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Thursday, 29 December 2011

My Art Exhibition

I have an exhibition of eight original paintings and four prints on view at the Blue angel Cafe, Findhorn from the 14th January.Well worth a visit for the excellent coffee and cakes if not my paintings! The paintings don't come free with coffee and cakes but are very affordable.Do have a look.

My paintings are also on view at The Picture This art gallery, Church Street, Inverness, The Basil Harbour Cafe, Nairn, The Moray Art Centre. Findhorn and Iolaire Gallery, Nairn.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Anam Cara

Anam Cara translates as soul friend. One of my best friends Julian ( who is also my son ) sent me this video. I invite all my friends who may read this blog to watch this and give thanks for our friendship. To anybody else reading this blog who doesn't know me I urge you to celebrate and nourish your friendships and relationships. In our busy lives we need to remember that without friends there would be little point in being busy.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Uplifting. The Choir. Gareth Malone.

I sat up late last night and was completely entranced by this documentary of the transformation of a group of military wives from two separate bases into a wonderful choir.
In contrast to most reality TV shows which are for the most part ( Strictly Come Dancing excepted ) mostly cruel, crude and voyeuristic this journey is uplifting and inspirational.
Gareth Malone is an extraordinary young man who believes music is a way to bring people together and has the supreme confidence to make it happen. The bonding between the wives themselves and Gareth was heartwarming and I was choked with emotion watching this. The story ends with the women performing at the Royal Albert Hall in front of the Queen.They are likely to have a Christmas number one with the song created from their letters to their husbands and boyfriends serving abroad You can see this on BBC IPlayer and if you want to feel uplifted for Christmas watch this.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Peppers now finished

I have now painted the yellow background in a uniform pale yellow. Thank you for the suggestions, I agree my previous background didn't convey my intention well. This is a bit ambiguous but looks better I think. It is framed up and ready to go and is priced at  £125.00. There will be no prints so this a chance to own this original for a modest price.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Not so smart phone

Nerd Confused - A cartoon nerd looking confused and...I was joking the other day when I said my granddaughter of eight months would soon be teaching me how to use a smart phone. HOWEVER my old mobile suddenly crashed. I went to CarPhone warehouse and as some of the cheaper smart phones were not much more than ordinary phones I bought one. It was a very stressful experience as there was so much CHOICE. The salesman ( boy ) was really helpful and set up everything and showed me how to use it in a display of extraordinary speed and knowledge, which of course I couldn't follow. "Isn't there a manual " I asked. " Yes " he said, " But it is useless" Did he think I was thick I wondered?
I got home and looked at the manual, it WAS useless! I looked up the on line manual, 137 pages of instructions, obviously translated from Taiwanese! The virtual keyboard did not seem to align with my fingers, even typing in numbers to make a phone call took so long as I keep hitting the wrong keys, and where was the back key? What was this about double taps and tap and hold and where the hell is the top up icon?

I went off to meditate and wished my old phone back. Did I really need the stress of facebook, Twitter and mobile web access. They tell me the IPhone is easy to use! Buying cheap is not so smart, even smart phones!
But WAIT I picked up my old phone and it is working again. Anybody smart enough to work my smartphone? Well just let me know.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Waiting for the Chef

Another fun painting. I am not sure if I need to change the yellow and white background. It is meant to vaguely suggest sunlight but although it looks ok on the original painting I must admit it does not look good on the photo. Perhaps I will make it a solid pale yellow?

Advice welcome.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christopher Hitchins

Christopher Hitchins who died today was noted for his controversial views and acerbic quotes. I like this one.

"Owners of dogs will have noticed that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they will think you are God. Whereas owners of cats are compelled to realise that, if you provide them with food and water and shelter and affection, they draw the conclusion that they are gods."

I wonder did he prefer cats or dogs. He was an atheist so probably neither.

Fete at St Ambroix. France

This painting ( which is not very good ) but nevertheless is a nice souvenir of the Jerry Active cycle Tour de France last June. I have only just painted the sketch after six months! The scene is a fete in St.Ambroix being held to celebrate the Occitane culture. We just happened to be cycling by and stopped to observe. See my blog on the Tour de France for more details.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

My I. T. expert

Many of you will know that modern technology is not my strong point.

