Gallery of past work

Friday, 10 August 2018


It just so happens that we've visited several beautiful gardens this summer. This has given me much food for thought and some hints on new work, perhaps this time involving colour.

This afternoon, since our return from Scotland yesterday, I've downloaded my (many) photos and begun playing. I consciously sought out individual speciment flowers and architectural features but there were many other things that caught my eye. In the short amount of time available today, I worked especially on individual flowers or pairs, selecting parts of the images and applying layer by copy and layer by cut in Photoshop Elements.

First of all come two images of individual sunflowers photographed in the gardens of Crathes Castle, Aberdeenshire. In these, I've played mostly with cropping and cutting the images and filling almost the whole page with the image.

The other images are of Inula hookeri (commonly known as fleabane, I believe). These I found in Biddulph Grange Gardens, a delightful National Trust property near Stoke in Staffordshire. Here, I selected, cropped and adjusted colour somewhat.

And last of all, a single fleabane, with colour greatly enhanced.

Like the sunflowers, the fleabane has the merit of being a circular and fairly robust flower with a clearly defined shape. It seems so far that these work best when the aim is to fill the whole page with the image. They are also presumably the same plant family as the sunflowers (Compositae), though Google refused to confirm this for me. Perhaps there is something of a tentative theme emerging already ...

However, this is very much feeling my way. All so far is very representational and I have done almost no abstraction. This will come later no doubt. It usually does.

It seems that the more I work with a theme, the more abstract my work becomes.

Sunday, 5 August 2018

More drawings

This time in Scotland I’ve found mor time to draw than I often do. I include here two sketches completed during warm afternoons in favourite places in Aberdeenshire.

The first was completed on the banks of the river in Glen Tanar about 35 miles due west of Aberdeen. I’ve posted about this wonderful, peaceful place many times before. This time was especially quiet and we were undisturbed for the whole afternoon. I sat opposite this tangle of randomly-growing aspen branches for some time before beginning.

The second drawing I did yesterday on our favourite family beach at St Cyrus looking north east to the headland south of Aberdeen. Despite it being warm and the first Saturday in August with schools still on holiday, there were no more than thirty people on the beach at any one time and the beach is three miles long. It’s a wonderful, untouched and unspoilt stretch of sand backed by a nature reserve - and, we have always said, only saved from mass tourism  by N E Scotland’s unpredictable summer weather.

Both these places hold so many happy memories of times spent with our children when they were young and with friends who also love the quiet places of this area, and now with grandchildren. They 
are very precious to us all. 

Saturday, 4 August 2018

A favourite restaurant and a summer’s evening

Last night we went out to a favourite restaurant, The Cowshed, on the outskirts of Banchory here where we are staying in Aberdeenshire. It serves simple, well-cooked meals from a varied and interesting menu, but most of all, it has a wonderful view of the fields and hills from its restaurant windows.

On a warm summer’s evening, it’s unbeatable for pleasurable viewing while eating.