Wednesday, 7 October 2015

"It's yer Aunty"....

Been a while since my last post but as I'm sure those who follow regularly will have guessed my Aunt's illness has kept me from writing. Sadly I lost my lovely Aunty Jenny on the early hours of Monday morning (5th October). I'm not sure how I feel at the moment, loss, hurt, pain at the loss of someone close. Relief at the awful pain she suffered uncomplainingly was over and she was at peace. At a loss to find the words of comfort for my Uncle struggling to come to terms with losing the woman he has loved for nearly sixty years.
I'll miss our visits, the laughs we shared about daft silly things that no one else would think was funny. I'll miss her voice, coming home to a  message on the answer machine, "It's yer Aunty, phone me back hen".

Monday, 14 September 2015

25 - wip Jockey

When I got out of bed this morning I was all geared up to paint, then after getting brother organised I took the dogs for a walk. It was a lovely morning sunny but with a definate hint of Autumn in the air. Only one lady with a dog for Lily to have a grumble at... a Lab which just looked her as if she had sprouted horns. He and Buddy shared a sniff and the lady and I commented on how pleasant it was and then we wnet on our way. We took the Knockentiber side of the walk which I call the wooded path. Still lots of fresh green around but the hint now of ochres appearing and feeling that most of the flowers have reached their peak. By the time we got back home my mood had changed, mooched about on Facebook, another name for procrastinating. Lunch, then into the studio with no real idea of what I was going to do. Faffed through images and nothing sang out, paint me. Determined to do something I picked up the sketch pad and made an effort with the jockey drawing I started more than a week ago. Actually got quite lost in it, drawing seems to do that, sends you into a trance like state. Just the sound of the pencil on the pad. I posted on here yesterday about my Aunt but took the post down almost as soon as I put it up. I don't really like bringing my home life into my blog. The animals and the garden yes but not the people stuff. Not sure why might be a Scottish thing we can be a wee bit deep and take things inwards. But I only mention it now because I kind of disappeared last week when we got the news that Aunty had cancer. My head is still trying to get round it all but now as I start to take it all in I can hopefully use my art to get me through!
Thanks as always for looking!            


Monday, 7 September 2015

24 - "Autumn on the Tay, Aberfeldy" Acrylic 6" x 6"

"Autumn on the Tay, Aberfeldy"
Acrylic 6" x 6"

Much as I enjoy doing these little 6 x 6's I think the time has come to go a little bigger. I have some 8 x 8's and 12" x 12"'s sitting in the wings ready to get started on, so not going too on 40 x 40's by the end of the 365 lol. Kinda running behind with the 365 project but, hopefully once the winter month's creep in and the garden is asleep I'll be able to start catching up.
Was thinking about Aberfeldy this morning as a letter arrived the other day with the date's for the Christmas Exhibition ( sorry for mention Christmas in September). Perthshire is pretty spectacular with Autumn colours and this is from photos I took a good few years ago. Autumn colours were just starting to take hold along the Tay river at Aberfeldy I also loved the dark mountain in the distance with the cloud wisping across the top. Hope you like it :)

Thursday, 3 September 2015

23 - Jockey wip continuing and big waves and wind surfers at Barassie..

Another busy day but managed to scrape in some time on my jockey drawing. The more I draw the more I enjoy. I love trying to get the detail in the saddle and saddlecloth over his arm. still a long way to go so will probably get started on something else.
Would have liked to spend more time on it but needed to go to Framework Gallery to pick up four paintings that were being framed. They look amazing as per usual. Was a brighter day today so took some photos. The wind surfers were out as the waves were pretty big. Was difficult to get both the sail and the surfer together that the guy was just a pin. Great to watch sometimes he was about ten feet into the air...superfit!

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

22 - Jockey wip...

