. Maybe that's a bit dramatic but, as someone whose art heart is broken this could be just what I need to get me on the road to mending it. In fact it's been buzzing around my head since I read the piece. So with a wee bit trepidation I'm already planning my own project, but, a wee bit different from Bryan's. My object will be to post art on my blog for the 365 days, might be a drawing, a painting or even just a rough sketch. But for 365 days there will be art on my blog, and hopefully by the end my art heart will be mended. Bryan suggests starting on the first of January logical, but I can't wait that long. He also suggests to plan as much ahead as possible so I've already got an order sent off to Jackson's for sketch pads, pencils, putty rubbers, paint e.t.c., e.t.c. I've got MDF at the ready to be cut into size and gessoed and I've got a date picked to start. My project 365 mend an art heart kicks off on August 5th 2015. I know, your wondering why August 5th, well the 2016 Rio Olympics start on August 5th and I think this is going to be a bit of an olympic effort from me to pull this!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Beginnings of a doodle...Sleepy

After running around yesterday delivering paintings, it was just nice to sit down this morning with a pencil and sketch book. I had forgot how relaxing it could be until doing the doodle the other day of Samson the old rook. So, this morning I thought I'd go back to my artistic roots, drawing a horse. Took photos of this lovely mare a few years back when she and her pal were holidaying at a nearby farm. It was a lovely sunny day (we do occassionally get them in Scotland) and she and her buddy were chilling out having a snooze. Love the relaxed feel of her ears and the drowsy eye. Racing stopped play here, unlike further North, where a wee bit wind has stopped a bunch of safties from playing golf. There was me thinking that was what the challenge of a Links course was all about!
Might get back to this later this evening, but in the meantime have a great weekend, smile!

Friday, 17 July 2015

"Alone with myself
The trees bend to caress me
The shade hugs my heart."
~Candy Polgar

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Unfortunately I don't know the title for this one by Munnings but heck who needs words. I could stare at it for the rest of my life and never need to speak....

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

"On The Bend" Acrylic 8" x 8"

"On The Bend"
Acrylic 8" x 8"
Felt a wee bit rusty starting this one today and it took me a couple of tries before I was happy with it. But it feels really good to have a painting done and dusted off the easel. Not sure where it will be heading but I've got too venues in mind, the Showcase exhibition at the Maclaurin or Art Off the Square at Kilbarchan.
Just a hop, skip and jump from the house this is a wee back road up over Busbiehill and into the village of Springside. It's a sharp bend onto a straight piece of road, with a small wood on the left. There used to be around half a dozen trees spread out down the road on the right but old age has seen most of them off. Old age is an awful thing ;)

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Happy painting...

(Wee doodle of Samson the Rook that visits the garden every day....first bird art I've ever done!)
Sat for ages looking at this blank page on my blog wondering how to start it. It seems ages since I wrote a blog. Oh I know I've posted photos and quotes but there has been precious little art, and let's face it, that's actually what it says on the tin. Can't say I've actually been sitting twiddling my thumbs either. Trying to keep the house tidy, tending the garden and caring for my brother whose health has deteriorated markedly in the last few months. All of these not only eat into your time but they also affect your own energy levels and personality. In a nutshell, I feel as though I've been run over by a bulldozer. How to make it better, honestly, I don't know? The only thing I can think off is to go back to the beginning. Back to when I left my job at BMK/Stoddards design and became a full time artist. Oh I know the world has changed very much since then but I need to find that freedom again. That excitement of starting the day, about to start or finish the best peice of art you've ever created. That means I won't be blogging every day. And, social media which can at times be valuable for publicity, will have to take a bit of a back seat (I will share posts from here though).
So, here's to happy painting....

Sunday, 5 July 2015

"The earth had donned her mantle of brightess green and shed her richest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of the year, all things were glad and flourishing" ~ Charles Dickens

Friday, 3 July 2015

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

"When the superficial wearies me, it wearies me so much that I need an abyss in order to rest. "~Antonio Porchia

Monday, 22 June 2015


"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time." ~John Lubbock

Sunday, 14 June 2015

The Bairns...

Was a wee bit cooler today, much welcomed by the shorter and hairier members of the family. We were in the garden with the camera and having fun. Hope your's was a fun filled Sunday wherever you are..

Friday, 12 June 2015

Framework Gallery 25 years and counting...

Tomorrow (Saturday 13th June) the Framework Gallery in Troon will be starting a special exhibition. This year the gallery enjoys it's 25th birthday and they asked 25 artists to submit work work to celebrate. Anyone who can make it along tomorrow will be made most welcome. The exhibition runs for a few weeks so if you can't manage tomorrow you will still have time to catch it.
The work images above are the paintings I have submitted from the top "A Soft Arran", "Blue Moon Rising", "Evening Sail past Arran" and "Windswept Grasses, Troon".
Have a great weekend and thanks for looking in...

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Rozelle Park, the Pond

    Was down at my accountant's in Ayr this morning and then dropped into Rozelle Park, mainly to have a quick look at the MacArt Exhibition. Beautiful day and I took my brother and dogs for a walk around the Pond...just lovely!
    I didn't have time to look properly at the exhibition but was very impressed with what I saw. This is just the third day and the sales have been very good (over £20,000). Nice to see the market is picking up, but that said, there are a lot of 'weel kent' Scottish artists taking part and I kinda of felt a bit like one of those ducks out of water....

