Tuesday, 20 December 2011


Managed finally to pick up my assessment pieces from uni.
Was so good to be back there, missing it already. know I need a break but really need to be getting on with something new.
Aha!, get on with the brief we have to write ourselves over christmas break.
Want to laze around, then I feel guilty but also want to be creating and visiting friends/family.
Not all possible at the same time. Needing a clone to help out.
Time off= energy for more creative stuff.

Happy Solstice to all
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
and a
Happy New Year

Wednesday, 7 December 2011


Assessment time is here again.
That time when there is an air of quiet panic everywhere.
So, we all got a place to set up our pieces, which we thought were our best.
I ended up putting up a quite a few because they all had something I liked about them and it looked good in a display.
One had been finished on the day and was still wet....
got dust on it and had to be touched up a little.
I'm most pleased with the carvings.

It all comes down again in two days, then the wait for our feedback and grade.
Whatever happens, I know I've learnt a lot.

Sunday, 27 November 2011


It's that time again.
I've once more gone over my essay and I think now it is finally finished. whew!
It doesn't seem to matter how much I do before assessment, I always think that I haven't done enough. Making sheets up of photos to show the progression of my sculpture, sorting through the sketchbooks...... I still feel nervous.
There's always the feeling that I could have done more. Actually, I could always do more.
Trying to get used to that feeling that if I was really good (or if this really is my path in life), I would want to be drawing, painting, sculpting all the time.....and I don't.
Sometimes I want to run away from it all and hide... not possible I know.
Maybe time to express that feeling... escaping from life, getting away from myself, space!!!!

More on this later.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

more oils

The blocking in stage.. loose and rough but I like it.
this took three days. Had a terrible time with the face but persevered and am fairly pleased with it.
I've been using a pallet knife for some of the areas, robe and purple drapery.... It scared me, I don't have control of which way the paint goes which for me is annoying but, gives a completely different feel.
and the last pic. I could spend a lot longer refining the image ut have decided that I wouldn't learn anymore about the paint that way. So have moved on to another picture, this time just the head.

I'm aiming on pushing myself out of the comfort zone to do a picture with just the knife.
lets see how I feel.
I'm really enjoying painting with oils and want to do more.

Friday, 11 November 2011

nude- oils

The first one of a series.... also the largest.

As I said, I got the back view... but really enjoyed finding the colour.

The last one and because I'd seen an Alison Watt exhibition in Edinburgh, I went for the cloths, although the figure plays an integral part due to the reflections and warm/cool tones.
An experience that I learnt loads from.
Soon to be repeated, in fact, next week as we have a female model and 3 more weeks.
Love life drawing and loving painting.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

I've started the new block and tis painting... oils to be precise.
So, we had the talk and it was interesting, absorbing some info and writing notes.
Then... drawing the model.
I have a back view but because of the cloths lying around there is quite a bit of colour reflected onto his back.
We learnt to make a stretcher for canvas... what a brilliant day! I can now make my own.
Primed and ready to go.
The painting has been blocked in and now I'm starting to refine the colours and shapes.
Photo will be appearing, forgot to take pictures of the stages which is a pity but I'll remember next time.
Really enjoying it.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


This is now part of a small exhibition at uni.
In its display case, it looks like something you'd see in a museum... feels very good.

A close-up. I tried to make it look good from all different angles and I think I managed although given a little more time I would have sanded away a few filing marks.
For a second piece, I'm more than happy but now want to do more.
In a way, I think doing the next one will be difficult because this one turned out so well. Also I didn't have to pay for the stone, that would definately put more pressure on me. A piece of stone the size I began with would possibly cost £50..... A fair amount.
I haven't named it yet as nothing springs to mind, a bit of thought required.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

sculpture photos

Here it is finally finished and displayed in a wee exhibition at uni.
This is the small soapstone carving I did to as an experiment.

The reverse of above.

Next post has pictures of the large soapstone carving. Due to demonstrating my understanding of carving and that I worked safely, I was allowed a large piece of soapstone.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

more sculpture

Sorry folks but forgot to take a photo of my stone sculpture, got too involved in making it.
Tomorrow I will be taking a few shots.
After finishing the plaster figure in a hoop, I was allowed to choose a piece of soapstone.
It's a lovely stone to carve being on the softer side than most.
The finishing touches are done with small files.
New tools are 'rifflers' which are files to use with plaster and stone. Ah yes, a photo would help here.

