Friday, 30 December 2011

Festive painting, running and swimming.

I've been keeping busy during the holidays with a mixture of festive running, swimming in the sea and in the pool and sketching and painting, indoors and outdoors.
On Christmas eve, Tom and Phillipa Harley organised a festive run at Pencaitland. About twenty people including a couple of Santa's and lots of tinsel took part in a relay with a Christmas cracker as a baton. It was all followed up with some of Phillipa's delicious baking.
On Boxing day, I went along to North Berwick and joined up with Saartje for a swim in the sea next to the harbour. Luckily the air temperature was unseasonably mild. The swim was great, even though we were both in cossy's. The secret is to keep your head warm... no diving under the water. I took Harvey along with me and Saartje had a brown lab called  Haggis. We left the dogs playing on the beach, only to find that they came in after us. Harvey had some sense and turned back after a short while but Haggis swam around the buoys with us. We were in for about 10 minutes. When we got out, we ran up the beach... a great way of warming up. Later on I posted the work I have been doing on a portrait of Lia. I had taken a few photos of the painting process and posted them too, this is something I hadn't done before and I found it really useful, it's something I will do more of.
The next day, Harvey and I met up with Richard and his dog Sevy, a Rhodesian ridge back and went for a run from Yellowcraigs to North Berwick and back. Sevy, being a big dog lopes along with Richard and exudes a calm feeling of being in the present moment. Harvey, ran as he usually does, criss crossing the beach and occasionally disappearing over the dunes... every dog on the route is given a quick sniff around it's private areas.
On 28 December, I went along to the Loch Centre and worked on my swimming technique. I took the attitude to quantity rather than quality and did a series of sets which I was surprised to add up to 2300 metres. Since then I have come across an on line coaching set-up called Endurance Nation US. They give some great advice on their swimming clinic. I have downloaded their ebook, so New Year's resolution number 1 is to use it to improve my snaky technique and become a streamlined swim swimmer.
Yesterday, I went back to Hedderwick Hill Stables to do a sketch of a conically shaped building that I spotted on the Dunbar running club's festive run. It's  a great place for dogs and a great place to do some sketching. Someone told me that this building was used to with horses walking around in circles to grind flour.... not true. I knocked on the door of a local cottage to ask about it. It's a fridge, which used to store cattle carcasses, the inside is made of slates which  keeps it  cold in the summer. My plan is to turn this sketch into a largish water colour painting, if I can  work out how to make the reddish sandstone colour which the building is made of.

When I finished, I went along to Innerwick and had a run through the fields and along to Oldhamstocks... Stuart Hay country, got back just before dark.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Painting Lia's Portrait

This painting is based on a photo of Lia taken at a wedding about four years ago. It shows the smiley character of my granddaughter who looks beautiful in her party dress. I just love the sense of fun that exudes from her happy smiling face.
I planned to paint this picture over a year ago, so I have had plenty of time to think about it.
I decided to use water colour paints but opted to use smooth paper rather than water colour paper. I drew the outline of picture and used masking fluid on the high visibility white areas in the eyes, lips  and teeth.
Next, I worked  on the background. I used Prussian blue on the bottom left and allowed yellow ochre to mix with the top section in a wet on wet pattern. I used cadmium orange on the top right and a green made of Prussian blue and yellow ochre on the bottom left. I added a couple of background details from the photo and added a pale pink wash to Lia's face neck and arms.

Then I worked on the tone of the skin with additional brush stokes in the darker areas. I used a small round brush and a rigger brush for the hair. The eyes were coloured with Prussian blue and the centre with indigo blue.
I felt that the portrait could be improved by catching more of Lia's essential joy. I decided to paint the portrait again, but this time I used water colour paper and more masking fluid, to depict Lia's fine hair. I decided to make the background more dramatic and leave out the details from the photo. I allowed more wet in wet mixture  of the background colours and used salt on the left side to produce the starburst effect.
One of the  wonderful characteristics of water colour is that each time you paint the same subject you get a different picture. You have to learn to live with the fact that you are not completely in control of the pigments. This is the final picture, incorporating the changes I made.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Darren Woodhead's exhibition at Waterston House

Yesterday I took some time off Christmas shopping to visit Waterston House, the headquarters of the Scottish Ornithologists' Club. This very attractive building is perched on the edge of Aberlady Bay, in  a perfect position to see the water birds that live there and in particular, the comings and goings of the geese.
What drew me there is an exhibition of Darren Woodhead's watercolour paintings which are on display until 25 January. Darren paints all his pieces outdoors, even in the worst of Scotlands weather. He has a keen eye for wildlife and his exhibition of East Lothian's  wild birds in their natural habitat is first class. Darren wanders all over East Lothian accompanied by his dog  paints wonderful landscapes with the bird life a natural part of them. The paintings are often large with intimate depictions of the birds. They feel close by and fully alive. Two books of paintings and descriptions of the places they were painted called 'Up  river - song of the Esk' and 'From Dawn to Dusk'  are available to look at or buy.

