Thursday, 29 December 2016


Only two days to go until we are into a brand new year, the consensus seems to be here's hoping it's better than 2016. I could certainly go with that. I'm really not one for making resolutions but I had a flick through a sketchpad this evening and one thing I want to do more this coming year is draw/sketch. Most of the stuff in the pad was pretty grim but I really like this study I attempted of Samson, the Rook who visited my garden for many years until he passed in 2015. It's pretty rough but there's also a softness about it. He was a sweet old guy and was at the stage in his life where he looked a little ragged round the edges. I might even get this one framed up as a keepsake.
Well there is a lovely cup of coffee downstairs with my name on it, and a couple of pieces of shortbread, Night all.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Sad Day

Me being flowergirl at Aunt and Uncles wedding...

Sad news this morning (26th) when the phone rung, normally I let it go to the answer machine to avoid having to get stroppy with nuisance callers. But, that sixth sense that we all seem to develop for family and friends in trouble kicked in and I answered it. My Uncle Joe had been in hospital, I had visited him on Thursday passed and even to my untrained in medicine eye, I knew he wouldn't be coming back to the home he had once shared with my Aunt Jenny. As some of you who follow my blog will know Auntie left us in October 2015 after a short but awful fight with cancer. Cancer of a different kind had ate at Uncle before and since then and cousin Jim was phoning to tell me that early this morning his big heart had stopped. Sad though I am, I'm so glad that his pain is over and he will be at peace hopefully reunited with my Aunt.
He and my Aunt were very good to me and my brother Steven after my Dad died. It was difficult caring for both Mum who had Alzheimer's and Steven who is severely handicapped but they kindly helped lighten the load. Uncle loved helping me in the garden and often took Steven to watch his beloved Knockentiber Amateurs play.
Instead of tears I will remember them both with fun, lots of smiles and much laughter. I will finish with a story that my Dad used to love telling us. When Mum and Dad first got married they lived with my Mum's Aunt Nan who lived in Crosshouse. After a wee while the council offered them a flat in an upstairs, downstairs house in Knockentiber. Being just starting out they didn't have much in the way of furniture so my Gran offered them a wardrobe. Dad and Uncle Joe decided to carry the wardrobe all the way from Gran's in Crosshouse to Knockentiber. Theres rather a steep brae to contend with and when they had got themselves and the wardrobe to the top they needed a rest. In the distance they could see a woman coming so daft idiots that they were they both hid in the wardrobe and waited till this poor soul was passing. They then proceeded to chap on the doors of the wardrobe shouting "Let me out, let me out". When they got out this poor wee woman was running down the hill as fast as her legs would carry her. So, now you know where my madness comes!
Love and miss you forever Uncle xxxx  

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Merry Christmas

Looking at the calendar today I discovered that in just over two weeks we will be into a brand new year. With all the crazy stuff that's going on in the world at the moment it can't come quick enough. Though I guess in all honesty having 2017 on the date won't I expect make the doom and gloom disappear, but we can hope. I spent part of today looking for suitably snowy or festive photographs  to send you all my personal good wishes for Christmas and the New Year. I had actually intended a nice snowy one but then I noticed this wee guy. Next to Santa's red suit you can't get more Christmassy than a wee robin redbreast.
Christmas always seems better as a memory to me now, I have wonderful memories as a child when my Gran and Papa, Aunt and Uncle and cousins would come for Christmas dinner to our house and in the New Year we all converged at Gran and Papa's house in Crosshouse for New Year dinner. Steak pie with tatties and turnip. The steak pie was made up by the Co-op butcher in gran's ashet that  was left with him and picked up on New Year's Eve. All the grown up's sat around the table in the living room and we kids were set up in the kitchen. Good day's.
Now I'm more likely to catch up with the ever growing pile of books and magazines I've been buying and eat food that's too rich for my now sensitive digestive system but Hey Ho it's only twice a!
I hope you and yours have a wonderfully peaceful Christmas and New Year xx

