Sunday, 10 December 2017

Pilgrimage - A Journey

My painting  -   "Pilgrimage - a journey"  -  (150 cm x 50 cm)

                  Acrylic on canvas  -  the centre line (path) is gold.                           


The painting is at present out on loan, getting on with it's own life journey.

Tree trunks often end up on the seashore like beached whales,waiting to be floated
back out to sea on a powerful high tide.

Their journey fascinates me.
This one looks as though it escaped from a saw mill in mid procedure!

Saw marks,decay spots and growth markings create interesting patterns.

Organic and other material, washed ashore by the tide.

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Monday, 6 November 2017


This morning at one of our favourite beaches it's a windy 9C  .....

Blue sky reflected on water  .....

Wave patterns in sand created by coal particles  .....

Princess is always looking for someone to play with - Poppy doesn't like to play  .....

She misses running with Maddy, but today she has found a playmate.

Maddy   ~    2002 - 2017

Gone to join Louis in the Happy Hunting Grounds

We lost our sweet Maddy in the Spring. She was such a bright and happy little dog -
always running. We miss her terribly.

Happy times - woodland walk with Maddy and Louis a few years ago  .....

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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Mini Forest

Moss Forests

Conifer woods  -  Scottish Borders

Details from my painting  "Enchanted Forest" 

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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Medieval Tower House

Driving in Borders country last week with Dritanje, we came across this ruined Tower House,
forlornly marking time in a hillside field.  Dritanje's blog .....RIVERTRAIN

Fortified Keeps or Tower Houses were a common form of architecture for landed families
in Scotland until late medieval times. Built for protection, they usually occupied
a prominent position overlooking surrounding countryside.
In times of danger brazier fires would be lit on rooftops across the area
to signal enemy approach.

The size of towers varied depending on wealth and status of the owners. 

Today the field is occupied by cows with calves, so we dare not investigate closer

Dry stone dykes surrounding the fields require a specialist to build and repair them.
 Built without mortar, this type of construction dates back to thousands of years BC

Roadside vegetation

Echoes of Richard Long sculpture!

This stone assemblage lying beside a path caught my eye. As we were close to a railway line
 it is most likely to be ballast stone used for laying the trackbed

Stone Circle by Richard Long  -   Scottish Gallery of Modern Art ..... HERE

Smailholm Tower near Melrose, now a museum, is an example of a renovated fortified tower.

I may come back to this later .....

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Monday, 15 May 2017

Jackdaw Village

Hailes Castle  -   East Lothian

The original  building,a tower house,was begun in the late twelve hundreds by Hugo de Gourley
 and over the following 300 hundred years subsequent owners added extensions to fit their needs.

Today it is home to families of Jackdaws and the ghostly "Lady in White" 

Jackdaw's nest in a niche high in the Great Hall
Noisy chicks exercise their vocal chords out of  danger's way.
This was one of many nests in out of reach spaces in the walls. These birds are known
for collecting shiny objects while nest building. When I was a child a friend and I spent hours searching in
old buildings and climbing trees looking for jewels which we were sure had been secreted away in Jackdaw nests
....but we never found the treasure!

Information board illustration

Above  -  The Medieval lord's table
Below  -  How the castle may have looked in the 16th century

The buildings are in a very ruined state and no decorative features remain.

Inner courtyard with the 13th century protective curtain wall on the left.
Behind the wall a water filled ditch added further protection on the landward side.

The tower block

Pigeon nesting compartments above the dungeon
 Pigeons would have been a convenient source of food for the household

Farmland viewed from the back of the building,overlooking the River Tyne

19th century cottage on the perimeter the castle grounds.

I found these ladies on Pinterest - at some point their dress would have suited the setting.
They certainly look aristocratic!

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Image 1  -  Jackdaw - image source Wikipedia

Monday, 1 May 2017


Pine  -  Hawthorn  -  Wild Cherry

East Lothian farmland

Stones -  cones - pieces of shell - dry earth

I like looking down, looking at detail ....

The structure of the surface here reminds me of American artist Jan Henle's photo sketches.

Exhibition catalogue cover 1988

The work was created on the island of St.Croix in the West Indies,where Henle grew up.
He meticulously worked land with a plow and shovel then photographed the results.
As in East Lothian, pieces of shell appear on the surface.

 I thought it would be interesting to make a virtual connection by photographing shells from neighbouring islands of
St.Kitts and Antigua on the St.Croix land image .... 

I've had these shells and for years - today they want to communicate!

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