These are fabulous for gettin those lovely curves.
My carving is now at the stage for sanding, using wet & dry sandpaper.
Very messy but leaves a smooth, tactile surface.
Elbow grease and perseverance is a must.

Monday, 3 October 2011

the sculpture is coming on... this is almost there but needs smoothing out and making some areas more distinctive.

I've mostly enjoyed making this, but have had time when I just wasn't sure where to go and what exactly needed fixing to make it look right. Perseverence, some help from the tutor and lots of messy plaster and it now is getting to fine details. The waiting around for the plaster to be at the correct consistency is slightly irritating but gives plenty time for inspection of where to put the stuff.
Looking forward to tomorrow and more refining.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

This is the armiture for my sculpture. It's a figure in a hoop - circus performance style.
So.... the idea is to then add chicken wire, plaster and material - not necessarily in that order - to produce a sculpture.
I formed and welded the figure but the hoop was by the technician. He did it so fast, very knowledgeable.
I quite like it as it is... the stick figure representing the human form is an easily recognisable image from childhood. I'd like to try and keep the simple lines but not entirely sure how it will turn out.
The photograph I have has echoes of art deco and I think I'll aim to make it a little like that.
I wonder what it will turn out like..

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Agnes Martin

This piece is called 'Gratitude'

This one is 'Faraway Love'

This is called 'Stars'

Agnes Martin came up in one of our essay questions, so I had a wee look and I like her work.
She's classed as 'Minimalist', for obvious reasons but there is an organic nature in her drawings/paintings.
She uses paint and graphite.
Many of these works are 6' by 6' and the lines are drawn by hand, which gives them an aliveness.
I'd love to see them in real life because I reckon they'll be quite inspiring.
After doing a little research into the 'Minimalists', Ifind that I'm drawn to the work.
I've been thinking a little about how to express space - to convey the feeling of being happy alone with myself, able to spread out, relax and breathe easily..... without stress, without feeling that I should be, ought to be, must... be doing!
These works go some way towards that.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Visiting art day

Today I went to Hallgreen Castle in Inverbervie with my mum to see my artworks there... Gorgeous place, I'd love to live there.... an enormous sit in fire place.
This was part of the North East Open Studios, great to see the variety of art.
We then went to see a couple more places... lovely, lovely artwork. technically brillant drawings and the paintings were excellent too.
I need to be making my own art though, feel the need to sketchbook.
Sorting the house out needs to be done though as I've been working constantly.
Will endeavour to get in that art room tomorrow.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

pic and poem

pic by S.Humphries

Sun-scape and

winter dreams

converge in misty tales

of dew-stained grass

and diamond drops.

Ok, this is the last for a while because I don't have anymore as yet. Hope you like.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

back at uni

Not been very insired lately... in fact a lack of self confidence is at the fore.
That will most definately change, hopefully sooner rather than later.
We had a wee meeting about our modules and to be honest I left more confused than before I went.
Got to check the online information.
I've gathered quite a few photos, written research and even a few pages in my sketchbook but feel I should have done more, life kind of gets in the way.
For a few weeks now I've wanted to run a way and hide in a lovely place by the sea (not sure where yet), a lot of good books and art stuff. This isn't going to happen in the near future , reckon I need to find the place first and make it a reality... west coast scotland is very possible, an island is equally an idea. Add to that, good food and wine. A wee idyll away from technology and any responsibilities.
Hmm! liking this idea more and more.
Soon I'll be adding ideas (pictures) from my brief.

Monday, 5 September 2011


Today is the day... matriculation has occurred and now first day back in uni is on friday to get our modules. Quite exciting and I'm really looking forward to getting in there and started.
The summer brief is still bothering me, not feeling excited about that.....
Although I was out drawing trees today but didn't get too much done. Lovely negative shapes though. Wanting to spend more time on these sketches and need some yew trees to draw.
I'm imagining dappled trees in the sunlight like the Glasgow Boys but sunshine is a little in short supply right now, well, unless I'm working.. Ho hum!
Awaiting my ILA to come through so's I can apply for a Tig welding course... been wanting to do that for ages. Positive thinking is the way.
Roll on a creative time ahead...!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

want to draw...