Sunday, 27 November 2016

After a week of heavy frost I woke to a much milder Sunday morning. The first morning I didn't have to put warm water on the the birdbath. Have to say, although cold I much prefer the frosty mornings which almost always brings a bit of sun with it. Today though milder had that damp feeling that sends wee shivers up and down your spine. Much as I wanted to get on with work in the studio I knew that I really had to go out and clear the last of the leaves from the cherry blossom tree. This year for the first I can remember she was the last clinging to her leaves like prized jewels. The frost put paid to them and only a rare few are still clinging on stubbornly. Although the studio beckoned I have to say being in the garden was probably just as productive. Much like when I used to get my best ideas while mucking out the horses, I also get ideas for paintings while working in the garden. Nowadays it's remembering them by the time I get back at the easel that's the problem, old age doesn't come it's self as they say.
Other good news is I have a couple of Rooks back in the garden. One looks a juvenile while the other seems older and less sleek. I really miss my beautiful Samson and hopefully these two will continue to come and visit and will perhaps strike up a mutual trust with me,  as Samson did, well I think it's time to put the kettle on. I do believe there are also some chocolate brownies to nibble, if I can just manage to open the lid without Buddy and Lilly hearing me lol.

Friday, 18 November 2016

"Spring Summer, and Fall fill us with hope; Winter alone reminds us of the human condition"
~ Mignon McLaughlan

Thursday, 17 November 2016

"Snow Gate" Acrylic 8" x 10"

"Snow Gate"
Acrylic 8" x 10"

Have to say one of my favourite thing's is waking on a winter's morning to a fresh fall of snow. Climate change's make those kind of occurrences few and far between now. But, being of a certain age I can remember a time when the fields at least were covered with the white stuff for most of the winter month's. The reference for this painting takes me back to 2010 when we had quite a serious whiteout and for the first time I can remember even the beach at Barassie froze. If you don't believe me I have photographic proof lol. This is the gate at the top of Busbiehill where I kept Rio, Tara and Dougal. It was one of those kind of hill's in this kind of weather where you only got one chance of getting it right in the car. If you changed gear you were doing a less than graceful swan lake all the way back to the bottom and only if you were lucky, not to land in the ditch. Most of the time I just walked it and that year it felt like living in Narnia. Looking at the rain running down the window those days seem a life time away but the beauty in painting means you can bring whatever month you want into the studio. I'm off now for a wee cup of tea and some shortbread. I hope where ever you are, whatever the weather, your enjoying your day.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Been quite a while since I've posted on my Blog, would like to say it's because I've been so busy painting but it's not. Time just seems to have frittered through my fingers, but hopefully I can now get back to a routine of regular posts. Wishing you all well on this Remembrance Day Sunday xx

Monday, 10 October 2016

Glorious morning...

You couldn't have got a more glorious morning than this morning. Sun was shining but there is definately a real nip in the air. The glorious colours are really starting to come out in the trees and the undergrowth, with a smattering of leaves starting to fall. I almost didn't bring my trusty digital sketchbook with me this morning. Once in a while I leave it at home which pleases the dogs, they aren't overly fond of the stopping and starting when something catches my eye. Thought it was quite appropriate that today of all days I should finally manage to get a half decent photo of the Canadian Geese, it being Thanksgiving in Canada. If you click on the the second from bottom photo and look at the top left hand corner you'll just be able to make out the new build that's going on. They are building four houses on the piece of land and when my ticket comes up on the Euro Millions I'll be putting my name on that one nearest. The view will be to die!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Camouflage Cat

The other morning while washing the breakfast dishes a slight movement to my right caught my eye. Instinctively as you do I turned to look, at first I didn't see him/her until he/she turned to face me. The green almond shaped eyes looked straight at me. Cat's are amazing, how on earth it can sit comfortably on a tiny strip of fence I have no idea. I immediately became of no interest as it continued it's look for a slight movement that would give away either a mouse or bird in the shrubs. By the time I had turned to sit the camera back on the table and turned back it was gone, hopefully without one of my wee bird friends.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

"Golden Hues" Acrylic 12" x 12"

"Golden Hues"
Acrylic 12" x 12"

After a pretty frantic morning with a visit to the vet with Lilly I managed to get back to the easel this afternoon and carry on where I left off yesterday. I feel I could work on this one for a week and still feel something isn't right about it. But, I'm guessing that's me at the moment second guessing everything I'm doing. So for the time being I'm just going to paint because for so long I haven't. You can't move forward if your standing still.
Thanks for looking in...

