...the poet looks, not bold as brass
but hard, swift, slowing his walk
a little, accursed recorder, his feelings
as confused as the November leaves...
From 'At Central Station', Edwin Morgan, 1978
That part of Edwin Morgan's poem, 'At Central Station', has always stuck in my mind.
I think it's the part of me that identifies with looking, searching, and taking everything in - the surroundings, the people, the ambience, the rush...committing it to memory, film or sketch.
Maybe it's because I grew up in a rural area, that sometimes I can be overpowered with the 'busyness' of the city. The sights, the sounds, the speed.. To be honest it's probably one of the reasons I like to be behind the lens, whether that be with the film camera, or the dslr - it's that last little shield between me and the 'real'. Holding it outward, protecting myself from being sucked in.
I've been documenting aspects of Scottish life for a few years now, usually marches and protests - yep, i know - me that doesn't like crowds.
I'm now putting up some photographic galleries as I give the website a little facelift. The first one is a few stills from the Gay Pride March in Glasgow in 2016, when the skies opened and the rain poured down.
Have a peek here - Photography.
I remember laughing when my friend said that their house was looking a bit 'washed in with the tide', and that I wasn't to 'mind the mess'
Of course to me it looked fine and dandy, and like someone was living there.
I chuckled again the other day remembering the comment, as I know my website was looking a bit 'washed in with the tide' itself. A bit more Leonardo's workshop than Rietveld Schroder's 'Utrecht' house (see my MA Hons in Art History hasn't gone totally to waste), but I digress.
Anyway, the website is slowly coming together. I've added a page where you can see my recent paintings. The plan is to delve deeper into each piece and explain the inspiration behind them. In the meantime there's a link to my Etsy shop where i'm selling limited edition prints of my paintings, and also open editions of some other pieces.
The poor Etsy shop had lain practically empty until January 2018, but at last it's getting a little 'love and attention'. Glad to say I made my first sale on it last week...huzzah!
Here's the link, if you'd like to buy some contemporary art from me.
I'm about to give the website a little spring clean!
Keep an eye out for the 'new look'.
See you soon when i've dusted the place.
Lenny is always fascinated whenever i'm editing footage of wildlife!
This time it was film of highland cows I had taken down home in Kintyre, on the west coast of Scotland.
Some real life 'Wee Hamish the Highland Coo's'.
If you'd like a Wee Hamish of your own to wear on a t-shirt, and you're based in the USA, you can click the t-shirt below for those I have up on Amazon.
If you're based anywhere else in the world then click any of the links on my little shop page - he's available on mugs, bags, tees, and all other fancy shmancy things - click on the tee below to take you there!
I'm off to get some more editing done - if Lenny gets out the way of the screen!
It's the Chinese 'Year of the dog', and it's brought to mind the fun I used to have with the wee 'cuilean's' as a wean.
When I was a wee boy, my brother and sister and i would get shipped off to my Granny's farm every holiday.It was a fantastic time, running free amongst the bracken of Claonaig hills, clambering over the rocky Kennacraig shoreline, sprachling up moss covered rocks, and scaring each other on the old swing bridge.
It wasn't all carefree though - we had to earn our keep by 'helping' around the place.
One of the jobs was to clean out the dog kennels - and because my Grandfather and my Uncle were both shepherd's - well there were a lot of Border Collies to clean up after!
I remember the shovel I was given was taller than me!
It was in with the shovel, then with the hose!
Thing is, I can't remember it being an unpleasant experience...just another one of those farmyard smells.
Plus the aroma of my Granny's freshly baked cakes and scones always covered it up - and we were always rewarded with one of these treats when finished mucking out!
Have a creative day and speak soon!
I took a wee turn in to the Paisley Museum and Galleries the other day for a look at 'The Monarch Of The Glen'. This fantastic work by Edwin Landseer, painted around 1851, is taking a hurl through a few of Scotland's smaller galleries, in thanks for the purchase of it, partly from public funds and donations.
There are mixed opinions as to what this piece means to modern day Scots - some say it's 'majestic', others that it's 'kitsch', yet others that say it's reminiscent of Scotland being the playground of rich victorian imperialist Englishmen - a place suited for 'hunting, shooting, and fishing'.
