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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Moray Art Club Annual Exhibition

Just returned from entering two paintings into the M.A.C. annual exhibition. I am amazed at the standard of art being handed in. Most members are amateurs but in truth are good enough to go profesional. I have entered my last two paintings.

Sangha weekend

Great weekend at Gairloch Youth Hostel with Triratna Highland Sangha Buddhist Group. We took over the entire hostel. Lots and lots of laughter with some quiet periods, meditations, talks and walks. What a stunning location with views to the Torridon Mountains and Skye.

Left my walking boots in a moment of forgetfulness amongst all the goodbyes. However the delightful warden offered to drop them off at Inverness at The Picture This Gallery on Church Street. Very kind and I wish her all the best for her wedding which will be held on the beach at Gairloch very soon.

So nice to be among all the kindness and friendship completely unaware of the outside world for two days.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Latest painting

Good day today finished this and another painting and am quite pleased with this one. I don't have a dog now but would like one, they have a lot to teach us.
Cheeky Chappie

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Down day

Woke up feeling somewhat depressed. I am saddened by the suffering in Japan and concerned about the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Every day I think ( or hope ) that it will be brought under control and then more problems arise. Then there is Libya. Yes the no fly zone and attacks on Ghadafi's forces may have prevented a defeat for the rebels but what next?  a 10 year civil war? How long are we in for and how long before we are once again seen as invaders?

I know there is nothing I can do so why am I so affected? It is just one of those days and a transient emotion, a cloud passing over the blue sky of my mind.

The day improved after lunch and I went to my art group where the good humoured banter cheered me up. Discussing Libya I was surprised by G who said he supported the coalition action. This by a  man who is normally vocally anti war, anti big business and anti government. Very strange.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Reflections on Impermanence

As a practising Buddhist ( albeit not a very good example ) the unfolding events in Japan really do bring home to me one of the main teachings, namely that of impermanence. Who can fail to feel deep compassion and sorrow seeing the horror of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown?

At the moment I am co leading a beginners meditation course and what strikes me is how many people coming along have problems and difficulties in their daily lives. They are all looking for a way to get some peace and a way to manage the stress in their lives. No doubt many of the Japanese who were living comfortable well ordered lives were also suffering from the same sort of problems, problems we have the luxury to indulge " in advanced societies " but now they have lost everything and are just thinking of survival. It does put our problems into perspective.

Friday, 11 March 2011


I took three Japanese ladies to Inverness today. The outing was somewhat overshadowed by the breaking news of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan although the full horror of events was not clear at the time.

We had a walk along The River Ness, down one side and crossing over by Ness Island bridges and back by the other bank. After an excellent and very reasonable lunch at The Kitchen restaurant I had to endure a trudge round various charity shops ( Japanese woman love charity shops as this is a new concept to them ) mitigated by my finding a good book on The Impressionists.

Checked out the Picture This Gallery which was displaying one of my framed prints in the window. This pleased me very much as you can imagine.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

New Art Connection

Today I was introduced by a mutual friend to a successful local artist S. G. I had seen S's work in a prominent gallery and rather admired it. During a visit to friends to donate one of my paintings as a house warming present S came up in the conversation and it turned out M was friends with S and M offered to introduce me. I had heard that S had five children and was therefore expecting a matronly lady even if somewhat energetic. Imagine my surprise when I discovered she had SEVEN children and was extremely attractive, slim and youthful. How on earth did she find time to paint and promote her work, look after a large house, seven children and a husband? I couldn't help but admire her energy and dedication.

We spent a very happy couple of hours chatting about painting, materials, styles and life in general. I came away with some art books and a feeling I had made a new friend. I must thank M for the introduction.

Art Group

Yesterday I went to The Moray Art Centre at Findhorn. A small group of us meet there once a week on an informal basis to paint and exchange ideas and to be extremely rude to each other. Lots of delicate brushwork gets spoilt by laughter! The nature of the group changes as most members have other interests and therefore do not attend each week. What I can say is that they are all characters, not easily put into a box. What amazes me is how much people can improve by regular practice and how little suggestions and criticisms can be such a help. I will write more on the individuals later.