This is an excellent exhibition of Scottish wildlife, water colour painting shown is a pleasing setting... get along and see it if you can.

One of the many paintings at the exhibition

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

In the deep mid-winter

Star date 21 December 2011 and the shortest day of the year. From now on the days will slowly, oh so slowly become lighter!! In the mean time I will keep on with my routine which has been evolving over the last few weeks. The main point is that the best light of the day is often around midday till about 2.45 after which it starts to fade. So the things I like to do outside have to be organised to make best use of this time. Top of my list of things to do are painting, running and taking Harvey for a walk.  A bonus at this time of year is that very few people go out into the cold to visit the beautiful beaches and hills around East Lothian. Sunday morning was an exception... Harvey and I went for a run on Tyninghame beach and bumped into two people I know who were also running but not with each other. Still I did get a nice photo of the sun rise on the way there.

I have to say that my routine isn't strict. I quite like torch light runs. Monday night was still and cold and perfect for runnig. I ran along by the River Tyne and up past Seggarsdean farm... not a person in sight for that one

. I will also be running around Haddington tonight in the Festive 5 km handicap race. It all has to be done and dusted by 7.45 so that we can go along to the Tyneside for a Christmas meal and a bit of yo ho ho.

Monday, 19 December 2011

New Laptop

The motherboard of my previous lap top took early retirement. There wasn't any way to fix her, so here I am with a shiny new lap top. The design has moved on and I have to admit that in comparison to the old square screen, I prefer this new rectangular screen. The in-built camera is a good development... I don't have to go searching for the old web cam when I want to use Skype. However, a new piece of equipment can be tricky, for instance I'm have a few problems with the link to my wi fi printer and scanner. I find that when I try to sort these things out, instead of taking the anticipated five minutes, I end up in a maze of downloads and related complications which gobble up the time. This stops me doing the things  I really want to do... running, swimming, painting etc

Just to make life a bit more complicated, I have invested in Web Plus x4, with the intention of creating one or more web sites. I'm hoping this will give me a platform  to share information about Shiatsu treatments and eventually to bring together my artwork.  In the mean time, I am trying to get my head around the Web Plus x4 User Guide.

Not so long ago, I went along to the National Gallery for an easel drawing session mentioned in a previous blog on:;postID=9157481213261766527
Before I used the easel, I did a couple of quick sketches of the Japanese model, sitting on the floor and  using a board.

I'm intending to go back to the easel drawing sessions in January, It's a great opportunity to do some sketching in no less a place than the National Gallery!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Walking the dog

On my recent walks with Harvey, I have been taking the camera along.

Big Moon over Haddington

And Bass Rock

Came across this amazing building on the Dunbar festive run last Sunday. Apparently it used to have horses walking around in it to turn the grinding wheel. Horses were used because the wind to turn windmills in Scotland is inconsistent... sounds familiar!
 This will make a great water colour painting.

Harvey taking in the view

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

An Inspirational Book about Van Gogh

Van Gogh was a creative genius and a complex human being. 'The Life and Works of VAN GOGH' by Michael Howard is a wonderful book which describes his life and art by putting his paintings into the context of his life. We find out where he was living and how he was creating his art through reference to the large number of letters he wrote to his brother Theo. There are 280 pictures of his paintings included. They show the  influences of the artists who inspired him, including Rembrandt, Gauguin and Millet. Van Gogh's development as an artist from his early tonal pieces in Holland, through the influence of Impressionism and Pointillism and culminating in his rich  and vivid expressive paintings at the end of his life are described along side his development as a human being. In his early life he followed his father's footsteps into religion. He became a successful art seller and had disastrous relationships with women. He exposed himself to many artistic influences in Britain, France and Holland and gradually became subject to mental health problems which led to him being hospitalised and eventually committing suicide. This book gives a really good feel of Van Gogh, the man and artist.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Another masterpiece!

