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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Hallucinagenic Mushrooms at Findhorn

The thought of spring must be going to people's heads or maybe they have been ingesting magic mushrooms! Please don't try it yourself.

Whatever the reason this is the seventh print sold this month along with four original paintings.

Perhaps I am becoming famous after all! Could this be time to invest in an early Chris Gaunt, get in at the ground floor perhaps? After all other investments are doing SO badly. Invest in one of my paintings and enter it at Christie's in ten years time. Could pay dividends perhaps! Meanwhile you may even like to put it on your wall! Do have a look at my paintings, they are still cheap.   By the way the inspiration for this painting came from a Findhorn 1976 calendar back when I had longer hair, a fashionable moustache and wore even stranger clothes than I do now. I found it quite recently and kept it because I liked the photos and the quotes. I did not know anything about Findhorn when I was given the calendar and not until I met John Willoner in Yorkshire around 2000 did I connect the two. Then he moved back to The Field of Dreams and I came up to walk with John. Life is strange- or is it?

Friday, 24 February 2012

Called to The Source.

Near my house there is a small stand of Scots Pine. They grow on a small hillock in the middle of a large field. I have observed this copse for over two years from a distance and for some reason feel an affinity to those lonely trees. I too experience a sense of isolation even in the midst of the beauty with which I am surrounded. The reality is of course that we can never be really alone for we are all part of the same movement of atoms, forever manifesting and dissolving into the source.
Today I decided to climb over the fence into the field and go close to these magnificent trees. As you can see it was a clear winters day with a low sun and strong wind. The field, still covered by stubble from last years harvest, crackled and shimmered in the slanting light. As I drew closer my sense of separation became less and perhaps that of the trees also. For now, I was not alone in the middle of the universe, but sharing this space with the trees.

I retraced my steps, glad that I had at last visited and made friends with my former acquaintances.

Sometimes all it takes to be aware and at one with the universe is to break out of our habitual routine.

Next Incarnation

Here is yet another painting of chickens. I think this will be the last otherwise I will be reborn as a bird in my next life. I just realised that birds, in one form or other, have featured in my paintings, poems and postings.
There are two poems; 'Nomads' and 'The Rooks have gone', featuring Swallows, Pigeons and Rooks.There are two musings on Pigeons ( well I am fond of them ) and umpteen Chicken paintings plus Toucan Ted.

My last few painting are mostly fantasies. Will they bring me fame I wonder or do I need to cut off one of my ears! I must admit to feeling a little mad at the moment, especially today with a high wind blowing. I feel like a skittish horse and can't settle to anything.

Then there is this book I am reading ' The Occult Diaries of ROC ' with it's accounts of meetings with Pan, Nature Spirits and Fairies, it is all quite unsettling even exciting. I am an old sceptic really but---somehow it is not so easy to dismiss. Maybe I had better go back to painting landscapes, but wait, what is that strange figure with horns near that tree!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

More prints sold.

 Sold these two prints today. Only earning pennies but am slowly raising awareness of my web site. I have a new exhibition at Nairn in March.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Garden Gnome and Pan

Although I work as a volunteer in the Findhorn Garden at Cluny ( see my previous post, Garden Gnome ) I have to confess to a certain scepticism regarding the common Findhorn belief about nature spirits, fairies and angels. I do however believe in a higher energy into which we sometimes come into contact with.
This week while working in the garden I had an interesting conversation with Nadia about the work of Robert Oglivie Crombie ( Roc ). She had been given something to read written by Roc by Brian Nobbs of Findhorn Pottery. John Willoner a friend of mine had mentioned Roc and his encounter with Pan in Edinburgh Botanical Gardens. At the time didn't think too much about it. I probably thought ' Oh yes! Another Findhorn story ' and forgot about it.