Late starting today so picked up my wee sketch book and in a moment of madness started a drawing/sketch of a jockey. Yeah I know he's got his back to me, I wasn't that! It's a big enough challenge trying to get all the wrinkles in the silks while trying to make them shine. Not sure of the outcome or if there will even be one, but I'm having fun :)

September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather,
And autumn’s best of cheer.
~Helen Hunt Jackson

Sunday, 30 August 2015

21 - "Autumn Lamb" Acrylic 6" x 8"

"Autumn Lamb"
Acrylic 6" x 8"

I know I've been calling this a sheep but it's actually a lamb and the first one I've ever painted. Reasonably happy with it, but then lamb/sheep anatomy is a bit out of my expertise. I've enjoyed trying to get the textures in it's fleece and in the rough grass. So I've learnt something and that's a bonus.

Friday, 28 August 2015

20 - sheep in progress

 A little progress with my sheep, which I actually think is an older lamb, doesn't have a wizened old sheep look to it. Putting some of the grasses in now. As I remember the grass had gone to seed and was gold and scraggy, bending in the autumnal sun it sparkled. Trying to capture that feeling without getting too detailed.
Was at Troon yesterday at one of my galleries, The Framework Gallery, not only do they hang my work but they do a wonderful job of framing it. Looking forward to seeing the four I took down when they're framed. Had a walk along the beach and managed to get some photos but on the whole it was a bit dull and overcast. Autumn is slowly creeping in...

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

19 - I'm Baaack...

This 365 day thing is proving a little more difficult to keep organised and up to date than I thought. Fortunately I've been numbering the posts so I'll know when I've actually done 365 blog posts. That feels as confusing as it sounds lol. I'd love to be able to split myself into little compartments, house keeping, shopping, dog walker,garden, carer, artist e.t.c. But I can't, so I'll just have to try my best, you will just have to follow on my That said even in this small space in time I'm starting to feel more like an artist again. It's a grand!

Monday, 24 August 2015

18 - Like a lamb to the slaughter...

Have to say I've kind of lazed about all day, might be an instilled thing to me that Sunday is a day of rest. Around about 10.15 this evening I suddenly realised I hadn't anything to post. Keep calm I said, still time to get something at least started. A small landscape easy peasy, at which point my mind went completely blank. Then I remembered the sheep. I had put it in a folder along with some other images I thought might be interesting to paint. It was round about the same time I got this stupid idea of doing 365 blog posts. Before I even start, I better say I haven't painted a sheep before. If it all goes bad I get a sympathy vote for trying. If I nail it, smiles all round.....

Saturday, 22 August 2015

17 - Unfinished study Kiss n Mix SSH

"Kiss n Mix SSH"
Unfinished study
8" x 5" approx
Calling this one finished, well actually it's an unfinished finished. Sometimes you get to a point when you feel it's done even if it isn't. I know that must sound a bit Irish to a lot of you looking in, but I'm pretty sure all my artist friends out there know exactly what I mean. There might be a round two for the pretty Kiss n Mix further down the road, you will just have to keep popping!
Back to Kilbarchan today to pick up paintings as the exhibition closes, fingers crossed.
Thanks to Ros and her beautiful horses for allowing me to use her images

Friday, 21 August 2015

16 - wip alterations and a lost day...

(Click on picture for larger image)
Yesterday was a lost day, stuff happens and it just has to be accepted. Realised when I looked at this work in progress today it wasn't right so most of today was spent altering here and there and I'm pleased with the outcome. After spending such a long time painting with acrylics I'm feeling a bit like a fish out of water using oils. But I am enjoying them even if does feel as if I've been at it for weeks.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

15 - wip foal study continues slowly

(click on image to enlarge)

Not a lot done today because I got interrupted this morning with the guys coming to clear the guttering. Then off course I had to watch the match race that never was from sunny York. Disappointed of course that the main man Gleneagles had been taken out because of the going. But, as with all good stories the heroine stepped in to save the day. Teeny weeny African Queen held off the challenge of the unbeaten Golden Horn with a very gutsy performance. I did feel a little sorry for Golden Horn and his connections but the thing about horse racing is anything can happen if you dream big and today it paid off, smile!!
( With thanks to Rosalyn Serex )for allowing me to use her photographs)

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

14 - wip Foal Study

Bit of a rush to get something posted today, very much a last minute dash. Quick sketch out of a bonnie foal so as to be ready to make progress tomorrow. Haven't been sitting twindling my thumbs all day. Had to go to Rozelle to pick up paintings from the Showcase exhibition. Was delighted to have sold one. Had a wee relaxing walk round the park (photos below) then back home.
Tomorrow is another day and hopefully a less frazzled one.

