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Monday, 31 December 2012

Candles for Family and Friends.

Today is the last day of 2012. During my morning meditation I was very strongly drawn to light candles for my family and friends. My family and friends are very scattered but are so important to me. I resolve to see more of my scattered friends and family in 2013.
To all my family and friends I send my love and thoughts to you. I wish nothing but the best for you and that 2013 will be wonderful. I give thanks to all for being in my life, you make it rich for me.

To anyone else who may stumble across this blog I also wish the best for you. Also I express hope that the suffering and war in this world will grow less.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Chicken

This photo of my latest painting does not do the colours justice. The original is much more vivid, especially the yellow background.

Not my best work but then again this was done at our art groups last session before Christmas so the mulled wine probably had something to do with it!

Anyway Happy Christmas to all however you are spending it. Seems we survived the end of the world again. Let us all wish for peace in 2013.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Poetry with passion

Last Friday night I went to a poetry reading evening at The Picture Framers Art Gallery in Forres. The day before I had been in to see Graham about some picture framing and while waiting I picked up a poetry book by Eileen Carney Hulme. I read one, then another and just had to buy it.

The next night at the poetry evening (which was excellent) this lady was there and although she didn't read any of her work it seems she was mentoring some of the other poets. Anyway the following poem by Eileen Carney Hulme is a typical example of her work. Does it resonate with you?

Indian Summer
Like a deep blue wave
of passion
you shore into the room
where I sit waiting quietly,
We have moved through days,
loss, pain
to hold this moment,
this picture postcard seascape
of gentle harbouring.
You say
'I knew you were here
I could smell you'
and effortlessly I sway
to seal my fate.
You taste of ocean,
avenues of grassy dunes,
like a magician
you pluck a tiny pebble
from my hair-
Ancient survivor, sun kissed
on this summer afternoon,
I step out of my dress
into your dream.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Prints of Eilean Donan Castle

My latest painting of Eilean Donan Castle near Skye is now for sale at The Picture Framers Art Gallery, Forres. If you are feeling rich you can buy it for £200.00, it would make a nice present for someone who loves Scotland ( is there anybody who doesn't ) and it comes with a double mount and a nice quality frame.

Prints are also available now at

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Cleaning up


It could change of course but my 20 month old granddaughter shows no sign of wanting to be an investment banker.

She loves cleaning and tidying things up, putting books into nice neat piles. In short she seems to be planning a career as a  housewife!

Did your children show signs of their future path? 

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Eilean Donan Castle. Scotland

This is my painting of Eilean Donan Castle as you have never seen it before ( and perhaps not again ) but I was feeling rather crazy during the week.
This is the result.
I have painted this most famous much painted and photographed castle in Scotland twice before but only with a more conventional style.
Much to my surprise my crazy and abandoned brush strokes came together to form this painting. I quite like it.
Maybe Vincent Van Gogh was onto something being mad!

What do you think?
Would you buy this?
Size 39cm x 30cm Acrylic.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Paradise Road

I was close to a magical paradise when I saw these beautiful trees in their full autumn glory.This is my second attempt to paint this subject. It is not exact but I tried to capture the spirit and essence of my feelings and the trees.

It is quite different to the previous one ( see the other a few posts back ) but that is what happens.
The painting takes on a life of it's own and you, the artist, are merely a bit player in the process.
Why is this?
What does it mean?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Famous Findhorn Community

Up here in the far north of Scotland I live close to the Findhorn Foundation. Depending on your point of view, hearsay or actual experience it is regarded as wonderful, weird, false, authentic, empty, inspirational and many other positive and negatives. Whatever your point of view it has survived 50 years and this week is celebrating the fact. See what the BBC has to say about it.

I myself volunteer once a week in one of the gardens for a morning work shift for which I get a free meal and lots of interesting chats. What is my opinion of The Foundation?

Sunday, 18 November 2012


Amoghasiddhi. Buddha of the North.
After over 30 years of sporadically studying and practising Buddhism I finally get it!

I know nothing, that is enough.

Does this mean I am enlightened?

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Open Heart

I was reading a book someone gave me recently. It is full of wisdom but one short passage made me think about the hearts response to emotional pain. I think it is true to say that for most of us the default response is to close down to protect ourselves. However I think the passage I mentioned and quote below is a more skillful and healing way to deal with it.

" Closing down in the midst of pain is a denial of mans true nature. A evolved man is free in feeling and action, even in the midst of great pain and hurt. If necessary a man should live with a hurting heart rather than a closed one. He should learn to stay in the wound of pain and act with spontaneous skill and love even from that place."

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Autumn Road

This painting was inspired by the extraordinary colours this autumn. It is mixed media and I used only five colours. Lemon Yellow and Cadmium Red watercolours and Light Red, Paynes Grey acrylics. Oh and a little White acrylic also.
The size is 47cm x 35cm and will be available to buy. It will be a nice reminder of the warm autumn colours as winter changes this scene to more sombre tones.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Mid Town Brae, Poolewe. Scotland

Mid Town Brae. Poolewe. Scotland.
Sold these four prints to one person.
To see more go to
Ben Loyal. Scotland.