Also this week Pan ( the mythical Greek God born with Goat legs, feet and horns and a furry human upper body ) had featured in my thoughts via chapter seven of Wind in the Willows, The Waterboys songs ' The Pan within ' ' The Return of Pan ' Pink Floyds debut album ' Piper at the Gates of Dawn ' The latter being the title of that marvellous Wind in the Willows chapter. All this came together to make me curious so I looked up Pan and Roc on the Internet and came up with a fascinating account of Roc, Pan and even more fantastic things. Brian Nobbs had also been involved with all this and although the account was totally fantastic it had the ring of truth. Clearly Pan has a big influence, mythical or not, but how does a God leaving Olympus for Arcadia ( because other Gods laughed at him ) finish up appearing in Edinburgh?
Brian had a plausible explanation for the manifestation of energy into forms such as for example Elves, ( don't laugh ) which we could recognise as the only way evolved humans could see this energy at all.

Now while I have certainly been into contact with what for a better description I shall describe as higher energy I have never seen Pan, Elves, Angels or Fairies. I am obviously not a sufficiently evolved ( or mad ) human being to see more! I will however be keeping an open mind on all these things!

As a footnote I will say the Mike Scott/Waterboys songs about Pan make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and the Piper at the Gates of Dawn from Wind in the Willows is extraordinarily profound and moving.

By the way, the message from Pan to Roc, was that we should co create with nature in a sympathetic non destructive way. Pan of course, when not chasing Nymphs, was a God of nature.

As a further footnote to this blog post which was written on the 19th February I attended a small informal group meeting in the main sanctuary last night 26th February. The group was meeting to listen to a recording of ROC speaking to the Findhorn Foundation in the early seventies and had been organised by Nadia. Listening to ROC's beautiful and sane voice my perceptions of all this is undergoing a sea change. Another meeting has been arranged for next Sunday. Well worth attending.

With thanks to Nadia for her enthusiasm and energy.

Do comment on this post if you feel so inclined and do look all this up on Google. It is all very interesting.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Garden Gnome

One of the highlights of my week is joining the Cluny College garden team for a voluntary shift in the garden. Cluny College is part of the Findhorn Foundation a Spiritual Community in the north of Scotland.
I get to work with some great ( if sometimes a little quirky ) people. I follow my shift with a free meal which I share with other great people who usually have something interesting to say and no doubt consider me a little quirky too.
I am the oldest member of the team which means I qualify for the title of Garden Gnome.

Sold these prints today

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Toucan Ted

I attended the Wednesday art group today. Had no idea what to paint so just splashed around and came up with this fun painting.
Does anybody remember the Guiness adverts featuring a Toucan? Perhaps I subconciously wanted to go to the pub!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Ode on a Grecian Burn

Greece is in flames as there are protests on the streets of Athens and other cities. The austerity being forced on the Greek people is putting the country into a death spiral. Why? because the architects of the Euro refuse to recognise it will not work.

When somebody is an alcoholic the first essential step to recovery is to admit to being one, then steps can be taken towards recovery.

This is the stage we are at now with the Euro crisis. European leaders need to admit Greece cannot remain in the Euro. The burden is too high. Greece needs a devaluation. Years of grinding austerity to bring about an internal devaluation by wage cuts, job losses and business failures is simply too much. Yes the consequences of a return to the Drachma are unpredictable but nobody is going to invest in Greece while it has the Euro. The Euro is a wildly overvalued currency for Greece. Money has left the country already and will not flow back in until there is a devaluation. A devaluation would kick start the tourist industry and business in general.

We all know Greece should not have joined, that the books were cooked but everybody in the Euro project knew this so the fault is not that of Greece alone. This is the result of ideology overcoming common sense.

Wolfgang Schauble Germany's finance minister is living in cloud cuckoo land if he thinks the aim of getting Greek debt down to 120% of GDP by 2020 is possible by shrinking the economy year after year. In any case 120% is unsustainable. Yes countries should reduce debt burdens if it is possible but here it is just not possible without a default and the sooner politicians face up to it the better. It is just not possible to go down the present route in a democracy. Ordinary Greeks should not and will not go along with this much longer. The whole misalignment between countries using the Euro needs to be addressed otherwise we could see the very thing the European Union was intended to prevent, That is to say the rise of Fascism in Europe once again.
With apologies to John Keats.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Pigeon in amorous overdrive.

Why doesn't she want me?