However help is at hand. My granddaughter Isla is taking a crash course in computing and will shortly be instructing me on the finer points of computer complexity. She will also be showing me how to connect my TV to the Internet and use a smart phone.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Ben Loyal 2

This is my second painting of Ben Loyal from a slightly different position. I am pleased with the sky for which I used water colour. I mixed ultra marine and light red for the darker clouds with a wash of burnt sienna underneath, finally a little ultra marine into the wet washes. The foreground is acrylic.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Noble Greyhound. Obituary.

This is a portrait of Shaker the Greyhound I was commissioned to paint a few months ago. He suddenly became ill and was found to have inoperable cancer and died. It all happened within a very short time.

Painting his portrait brought me close to him as I tried to catch his essence so I am very sad at the news.

He was a really powerful dog and had a successful racing career. However the best of his life was the love and care he received after his rescue. Many Greyhounds are put down after their useful racing career ends so he could have had a much shorter life. R.I.P. my friend.

R.I.P Shaker

Thursday, 8 December 2011

St. Enemie. France

This painting is of the charming village of St.Enimie on the river Tarn in France. I sat and sketched this during the Jerry Active cycle Tour de France last June and have only just got round to painting it.St Enimie has an interesting legend. If interested why not look it up on the Internet?

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Winter Woes

The snow has arrived with a vengeance now. Just as the winds bring down the last leaves from the trees so a gale of minor mishaps have descended on us. First we discovered a leak from the boiler which had damaged the floor. The leak was fixed by a plumber as no heating engineer was available. Then the boiler broke down and now we have to have a new one. At the same time the toilet broke and needed a new cistern. Then the heating at my studio flat needs a repair. Then a fault on my car and for a grand final ( so far ) the knife rack fell off the wall.

Observing myself in meditation this morning I am amused at myself for being stressed by these minor problems when the world is full of such suffering. So many people would be glad to exchange their problems for mine.I am indeed so fortunate and give thanks that I only have these things to worry about. My thoughts and compassion go out to all the people who are experiencing real problems and pain.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Sunset Isle of Mull

This is the other painting I have put into Moray Art Clubs 60th annual exhibition. It comes framed, frame size 58cm x 36cm. Painting size 39cm x 30cm with a ivory mount. The price at the exhibition is £150.00 but if it doesn't sell it will be on my web site at £200.00 Prints will be available in two sizes. It can be viewed along with fifty or so other works at Moray Art Centre, Findhorn Park, Findhorn.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Brighton Blues

This is a fun painting I recently completed. As gardeners everywhere will know the holy grail of rose growers is to produce a blue rose.

Similarly chicken breeders have for years tried to breed a blue chicken. Finally a breeder near Brighton succeeded but unfortunately only males were produced and all further attempts failed.

Therefore when these splendid blue brothers go to the hen house in the sky, blue chickens as a breed will die out. The breeder concerned will no doubt reflect on his lost fortune and be left singing the blues.

Wild West

Just back from a few days in Plockton on the west coast.Plockton is an artists paradise (usually) so I was looking forward to sketching some of the scenes, a bit of cycling and walking. However the visit coincided with some of the worst weather imaginable, constant rain and gale force winds. Fortunately we had good self catering accommodation so I did get some painting done, even finishing some sketches I did in France back in June. Nevertheless I did get severe cabin fever as I am used to being active. The picture was taken in the summer not this week! A very different Plockton to the rain lashed place of the last few days.

Friday, 2 December 2011

When I die

When I die the world will carry on?
They say.
But what could happen without me?
I say.

I am so important I cannot leave just yet
 I pay all my dues and taxes
 And joined the village choir

I recycle all my rubbish
 And vote in all elections
I help old ladies cross the road
and sometimes pick up litter

I read about the scandals
 In someone else's life
Will those of mine stay hidden
 Or will they come to light

Will anybody remember if I'm black or white
And does it really matter if I reached the heights
Or plumbed the depths and robbed a bank
And donated most to Oxfam

Oh yes I'm so important
I've been and done so much
I've learnt to cook and speak Chinese
And chaired the rugby club

I wash my car once every week
And mowed that pesky lawn
I'm sure I don't deserve to die
After all that I have done

But soon they'll help me cross that road
And nobody will remember
And even though I'm dead and gone
The world will carry on.