Monday, 8 June 2015

The hooves of horses...

Much missed Tara

It was a good weekend, what with two days of wonderful racing from Epsom. A new Oaks heroine in the shape of Qualify and on Saturdays Derby a promise in the months to come that Golden Horn could be a 'special one'. Then far across the sea in New York the ground rumbled to the beat of a great one. A hero swept aside all contenders. In the years to come those who were there will remember with a smile (and indeed many who were there in spirit) American Pharoah winner of Americas 12th Triple crown. For the first time in God knows how long my rather dented spirit was lifted. Horses leave such a big space in your life...

The hooves of horses!
Oh! witching and sweet
Is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet;
No whisper of lover, no trilling of bird,
Can stir me as much as hooves of horses
Have stirred.
~Will H. Ogilvie

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Macart Exhibition, Maclaurin Art Galleries 7th June - 19th July

"Muddy Tracks"
Acrylic 24" x 24"

"Golden Boy"
Oil 8" x 8"

The MacArt Exhibition previewed today at the Maclaurin Galleries in Rozelle Park Ayr. I'm delighted to say that two of my paintings "Muddy Tracks" and "Golden Boy" are part of the exhibition. The exhibition runs from 7th June until the 19th July so if you find yourself in Ayr, pop in for a wee nosey. They also have a lovely tearoom which sells coffee, tea and home made goodies.
Not one for crowds of people I didn't manage the preview myself. I was otherwise engaged in front of the tele watching this lovely fella Golden Horn win this years Investec Derby at Epsom. The gorgeous photo was taken by my lucky facebook  friend David Cormack who gets to rub shoulders with the great!

Golden Horn winner of the 2015 Investec Derby
copyright David Cormack

50-1 winner of the Oaks...

Photo Bill Selwyn

Quiet and enjoyable afternoon spent watching the racing from Epsom. Congratulation to team O'Brien and connections of Qualify for a surprise win to the Investec Oaks. There seems to be no end to the man's talent as he even bred the winner. Looking forward to tomorrow's Derby which looks a pretty open race this year. Still had my artist hat on while watching, just can't help but see lots of paintings of horses in the paddock or  milling at the start...

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Need to do better...

Not a particularly good effort this afternoon. Normally when things aren't going too well, my fail safe thing is to do a horse. Made a few errors with this, so that didn't bode to well at the start. First should have centred it better when I sketched it, and secondly should have worked in oils. The linen was primed for oils and the acrylics I was using didn't sit on it well. I guess I should be happy that I got something done at all, but, that's not how I tick. I think somewhere along the road something has changed and painting has become more of a chore than a passion. Now I just have to find a way to turn that back around!
(Thanks to Rosalyn Serex of Solaris Sport Horses for allowing me to use her photos)

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Study of Galileo - Hubert de Watrigant

Study of Galileo - Hubert de Watrigant
A beautiful eye study of  the Coolmore stallion and winner of the 2001 Epsom and Irish Derby's Galileo. As you will know by now eye's are a subject that I love doing. Once the eye is there in a portrait everything else just seems to fall into place and the character of whoever you're painting shines through. This one is by the French master Hubert de Watrigant.
I'm almost frightened to say but it looks a little bit more summery (is that a word) today. Well we have some sunshine and in this neck of the woods that goes a long way to being Summer. In fact as I sit typing this I can here the humming of my neighbours lawnmower. Cut your grass when the sun shines has almost the same importance of making hay when the sunshines in our changeable climate.
Thanks for popping by, I hope your enjoying the paintings I've been sharing :)

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

"Summer Chantilly" - David Trundley

"Summer, Chantilly"
David Trundley
A lovely scene of horses coming and going on the gallops at Chantilly by David Trundley. I first came across David Trundley's work through the yearly book Travelling the Turf (sadly no longer published) which featured hotels and places of interest in and around the UK and Irelands racetracks. The book was also filled with images of racing paintings by numerous equine artists ( I even managed to get in one or two copies). David has a lovely loose style and captures the light very well in his work. Love the rays of light hitting the main string of horses in this one.

Monday, 1 June 2015

A bit under par...

"The Yellow Jockey"
Sir Alfred Munnings

Have been feeling a bit under par and stressed for quite a while now, then this evening I took a wee dizzy turn (yeah I know been dizzy for a while). I guess my body is telling me to take notice and slow down a bit. But, and there's always a but this is Derby week and I had hoped to do some horsey doodles that I could share. That now isn't going to happen but instead I'll share something horsey from my scrapbook. For those new to 'my scrapbook', for years I've cut out photos from magazines e.t.c. of art work I've admired and kept them in a scrapbook. On days when I'm uninspired the book comes out and it helps jog my memory back to why I attempted to create art in the first place. Anyone who knows me won't be surprised to find the first one is a Munnings the man was a genius.
Thanks as always for looking in...

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Down memory lane with facebook...

These appeared on my facebook profile this morning as a down memory lane thing that fb has started. I shared them with my facebook friends on this day in 2013. I had written on the post "Been a long time coming but suddenly everything is green". Well I have to say it's been pretty green for some time now but if I were writing it today it would be "can we have some heat please". Tomorrow is the first day of Summer and it's freezing and according to the weather man it's not going to get much better with rain and wind forecast....cheer me up why don't you!
Stay warm and dry wherever you are and look back soon, new paintings in the works...