A couple of posts ago I referred to the birds becoming restless as not withstanding the bitter cold they were sensing the energy of impending spring.

Today there was an abrupt rise in temperature and the pigeon I mentioned has gone into amorous overdrive. Even more puffed up ( y aun mas caliente) than before he is dedicating himself to the conquest of any female straying into his vicinity. I have to say so far the females don't seem to have caught spring fever so maybe he is being a bit too forward. Could it be that here in Scotland the Latin lover tactics are a little overwhelming for demure northern pigeons?

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Blue Brothers. Sold from Blue Angel Exhibition.

My exhibition at The Blue Angel cafe finished today. I am very encouraged by the positive feedback. This original painting was sold to Belia, one of the resident potters at Findhorn Pottery. All three potters at Findhorn Pottery are very creative so I take this as a compliment.

I also sold Wild Carmargue Horses from this exhibition.

Thanks to Brian and Julie for hanging the paintings for me.

Thanks to everybody who took the trouble to view my work.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Mole Moment

I am feeling really restless again! It is bitterly cold with a cutting wind but first thing this morning the birds were singing and chirping away. They know each day is one day nearer spring and they are connecting with the energy currents. The forgotten urge to mate is exciting them and they are restless too. Outside on the roof a male pigeon is all puffed up and is strutting and bobbing as he tries to impress a female, calling in that vibrational tone only used on these occasions. He looks ridiculous but as pigeons can have several broods a year my view is not shared by the female of the species!

I too am restless, anxious to be done with winter. I am like mole in Wind in the Willows who in the midst of spring cleaning couldn't resist the siren call, smell and currents of spring. He emerges into the meadow and is intoxicated by the wide world above his dark home.

I too can wait no longer in my dark burrow and must also emerge to savour spring with all it's excitement and promises. I want to cast off the tiredness of winter and feel the youthful vigour of spring.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Mike Scott. Waterboys. W B Yeats

Here is beautiful track from Mike Scott's latest album. An Appointment with Mr. Yeats. The title is ' Before the world was made ' ( To Jackie ) Very moving. Connected straight to my emotions.  

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Martin Scorsese's Film of the life of George Harrison

My neighbour David dropped in Yesterday and noticing that I had been listening to George's album All Things Must Pass and said that he had recently bought the DVD of the film Living in the Material World and would I like to borrow it. This two disc set follows Georges life up to his death.
This is a fantastic tribute to George's amazing life journey. There were interviews with Eric Clapton, Ravi Shankar, Jackie Stewart, Phil Spector, George Martin, Ringo, Paul and Yoko.
What was truly inspiring was the effect he had on the people around him, seemingly coursing them to think more deeply about what is really important in life.
His wife Olivia gave a moving account of their life together and said when he left his body the room lit up. I was moved to tears and urge you to beg, borrow or buy this film by Martin Scorsese. There is so much in it which will coincide with your own life journey. It was remarkable to see him grow in stature and power as his spirituality became deeper and to witness the growing wisdom featured in the many interviews he gave over the years. A truly spiritual and humble man.

Friday, 3 February 2012

George Harrison and Snowdrops. All things must pass.

I have been listening to more music lately as I find it hurts my recently laser ed eye to look at the computer, read or paint for long. There is always a silver lining in everything. I have reconnected with some of my really old music with delight. In particular I have been listening to George Harrison's All Things Must Pass album. This amazing and spiritual 1970 set issued just after The Beatles broke up showcased his repressed talents which had partly been overshadowed by the Lennon/McCartney song writing partnership. I also listened to his last album Brainwashed which was produced when he knew he was dying. This was not his best work ( perhaps the excellent Cloud Nine was ) and had an uncomfortable sadness about it. I could not listen to it all as the CD developed a fault half way through. Was this George reminding me that things are not permanent and all things must indeed pass?

I have also been taking long gentle walks and today the weather was fantastic, crisp and clear with amazing clarity of light. I noticed the Snowdrops and even some first yellow Celandines ( I think ) and was reminded that things pass but also come again. Winter turning to Spring. The world passing away and reforming, a reminder of impermanence a constant parade of beauty.