I think it's rather a beautiful piece, reminding me of the spirit of the Scots - majestic, proud, firm and true. It's a wee bit melancholic though, as the bonnie beast was probably shot, and it's heiid now slowly turning to dust, hinging off the wall of some crumbling stately home down south.
It also raised a wry smile in me that there's a version of the painting in the American sitcom 'Schitt'$ Creek'. It 's placed behind the reception desk - have a peek, next time you'e watching, it's available on netflix in the UK.
I hope you get a chance to see 'The Monarch Of The Glen' in person. It's in Paisley Museum until the 11th of March, and then at Kirkcudbright Galleries from 11 May until 27 June 2018.There's a whole fun exhibition built around the piece with versions of the work in various styles - lego, pop art and minecraft to name a few
Have a fun day and speak soon
Here's a photo and a video of a recent oil painting of Leonard Cohen, by me, for my flatmate's 'Wall of Leonard Cohen'.
I finished Leonard a couple of weeks back, but decided to let the piece 'rest' before taking another look at him with fresh eyes to see if I wanted to do any more work on him.
From previous 'disasters', i've learnt that now as soon as I have that 'almost finished' feeling, I should stop, and leave the painting for a few days, or even a couple of months - trying not to look at it too much
I think that when we are painting, we can sometimes be too close to the canvas and we get caught up in the minutiae, concentrating on one tiny fleck where the light hits rather than standing back and seeing the piece as a whole.
It's like when you look at a Sargent painting - you're supposed to stand a few feet back and admire the full thing, because when you get up too close, the brushwork gets oh so rough.
This piece has joined the 'Wall Of Cohen'. Although i'm a fan of Leonard Cohen myself, and try to strum his songs on my guitar, it's my flatmate who's been a fan for over 40 years.
This makes it easy for birthdays, Christmas etc, as I know exactly what to paint or illustrate for him.
This particular painting is based on a TV interview away back in the day, and it's the first time my flatmate can recall seeing Leonard Cohen wearing his fedora, which he was rarely seen without, when performing in later years.
Because the interview image was rather degraded and fuzzy, I had to rely on my 'knowledge' of Leonard's face - I don't want to sound too 'artsy', but it was more the feeling or 'spirit' of the much younger Cohen which I was trying to evoke and so I tended to rely on my own intuition when moving the brush rather than commit slavishly to the still image and producing a direct copy.
I hope you like it, and that you are having a creative day too.
Well, the excitement on this tuesday #coosday is that...
..Wee Hamish has launched on the American portal of Amazon.com
Woooo...streamers falling and all that malarkey.
He's on a little t-shirt under my 'Cup O' Kindness' brand, and i'm adding more designs with him and the rest of my illustrative work presently.
Click the picture and a new window will take you there.
It's just from the Amazon.com site for the moment, but if you're not based in America then he's still available from all my usual shops here.
It's been a busy couple of weeks.
I've added a couple of new places where i'm stocking my art work - but don't fear, i'll not be spamming here there and everywhere in an effort to liberate you from your cash!
I'm aiming more for a 'how it's going' kind of thing.
The first place is Etsy.
I actually opened on Etsy a while back, but i'd only ever kept one badly taken photo of my Highland Cow..but now, well, i've given it a good spring clean and there's a whole herd awaiting you. Have a little peek in case the hairy beasties are feeling lonely.
The second is Amazon.com.
Now you might not have heard of Amazon.com, they are only a tiny little store, but i hear they may grow a little, given enough time and support.
I'll delve deeper into my experiences with both outlets as the weeks progress.
In the meantime, here's a link to each place -
I roped my friend Tom in to help with filming the other day...and michty me it was freezing. Here's a couple of pics from the upcoming promo to advertise one of my paintings.
They say the camera adds so many pounds..but I think it's more the Christmas food that was making me look as round as a barrel.
I'll be editing the footage this week, so stay tuned as to where you can buy the limited edition of the Duke Of Wellington painting.
Whit's he up tae noo?
The blog posts of David Brodie, a Scottish artist based near Glasgow.