The 'Klivera Shelter,' shown in the last blog isn't the only unusal building created by Venerable Thitadhammo. If anything the building he is working on currnently is even more fascinating. Situated at the end of the long log store is a deceptive gate which looks like a part of the log pile.

 It takes you through to the wee garden and a false front door.

The building rests solidly on log stilts. There are leaded windows and an interesting turret with a green pointed steeple which has stairs to lead you to a balcony. The chimmney is hidden inside another turret. The whole structure is clothed in a mystery of trees and shrubs.

This is my quick attempt at a sketch of the front of the building.

Although the outside of the building is amazing, it does not prepare you for the interior. Every wooden fitment is wonderfully crafted and unique. Each moving part makes a whoosh noise, they are so precisely made. There are more beautiful stained glass windows with an beautiful desk set in front of a clear window. Once again it is like being transported into the world of Tolkein... you expect Gandalf and a hobbit to walk in through the door.
It doesn't cost much to creat a masterpiec. All the materials have been collected or bargained for. To date the building has cost 10p.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Now that's a shelter!

On my last day at Chithurst monastery I had some time to explore the grounds. Not very far from the main building, tucked away in a corner and camoflaged with bushes is a shelter with a difference. First impressions would suggest a run down or derilict building... as below.

That is not the case at all. When you take a peek behind the bushes you find a building that looks a bit down at heel but it has an interesting rune on the door.  Just enough to make you want to take a peek inside.

This is the 'Kilvera Shelter, is a most supberly worked little building. The place is a minor masterpiece with wonderfully worked wood fittings and stained glass windows. 

There is a seat that converts into a bed and a wood burning stove in the corner to keep you cosy.

In the corner above the stove are a couple of poetry books and a novel. This amazing little shelter was made by Venerable Thitadhammo who lives above a workshop, nearby.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

St. Mary's in West Sussex and East Lothian

Chichester gave me my first impression of West Sussex. The town centre is old and attractive, comprising of a lot of traditional market town architecture. I thought that this was a nice feature.

There is an inspiring Cathedral dating back many centuries. This photo is taken from the nearby gardens.

Chithurst monastery is two bus rides and about 20 miles away via Midhurst, It is a lovely rural area with heathland, forests and single track roads. The area has an abundance of ancient cottages and churches. St. Mary's is down the road from Chithurst monastery and is a fine example of a Norman Church built around 1080.

I was inspired to do a sketch painting of this church but it was a bit awkward because I had to do it crouching on my haunches.

Afterwards I remembered that this is the second time I have painted a church called St. Mary. The other one is in Haddington, East Lothian and brought me first prize in the East Linton exhibition 2010. Here is the link

Friday, 2 December 2011

Living and working in the Forest

Spending two weeks in the open air surrounded by trees gets you thinking. What must it have been like to live there all the time like a lot of our predecesors did, not so many generations ago. Life must have been a lot simpler and more in harmony with nature. There are still forests that we can visit, but living, working and sleeping in the forest is something else. For one thing, there is a lot of food growing and living there. The  number and variety of mushrooms growing is amazing and there are a whole lot of nuts and root veggies to eat. When the crash comes, the forest is the place to head for. The air is very good, I would recommend anyone suffering from asthma to go and sample it for a few days. People knew about the things that live and grow in the forest and being clever types developed skills to harvest the good things without destroying them. Coppicing Birch and Hazel are a couple of ways this was done.
I did a sketch of a neat little way of using woodcraft to store the sweet chestnut logs which I think is a good example of 'bodging' - working with the raw materials in the forest.

Another thing I recommend is running along woodland tracks... wonderful.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

From South to North

Haven't been around blog space for a while due to my trip to Chirthurst monastery, West Sussex. I volunteered to work in the forest for a couple of weeks in what turned out to be glorious weather. Not having many skills in the forest management department, my job was to haul logs of sweet chestnut and neatly pile them in rows. This was hard work but it was made easier with a handy log grabber tool. Over the course of the two weeks I learned the names of quite a few trees and got to grips with brush cutting, heathland promotion and tree planting. The forest is being returned to it's original state with the replanting of oak, ash, hawthorn, blackthorn and beech. This is an ongoing process, but has already produced some good results. There are a quite a number of badgers, deer and owls around!
While I was staying in the monastery, I joined in with the routine, which involved a 4 am wake up gong and lots of meditation. Together with all the sunshine and fresh air, it was quite an experience.
At the week ends I got in some running through the woods and managed a few sketch paintings.