Monday, 26 September 2016

Not one but two works in progress...

Would seem that social media is having a melt down at the moment. Facebook is on a go slow and I had to take two tries at getting my images uploaded. It seems like forever since I've thrown some paint at the easel, but after something of a meltdown last night with facebook I decided today would be it. Boy was it a struggle to get this looking anything like autumn trees but eventually after some swearing, a few self pitying tears and a break to carry on with the other work in progress "Holly's Eye". It all started to come together, well not together maybe but at least it has promise. Fingers crossed I can carry on tomorrow where I left off without to much of a flap.
I am deliberately being slow with "Holly's Eye"and enjoying the whole experiance it feels a little like carving something from stone one slip and it's gone.
Happy to be painting and drawing again...long may it last!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

The garden would be nothing without them...

"Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to shame art." ~ Izaak Walton

Saturday, 17 September 2016

A special moment...

Beautiful Autumn light through the turning trees

Willowherb turning to rust and sending forth it's seeds

Most beautiful Roe Deer neck high in the wheat

Brambles ripening in the Autumn sun


The horses already sporting their jim jams for the cooler nights and early mornings.

Took myself, the dogs and the camera along the country path this morning. It's seems such a long time since we've done this, but, as soon as my foot stepped onto the track leading to the path my shoulders felt lighter than they have for some time. The smells and colours of Autumn seeped through me and the joy of two happy pooches dancing ahead of me was the best spirit lifter ever. I felt welcomed like an old friend, the birds were singing though hiding in the still dense but rapidly changing undergrowth and trees. The willowherb was sending forth it's many seeds on the light breeze like dancing insects. And then, standing on the bridge looking down into the water for the wild ducks that sometimes gather, I looked across the wheat field. There she was the best welcome back ever. Quite some distance away but as I zoomed in as far as I could with my camera, looking back at me the most beautiful roe deer ever. So mesmerized was I, that I almost forgot to press the button. None of the photos are particularly good or in proper focus but they are precious to me. Normally they take flight, but she moved or rather glided through the wheat as I held my breath and then she was gone. A special!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

A little progress

Progress was slow today on Holly,s Eye,  priority had to be given to cutting the garden hedge as it was such a lovely day. Finger's crossed I'll get more done tomorrow...

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Holly's Eye

Bit of a yucky day weather wise here, so did a bit of doodling in the comfort of the studio. Working in pencil from photos I took a few years back. The subject is a lovely wee driving/show pony called Holly. She'll have one of those long double barrelled names for the show ring but at home she's just Holly. As with most animal portraits whether in paint or pencil I start with the eye. Not an awful lot done but I'm looking forward to picking up where I left off tomorrow.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

"Watching and Waiting" Acrylic 6" x 8"

Finished the cat this morning and must say I've enjoyed it from start to finish and I'm really pleased with the end result. I had orginally been calling it The Dozing Cat but when I finished and looked at it I had to rethink the name. The new title Watching and Waiting is a better suit. He is obviously got his eye on the birds that are skipping and dancing around the bird station. Just waiting for that moment when one of them is seperated from the rest and has dropped it's guard. Just a typical cat.
I've added all the work in progress photos so you can see how it developed. I'm off to think about what next will be on the easel. A landscape perhaps autumn is just around the corner and I love autumn colour.
Thanks for looking in and enjoy what's left of the weekend.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Pussycat started...

Well as you can see I've at last made some headway on the cat. I bit the bullet and rubbed out my drawing and replaced it a little further up the board. Thin washes of French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna mapped out the tabby stripes on the cat that have also helped with anatomy. The reference is from photos I took about six years ago of a cat that wandered around my wee village. One morning while I was washing the breakfast dishes I looked up. There it was making use of some stretchers that were lying across the summer seat at the top of the garden. The sun always hits there first in the morning and this smart wee cat was catching himself some rays. Hopefully I'll manage to capture a balance of light and shade on him and the shrubs behind him. Have to say it was an enjoyable way to pass this afternoon.
Thanks for looking in...