Monday, 17 August 2015

13 - "Summer Greens" Acrylic 6" x 6"

"Summer Greens"
Acrylic 6" x 6"
Theres a stream runs through the field at the bottom of Busbiehill leading onto Southook Road. In the winter you can actually see the water but come Summer the bank's are overgrown with nettles, grasses and some wild flowers. This spot has a large hawthorn bush not quite a tree yet but getting there. I like it when it's brimming over with every shade of green. Quite difficult capturing them all.
Nice drive to Kilbarchan this morning. The countryside is positively bursting with foliage but it won't be long before it starts to slowly change pace and colour as the growing season starts to wane.
Thanks for stopping by...

Sunday, 16 August 2015

12 - Buddy, pencil study

"Buddy" a pencil study
5" x 8" approx

Up bright and breezy this morning as I wanted to get the finishing touches on the pencil study of buddy finished. All in all I'm quite happy with it, just wish I could go a bit faster. Perhaps that comes over time and practice. Late breakfast now and then will have to get cracking cutting and priming another batch of boards!

Saturday, 15 August 2015

11 - Exhibition News - Art Off The Square, Kilbarchan 19th -22nd August

"Pinky A Charolais Bull Acrylic 6" x 7" £190-

"Peter II" Acrylic 6" x 6" £180-

"Summer Fields" Acrylic 6" x 6" £180-

"A Soft Sky" Acrylic 6" x 6" £180-
Wrapping up these four paintings today for they're trip to Kilbarchan on Monday morning. They've been selected to take part in this year's Art Off The Square exhibition at the church hall in Kilbarchan's East Church. Well worth a visit if your in the area, they also do teas and cakes (all homemade and delicious).
Have a super weekend :)

Friday, 14 August 2015

10 - "Soft Cloud Over Arran" Acrylic 6" x 6"

"Soft Clod Over Arran"
Acrylic 6" x 6"
Bit of a scrabble to get this one done, not my best effort but everything is a learning curve and tomorrow is an other day....
Postscript to this one...after looking at it for a few days I started to love the loose strokes so it now has a name "Soft Cloud Over Arran"!

Thursday, 13 August 2015

9 - Wip Pom 3

(Click on photo for larger image)
Had hoped to have this wee drawing finished this morning but still scribbling away. I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying the simple pleasure of drawing. It's years since I've spent so much time with a pencil and if I'd have known how well it makes me feel, I'd have done it a long time ago. This project is taking on a whole new role for me...


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

8 - "Grey Day" Acrylic 6" x 6"

"Grey Day"
Acrylic 6" x 6"

Wasn't too sure about this one, but it's starting to grow on me. Rocks are something I'm not overly confident about painting but, to get better at them I've got to keep trying. One of these days I'm going to have a go at people. Now that's something I'll have to grit my teeth!
Thanks for looking...

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

7 - Wip Pom 2

wip pom 2
Had a busy morning doing the mundane stuff, like replenishing the cupboards and fridge with food. Made lunch and then came upstairs with the intention of getting started on a new seascape. Made the mistake of checking emails and having a 'quick' look at facebook. Made a mental note too self not to fall into that trap again. Prised myself away from the forbidden fruit and picked up my sketchbook. I'm very slow at drawing I spend such a lot of time looking at the subject I'm drawing. In painting I tend to just go for it but with drawing it feels like every stroke of the pencil counts. But, it really is very therapeutic and the cares of the world seem to drift off with every stroke....