Blue Moon

Guarding the path. Magnificent Oak tree.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Golden Rudd

Sold these two prints.  One is of Rudd a beautiful freshwater fish.

The other was inspired by a fete in St. Ambroix in France which I chanced upon when on the Gerry Active cycling trip in 2011.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Body to die for

Gerry Active Hero

This man  started body building at the age of 87 and now at 93 aims to pull the young ( 70 years old ) girls on the beach.He is an inspiration to Gerry Actives everywhere. So guys if you don't want to lose it you know what to do! To read the full story go to this BBC link.


Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Not Ernest Hemingway!

My latest portrait painting.

Can you tell me who this well known man is?

Some of you should know!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Boris Johnson for President

Boris Johnson Piccadilly Circus Circus
Since the very successful London Olympics the already high profile of London Mayor Boris Johnson has soared even higher than his own ego.

His name is increasingly mentioned as a future Prime minister. Everybody loves his jokes, his optimism, his charisma, his charm and his political incorrectness.

He is a breath of fresh air in a world of dull politicians and doom and gloom. No wonder Conservative leaders are worried as his appeal crosses party political lines.

However there is no need to worry for behind the cultivated buffoonery there is a razor sharp mind and a gigantic ambition. Did you know Boris was born in New York and therefore why should he not leap frog Downing Street and run for President of the United States of America?

Are you a fan of Boris?

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Heather and Birches in Moonlight.

Final painting of this scene. Acrylic on Canvas
50cm x 40cm

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Bluebell Wood

This painting was started in May and I have just completed it. I sat in this lovely bluebell wood only half a mile from a very busy Hawkshead in The English Lake District. I was completely alone for the entire painting session.

It is mixed media. Watercolour and acrylic and the size is 40cm x 30cm

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Wild Bunch.

My acrylic painting of wild Camargue horses stampeding through water. size 40cm x 30cm

Available to buy from The Picture Framers Gallery in Forres.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Rivers in Flood. Spate of Sales too.

Flooded Meadow
 The rivers here in Scotland have been in spate after the worst storm for 30 years.

I have had a spate of sales too! I sold two framed prints which were on display in The Basil Harbour Cafe, Nairn. One large print of Black Rock Cottage, Glencoe and one standard size print of Flooded Meadow.
From The Picture Framers Gallery in Forres a large original of Flooded Meadow 2 was sold.

Also three prints on line. Eilean Donan Castle 1 and Eilean Donan Castle 2 and Black Rock Cottage again.

In reality most artists like myself do not make much money from art but it is nice to think some people like your work enough to buy it.
Eilean Donan Castle 1

Eilean Donan Castle2

Black Rock Cottage. Glencoe

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Scottish Cycle Tour

The Team T Shirts
 As always when we get together for a cycle ride things don't go as smoothly as we would wish!

Roger had to drop out at the last moment and the other three travelled up to Scotland at the precise moment the worst September storm for thirty years struck Great Britain. John left Norwich on the 25th but couldn't get to Edinburgh by the usual route due to flooding and was diverted to Birmingham, then Crewe where after a long wait he got the sleeper train from London. Finally arriving on the 26th! Peter and Terry both had delays and route changes but did make it in one extremely long day.
Terry came with 5 T Shirts printed with the slogan ' The Gerry Active Tour of Scotland 2012 ' So off we went proudly wearing our T Shirts. The first day was a forty mile ride to Aviemore and stopping for lunch at Grantown on Spey we had a request to join our club by a fellow diner. We had to turn him down as he was far too young and looked exceedingly fit! Not that we are ageist or anything like that!
Yes the T Shirts were real ice breakers. We were asked questions by a South African man in Aviemore and a lady in Nairn both of whom were connected with promoting cycling. The second day was another forty mile day to Craigellachie, a splendid ride along and above the river Spey. The next leg took us past The Glenfiddic Distillery where three Gerry Active members took a tasting tour, emerging one hour later considerably fortified and looking less geriatric. All in all we had quite good weather and enjoyed six days cycling and great camaraderie.
Got the T Shirt

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Birches in Blue

This picture was inspired by a stand of birch trees with heather in full bloom in the foreground.

Of course this rendering which is unfinished has no relation to the reality. However that is what I am exploring at the moment. I start with an idea and then the painting takes on a direction of it's own. I do very little to control the direction.

Any suggestions on finishing touches to this painting will be welcomed. You may of course suggest it is not worth spending more time on!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Blue Chicken Flys

Blue Cockerel
Some success this week with my paintings. First, Picture This Gallery in Inverness sold a mounted print of my Blue Cockerel and then The Nicholson Building Gallery in Forres sold one of my original paintings entitled Woodland Track in Autumn. Unfortunately I didn't do any prints or photos of this one so cannot show it here.