This is a kuti called Brahma Vihara, I stayed in for five nights, just me the badgers and the owls

A view of the grounds below Chithurst Monastery

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Torch running around Haddington

Good news on the running front. I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but I went for a run with the club last night and the signs of recovering achillies tendinitis are encouraging. We decided to go out on a headlight run of about four miles through the Lennoxlove Estate. I didn't expect to stay with the fast guys very long and I was right before we got to Burn's Well they were out of torch range. I was anticipating a solo run the rest of the way when I spotted a light ahead and it turned out to be Frank, who decided to wait for me. When we got to the turn into Lennoxlove he said
"Let's carry on to Begbie."
"Okay," I said
As we approached the corner at Begbie farm house, Frank said
"Let's go to Samuelston."
"Okay," I said with a slightly more strained voice
When we reached the cross-roads above Samuelston, he said,
"How about going on to the old A1, it's safer in the dark'"
"Okay," I said and I'm glad I did because as the ran progressed I felt stronger and ended up having a really good run. We ran about 9 miles and that's the longest run on the road that I've done this year!

The last two weeks I have been doing a regular stretching routine for the achillies and hopefully it is  paying off... time will tell!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Anyone for... Chess?

'Haven't played for years,' is the reply most people give me when I have try to pin them down to a game of chess, it was true for me too, until this year. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Although my job at East Lothian Council involved planning services, when it comes to my own life, quite often the big things tend to 'just happen' rather than having a long run in on the 'Planning Cycle.' It's true that I planned to retire from work and take a trip to New Zealand and Australia this year, but the amount of planning wasn't as detailed as you might expect. Part of the fun in life and particularly in travelling is letting it unfold... it's the journey, not the destination da de da. I hadn't planned getting back into chess but I found that two of my relatives, like me, felt the urge to play. So I got into a marathon  chess series with my daughter's partner Vlad. At the end of series he thought he had won, but I pointed out to him that 4 - 4 is a draw... he still doesn't get it.

When I got home from Australia my sister and brother in law Terry visited me. As the visit progressed we found a mutual love of chess. It didn't look good for me when Terry took a 4 - 0 lead, but I pulled myself together and got back to 4 - 4. The final was a nail biter and I won. Not that it's the winning you will understand... it's the taking part - and winning.

So, well and truly hooked, I wanted to continue playing, but the problem was that Vlad lives in Melbourne and Terry lives in Weymouth. Everyone I asked to play had a excuse and I didn't want to resort to playing the computer (although on lonely nights... I have to admit I weakened.) Then the brilliant idea hit me of playing chess by txt. At present I have two long distance games going on against my old adversaries  It requires two chess sets with pieces that won't fall over and a basic understanding of vertical ( 1 - 8)   and horizontal ( a - h ) After that all that is required is a good thumb on the mobile. There have been one or two mistakes made, but we have managed to over come them. I have played two games with Terry and modesty stops me from revealling the score ( 2 - 0 to me ) When my running body finally falls apart, I know what I'll be doing!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Taking Advantage

Harvey and I took full advantage of the good weather this week end. On Saturday we did a canter up Trapprain Law. There were some great views over to Aberlady Bay and across to the Lammermuir Hills. While we  were on the top we took the a look around. Over by the quarry, where the Law race comes up, there is a new fence being built. You can imagine the Volalandi tribe living up there when you trapse around a bit. I had an ulterior motive for picking the Law for our walk. I have been painting a panoramic view of the Law from the south looking north. It gave me a chance to have a look at the point where the photo of the view was taken from!

Trapprain Law Cairn looking towards North Berwick

Aberlady Bay at full tide

Earlier today I took part in the Borders Cross Country race at Lauder. The whole race took place in brilliant sunshine and no wind... ideal conditions. Underfoot it was pretty muddy and I was glad I took the decision to wear my Ron Hill shoes... made me feel confident on the hills slippery hills. My last race was on 27 February which co-incidentally was the last of 2010/11 Borders Cross Country series. One of the reasons for not racing much this year has been a troublesome achillies ankle. I still have a problem with it, but with stretching and some massage it is being held in check. I felt great during the run and had a bit of puff left to race in at the end. Not a fast time but being able to put in a good effort and enjoying the race and the buzz was a real bonus.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Canine running