Monday, 10 August 2015

6 - "Yachts, Portencross" Acrylic 6" x 8"

"Yachts, Portencross"
Acrylic 6" x 8"
Still on the same stretch of coast at Portencross. This time there was the added interest of some yachts. Most likely sailing from Largs Yacht Haven. Really must try to get back down there, it's so much fun watching them sail. Some large and some small, they often race each other. Looks exciting but I'm very much a land lubber.
Thanks for looking in...

Sunday, 9 August 2015

5 - Bombed and then doodled....

wip pencil drawing my wee boy
Well totally bombed out today which made the shoulders droop a bit as it's just day 5. At the fourth wipe out of the painting I was trying to achieve I downed tools and had a wee sulk. But, the object of this project is not about completing a painting, drawing in a day. I started this to encourage me to paint again, to put art back in my heart. To make art every day, to get back to a stage where it's the first thing I'm thinking of when I wake. So watched tv for a bit and then lifted my sketch book and started doodling my favourite wee boy. Not a lot done but better than nothing at!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

4 - "Rough Grass and Rocks, Portencross" Acrylic 6" x 8"

"Rough Grass and Rocks, Portencross"
Acrylic 6" x 8"
What's not to love about Portencross a little corner of rugged coastline, it even has it's own Castle. Add to that rough tussocks of grass, blasted rough by the salt in the air and bleached by the wind in winter and the sun in summer.
Thanks for looking....

Friday, 7 August 2015

3 - "A Soft Sky" Acrylic 6" x 6"

"A Soft Sky"
Acrylic 6" x 6"
I am really lucky in that I still have a green belt surrounding where I live. Even just looking out the window of the  room I call my studio, I can still see green fields. Mind you to the front I can also see signs of the town coming towards us. Not a happy thought. Perhaps I'll have packed up and headed for the hills before that happens.
Thanks for looking...

Thursday, 6 August 2015

2 - "Summer Fields" Acrylic 6" x 6"

"Summer Fields"
Acrylic 6" x 6"
Hasn't been very summery these past few days so I thought I'd conjure up some summer fields to cheer myself up. Turned out possibly a wee bit too chocolate boxy for my liking, but the paint brushes got!
Oh and the sun has just come out, maybe I should do more summery vistas :)

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

1 - "Snow Sky" pencil drawing 5" x 8" approx.

"Snow Sky" in the paddock before winning the Hardwicke Stakes at Ascot
Pencil drawing  approx. 5" x 8"
Well the big day has arrived and it seemed only right and proper that my first piece of  artwork should be a horse, and in pencil. As a youngster my teachers despaired of me for drawing horses on the covers of all my school books. And, my Mum wasn't overjoyed about the horses that galloped along the wall in the hall either. I wonder if prehistoric men had the same critics :)
I must give thanks to my facebook friend and lover of fine thoroughbreds, Michael Smithson, for allowing me to use his wonderful photos of the handsome Snow Sky to launch my 365 project. I have to say I had forgotten how labour instensive a drawing could be or perhaps I'm just slow.
Thanks for taking the time to look, I'll be back tomorrow...

Sunday, 2 August 2015

For those who don't know....

One from the archives "Baby Face"- pencil - sold

For those who don't already know I'll be starting a wee project on my blog on Wednesday 5th. I feel I really need to get back to grips with my art, it has taken a backseat to all the other stuff in my life for too long. I haven't reached the stage of throwing in the towel but it's come close. Encouraged by post I read on Kathrine Tyrrell's blog Making a Mark I've decided to try something along the same lines of artist Bryan Eccleshall. In 2013 he completed 365 drawings and wrote a post giving advice on how to do it. So this coming Wednesday I'll start my own 365 challenge. My challenge is to post new art on my blog every day for the next 365 days. Could be a drawing, a painting, a rough sketch or maybe a teaser of something larger I'm working on in the studio. I'm more excited than I have been in a long time and eager to get started. Look back in on Wednesday evening and don't be afraid to give your comment on what you think of day one.
Thanks for looking...

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!