There are still four originals left in my Blue Chicken Series.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Geese Arrive and Swallows Leave.

As the swallows leave us on their long journey south, autumn arrives. With the winter beginning in the Arctic, the insistent melodic honking of geese mark their arrival here in Findhorn Bay. Vast skeins fill the sky in impressive V formations as they flight in from the north.
I am always moved by these annual migrations and connect to the feeling of restlessness. Something in me also experiences a primordial instinct to leave and go south or somewhere else. It is always strongest as summer ends and autumn begins. We may think of ourselves as modern and progressive but there is something in our ancestral genes which calls to us. I wonder if anybody reading this has similar feelings at this time of the year?

Monday, 17 September 2012

A Trio of Prints Sold

I was pleased to have a flurry of prints sales during the last week. Strangely they are all paintings of Scotland and one went to the USA.

They are Black Rock Cottage, Glencoe. Eilean Donan Castle near Skye and Plockton also near Skye.

Other paintings of Scotland can be viewed on my web site.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Mamils. Middle Aged Men in Lycra ( A Modern Mid Life Crisis )

I have just read this rather amusing article on the BBC News Website. It seems after the success of Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and Chris Hoy middle aged men are forgoing the mid life crisis BMW sports car or Harley-Davidson motor bike and are buying state of the art bicycles and expensive lycra clothing. As you can see I have managed to avoid lycra when cycling in France and in any case I am beyond a mid life crisis! Do read this article.

Monday, 10 September 2012


Here is another poem of mine inspired by the change of season, by the sadness of farewells. In this case by the departure of swallows and the amazing fact of their huge journey south. Such small creatures to undertake this enormous and dangerous voyage. What power is calling them? It is also a reminder to obey our intuition and not be fearful.


The swallows are sitting on the line;

Their purpose here nearly over.

A pulse, a scent, something calling.

Tiny scraps, empowered;

To ride the wind southwards.

I hear their twittering restlessness.

Primordial longing;

Connecting me to the same fever.

What is it we seek with journeying?

Heed the calling to the source:

Or be fearful and die.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Loch an Eilein at the end of Summer.

This is a time of year when I get very reflective. There is something in the change of energy between summer and autumn which I am very sensitive to. It is a sad feeling but one that changes as the season changes. I notice that I am inspired to write poems during this time.

The Pause
That strange week when nature pauses;
The world falls silent.

Like the tide visits and leaves the shore.

Poignant reminder of time passing.

A dawning sense;

A memory remembered.

That strange week when nature pauses;

Foretelling the end of summer.

A melancholy stillness;

Empty of movement and sound.

Everything is waiting;

For Autumn to begin

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Grey. A Buddhist Poem

This is one of my poems. It is expressing the Buddhist concept that life is one unceasing movement. Everything coming into being, fading away and reforming into something new..
According to Buddhist philosophy human unhappiness is compounded by trying to hold onto fixed circumstances. I am reminded of this when I feel melancholy as Summer turns to Autumn and I don't want to think of winter. It also is a reminder that everything is interdependent and independence is an illusion.
We cannot hold back anything or onto anything let alone the seasons. I need to remind myself of this and look forward to the next manifestation which will be beautifully different.
A cold wind moves the grey pines
My heart whispers grey like the air
The illusion of independence vanishing
Crushed on the grey rocks of reality

The shattered dust of delusion
Reforming in glorious yellow

Monday, 3 September 2012

Human Contact

In Contrast to the previous post I spent the third week of August on holiday with my family at Wells next the Sea in Norfolk. It was a warm week so lots of swimming and fun and wonderful human contact with my son Julian, his partner Vicky and their three delightful children. Ben, Jayden and Isla.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Vines and Pines. Languedoc-Roussillon. France.

This is the last picture from my week painting with my brother. This view of Vines with Pine trees is in Acrylic held together with a blue underpainting.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Blue Chicken Series

Blue Cockerel and Hen
 My original colourful blue chicken pictures have been sold and seem to have struck a chord. Consequently I have painted four new paintings in the Blue Cockerels and Hens series. These are now mounted and framed in striking red frames which measure 40cm x 30cm.The size of each picture is 30cm x 20cm. There will also be prints available shortly. All will be uploaded on to my web site within the next week.  or email me if you would like to buy one or more before then.They would look great in a kitchen, bathroom or children's bedroom.
Two Blue Cockerels

Two Blue Hens

Blue Cockerel

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Exhibition at The Gallery, Elgin Library.13th to 24th August

Blue Chicken with tomatoes. Acrylic
These three pictures are my entries in The Moray Art Club exhibition at the gallery in Elgin Library. It is a big exhibition showing many artist's work and the standard is very high. The exhibition runs from the 13th to 24th August so if you are in Elgin do pop in. The three paintings are for sale.

Blue. Watercolour.

Avenue of Trees. Acrylic.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Art Studio

This is a view from the garden towards my brothers art studio. I enjoyed painting this one.