Harvey and his pal Sebby (a Rhodesian rigde back) have started a new section at HELP running club. For the last few weeks they have taken me and Sebby's owner, Richard for a headlight run in the countryside. We start off from the Augbinny Centre, go along the path by the river and over the pedestrian bridge. Then it's along the path at the edge of the field and on to Rabbie Burns well. After that the path ends and we run along the road to the 'Titanic' bridge (built in 1912.) After that it's up through the woods and into the Seggarsdean Estate. Through there and onto the Pencaitland Road. We then follow the road into the Whimpey estate and rejoin the River Tyne pathway back to the Augbinny Centre. Last night we ran it in about 42 mins and  Ian Carrick joined us , even took a short turn on the lead (holding it.) The two dogs love running together, loping along and making an occassional dart into the darkness when they smell something they fancy. I've heard that dogs have better eyesight in the dark than humans and this was confirmed by the way they avoided the puddles and we didn't. Mind you they can't hold torches so well as us!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Bishop Hill and West Lomond Hill

I've been looking at the Lomands of Fife from my side of the Firth of Forth for a long time. It was great to get the chance to go up there and take a look from the north side. But first things first. Harvey and I met my friend Keith and his dog Alfie... a King Charles spaniel at Scotlandwell, near Loch Leven. I immediately recognised the hill where we met because it makes up a part of the Loch Leven half marathon. I've had two recent contrasting experiences on that hill 2009 I died on it and somehow dragged myself back to the finish line. Last year I floated up it and enjoyed the run in for home (got a better time too.) So I took it as a good omen that the start of the walk up Bishop Hill is across the road from the top of the hill. It is nice walking up the hill through the woods and perfect for the dogs. On the top you can see Loch Leven and all the surrounding countryside. There are some great views over the Forth to East Lothian. There is also a good view of the Lomands of Fife. Between us and the West pap lay some fairly stiff walking into a valley, around a gorge and up the side to the top. On the way there are some remarkable stony outcrops which look like  puzzles that have been put together... all the big boulders stacked neatly on each other to make the perfect result. It looked more like something from Oz than Scotland. The view from the cairn at the top is well worth the effort... once again a great panorama of the surrounding countryside and over the Forth. I took a good look at the route over to the East pap in case I am ever foolhardy enough to have a go at the Lomands of Fife hill race.
The treck back didn't present any problems and fortunately Keith picked the right path out of the glen. But it was long and everyone was quite knackered by the time we got back from to the car, apart from Harvey who naturally wanted to do the whole thing again!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Back in the groove

The last few weeks have seen me getting back into a few of the things I enjoy doing. I have been out running, done some cycling and splashed about in the swimming pool. I always feel alot better when I'm involved in regular exercise, with any luck, I'll keep injury free and get fit again.

I have also renewed my aquaintance with Sheena Philips. I admire her water colour paintings and it's a delight to go to her classes and learn the tricks of the trade. Here is a water colour we did in class over a couple of weeks, called 'The Garden.' On this occassion I would say that the real thing has more impact than this version taken through the scanner

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Harvey and Phoebe

Harvey and I went to the beach and met up with a new friend.

This is Phoebe... a beautiful deer hound with some lurcher in her. She's a bit bigger than Harvey but that didn't stop them being friends and having a great time running after the ball.

After Phoebe and her owner Duncan went home, Harvey and I took a long walk along the beach and made a bonfire (well it was me who made it!)  A good setting to watch the sun go down.

On the way back we saw hundreds of geese battling against the wind... so many birds in the sky was an impressive sight


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Down Sowf

Got into my trusty Berlingro and headed way down south last week. Went past Luton and got into the four stream build up but luckily I got off the motorway at Hemel Hempstead, before I hit the 'Big Smoke.' My trusty Ber. started off with 200,2038 on the clock and came back with 200, 3034. The only hitch came on the M69 when a strange noise  from under the car turned out to be a part of the plastic covering had moved up against a tyre... easily fixed! Apart from the accent, one of the main differences down there was the traffic.Where does it all come from? Guess which motorway was the main culprit for traffic jams out of the following M1, M69, A58, M6 and M74. Yes the M6...  what a nightmare from junction 15 right up to Liverpool. The man on the radio said we were doing an average of 20 miles an hour.
Took a trip down memory lane on the way home. Called into my home town of Coventry and met up with my old neighbours (from 1956 - 1973.) Also caught up with my cousin Maureen, who lives near Loughbourough and chewed the fat over family intrigues of the past. Then it was up the Motorway to Liverpool. I was a student and worked in the area between 1973 and 1978, but I haven't been back for a long time. I went into Liverpool on the East Lancs road, avoiding the M62 which had long tailbacks.and stopped in a layby to get directions to my friends Nita and Pete. That was when I found out that the network coverage on my mob wasn't working, a state which continued till the next day. There were no phones anywhere, so I went into a rough looking shop to ask for help and directions. The Indian shopkeeper gave me his phone to use and then most of the people in the shop gave me directions in thick scouse. I eventually found my way to the house on the other side of the city in a pitiful state, needing strong, hot cups of tea.

