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.
The backstory -
You'll remember that I had a lot of trouble a while back with my art designs being unscrupulously ripped from my online stores and then being put up for sale on the Amazon marketplace by counterfeiters (mainly from China but there were other bad actors too).
Well, it's been over a year since i've seen any of my designs being sold this way, so a little knock on wood, and a little bit of praise where it's due to Amazon becoming more successful in squishing this type of behaviour.
It's the worst feeling, as an artist, when you see your hard work being stolen in this way. At the end of the day most of us use our art to pay the rent. I've heard from other artists who are now to scared to even show their work online in fear of it being stolen by these 'bots'.
I ran a series of blogs back in 2016 showing what was happening - not blaming it on the company themselves (well, how were they to know what was someone else's art) and the steps needed to ask Amazon to take down the designs. Sometimes this would be a laborious process, but as I always admitted, Amazon were pretty fast in taking them down, once notified.
So far so good, but why the question of deleting blog posts?
Well, Amazon have launched 'Merch By Amazon', and like other Print On Demand sites such as Zazzle and Cafepress, you can now upload your designs onto t-shirts to sell. The brand recognition of Amazon is huge, hence invaluable to designers, but you have to apply to join.
I've been invited to reapply and give more information on my background as a designer. Which means giving my website details, and thus obviously those blog posts in question will show up.
So, I asked myself, should I keep them up and thereby risk being turned down by the 'Merch By Amazon' folks, or delete them to help ensure a safe passage in.
It was tempting but as sometimes happens I took my advice from unexpected sources - Mr Data from Star Trek The Next Generation -
Mr Data - "And for a time, I was tempted.."
Captain Jean-Luc Picard - "How long a time?"
Mr Data - "0.68 seconds sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity."
The blogs were written from the point of view of the artist, and in good faith, and ultimately I hope, helped others, and also, in turn, contributed to Amazon as a company coming down hard on issues of copyright..
I'll keep you up to date on how it goes, and hopefully, if and where on Amazon you can find my wee designs!
I've finally been getting around to editing some of my footage shot down in the Kintyre area of Scotland. Mainly seals, highland cows and sheep. Seriously if you ever want to see an area of unspoilt beauty, then definitely take a little trip down there.
Lenny, my cat, has been keeping me company whilst i've been working through it. I've never seen one wee cat so fascinated by seals, highland cows, and sheep.
Here he is in the pictures and video below.
Like I say, he's been absolutely fascinated! Now if only I could teach him how to use the controls!
I'll be editing for a while longer tonight, but i'll take a little break to bring in the bells, seeing as it's Hogmanay and all!
Have fun and safe one and i'll speak to you in 2018!
You'll remember the wee furry visitor I mentioned yesterday. Well, he wasn't a wee monster at all. In fact he's a wee bit of a cutie - Shug The Pug!
When i was trying to settle on a name for him I found that Shug, being the Scottish name for a young lad, and also the shortened form of Hugh, actually was derived from the German Hugh, meaning 'hug'. So Shug is a wee pug that really does love hugs.
You can find him nestled on t-shirts etc on my usual outlets like zazzle and redbubble.
I had a great time painting him, and hope you can give him a wee home to settle in!
Uh-oh! There's what looks like a scary visitor coming! Will he gobble us up or be nice and friendly?
I'll reveal all tomorra!
If i'm not eaten by then.
Speak soon! (hopefully)
Welcome fellow creative!
I'm Davy Brodie, and art is my passion. I live a creative life, through art, photography and film, and I really believe the act of creating something new everyday truly enriches our lives!