Liverpool has changed alot since I lived there, particularly around Pier Head and The Albert Dock. This is because, Liverpool 1, as it is known has been developed. There are now lots of shops and buildings between the city centre and Albert Dock. At the river front a number of high rise building constructions are in evidence. (If you look closely you can see a grand piano in one of the upstairs windows.)

Liverpool boasts the longest established Chinese community in Britain. The ceremonial arch was built by craftsmen from Shanghai
I spent  a few hours in Albert Dock. When I was a student, just up the road from the dock, it was derelict. Quite a difference now - a nice place to sit outside in the sun and have a coffee.

If you look carefully, you can see the Anglican Cathedral between the buildings!

The Tate Gallery were holding an exhibition of the surrealist artist Rene Margritte. Many of his paintings are well known, but I thought that they weren't as challenging or imaginative as Dali's paintings and although they were clever they lacked emotional depth.

One place that hadn't changed was the Liver Buildings, this photo was taken through the windows of the new museum, which is built so that at one end of it you get this view. At the other end you look along the Mersey.

All over town in a new kind of mythical beast called a Superlambabanna. These pop up everywhere in lots of different guises.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Easel sketching at the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh

I like going along to see art exhibitions, so sometime ago I ticked the box to get the National Gallery listings sent to me. Last week I had a look at it properly and noticed that every month there are free easel sketching sessions available with no need to book in advance. This looked like too good a chance to miss, so I went along. Sure enough a group of people were gathered around a Japanese lady in a kimono and were either standing at an easel or sitting with a board, sketching her. I was a bit late but joined in and produced two sketches sitting at a board and one standing at an easel. The session was run by  artist, Damian Callan.The sketching of each pose lasted about 20 minutes. We were supplied with paper, charcoal, chalk and coloured pastels to work with. Before each pose Damian gave us a wee demonstration of how he tackles a sketch.
  1. He starts off with a phantom sketch by drawing the outline of the model without putting any lines on the paper. This helps to get going and get some dimensions in the eye.
  2. Then he draws the model in a flowing way, moving around and across the paper without lifting the charcoal off the paper and  not worrying too much about the finer points of accuracy. This produces the first rough take on the model. 
  3. Next, the sketch is worked on... filling in details and missing out or changing parts which are not needed or inaccurate. The beauty of working with charcoal is that it is flexible and can be altered. 
  4. Bearing in mind tone, light and and shade and form.
  5. Features are brought out with the use of tone and this is where chalk can be used as a highlighter.
  6. Damian asked to look deeply at the model and the drawing will follow.
This is the sketch I did of M  when standing at the easel, I worked on it for about 20 minutes, so it is a work in progress! I got engrossed in what I was doing and forgot that members of the public were wandering around the gallery. At one point I looked up and was quite surprised to see quite a large group of people watching us draw.


Thursday, 15 September 2011

East Linton Art Exhibition and Gullane Beach

The annual art exhibition in East Linton is on again every day this week, between 10 - 8. Went along with the Zoe, Vlad and Soli to have a look and there is a lot of good stuff there this year. I particularly like the crazy roosters by Claire Weeks and I was pleased to see that one of her pieces got a commendation. I put in a couple of paintings which I did some time ago.


The idea is to sell some paintings so I put a price tag of £120 on both of them, but there was no red dot on them yesterday.

I've been doing some spinning and swimming over the last few week but last night went for a run to test out the old achillies tendon. It was club night so Ian, Richard, Harvey and me went along to Gullane beach. It was great being out again with a good stiff breeze to run into.The achillies didn't seem too bad at the end of the run, but I will have to treat it gently.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Here, there and everywhere.

As you can tell from the post title, I still love the Beatles.
I arrived home on 31 July and since then, I have been on a meditation retreat, had yet another birthday and been to the Edinburgh festival to see and hear the amazing Camille O'Sullivan. Her Wiki credits say that she has a first class honours in Architechture as well as being a vampish, burlesque singing star. Oh, yes I've started doing more shiatsu and hope to build up my practice again!

I started and ended the New Zealand part of my trip at Mount Eden, Auckland. There is a very nice cafe, called Frasers on the high street and this is a sketch painting I did during my last coffee there.