I really want to draw but am interrupted with work, moving things away from storage heaters so they can be taken out, general living.
So actually no excuse at all... hmm!
During a long break between fly cues I did a wee sketch from the fly bridge, nearly forgot the next cue coz I got into the drawing but all ok.
I'm busy now til tues... my aim is to head out then and sketch me some trees.
Needing some nature to clear my head.
Need to see some beauty!
Yes, I know... beauty is everywhere, but fancy a bit of the natural stuff.

Thursday, 1 September 2011


These three are the ones to be shown at Hallgreen Castle.

We, being 'Something Palatable', are now going to be showing 3 pieces of work at Hallgreen Castle, Inverbervie from 10th-18th Sept through Mavericks Art Craft Group. This is part of an Open Studios event.
Very pleased about it and thank you Sharon for that.
Haven't been very creative for a bit and feeling the lack.
I've things I want to be doing, mainly going out and drawing trees. The weather is dull.... red tape and paperwork is getting in the way. Also some work at the theatre, which is ok for a bit of money but would rather be drawing or painting,
ah well, needs must!

yet another poem....

pic by S. Humphries

These leaf-button droplets,
reflections intact.

From rain
came irrigating,

A life-giving sprinkle
or a deluge it makes.

Saturday, 27 August 2011

exhibition is now over.

It's all over and with it came a bit of a low.
Was feeling a little that way anyway but felt weird to take it all down.
Very pleased with the comments and all in all it's been a positive experience.
My belief that I'm on the right track is strengthened.

We all went to Catterline to hang out with the waves, walking along listening to the sea scrape the stones further down the shore. Amazing sound! A wee visit to where Joan Eardley used to paint and a tasty half pint in the Creel Inn.

amazing waves.

One of these nearly got me, had to jump off the wall.

I just really liked this image so here it is.
Might be part of a painting one day.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

discipline is the key

Well to a certain extent anyway.
I'm trying to discipline myself to get in that art room and do something everyday. It seems to be working although I'm also getting very good at coming up with procrastination reasons.
One of them being writing this blog... ho hum!
Made a birthday card yesterday which was lovely to do and today I'm off to work somewhere else.
This is also good but resolve to be creative between jobs today.... I'm on 10am til 1pm then 6pm til 10.30pm so that leaves a little while.
A piece with 4 portraits in it is my plan today, it's been sitting for too long and I'm a little scared of tackling it although I bet I'l love it when I get into it. It's all pencil from a photo.
photos will be uploaded to prove I'm doing it.
This summer brief has so many tentacled ideas that I probably have enough projects for ages to come.
Right... off to do a little on these portraits.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

another poem

photo by S. Humphries

Stuck in a place,

this sea of straw,

from here he can no longer float.

A clinker occurred,

a dissonant note,

oarless, sorry boat.

Poem by me!

Yes, another poem/photo mix.

These were done a long while ago but feel now is the time to get them out there.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

summer brief

This brief is so full that I'm confused and drawn in so many directions, there is a glimmer of an idea coming... kind of, and on the other hand there's this other glimmer which might involve sculpture.
Hmmm! am enjoying my sketchbook though.
My life has suddenly got busy again and I want to be in my art room, ah well, there's always the evenings.

Car is a little broken so going to garage tomorow,
I'm on jury duty so can't do brief although I'll probably take electric eden to read there in the long waits.

Spent today at carboot sale with my mum and we got a fair amount of money and got to sit around on a sunny day. can't be bad.

Friday, 19 August 2011

today is ....

today is sunny, slightly breezy and a day I get some more work. whew!
glad about that as funds are a bit, or rather a lot too low.
Got some more work coming up too so feeling a little more relaxed.
At the same time, I'm desperate to get onto the next project but the circus pieces will have to take a back shelf until I have more of an idea what's happening with the summer brief.
In some ways I think I do have an idea what to do but hasn't gelled yet. More reading, sketching, playing.

Feel a fairly big piece or maybe 3 smaller,
3 being a symbolic number
that is appearing in my research.
Another sketchbook piece,
a few more bits to potter away at
on this page, as long as the pen
is making a mark, ideas will flow.
Or that seems to be what happens anyway.

today is.... random phone calls.
today is.... time for some music.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

just one more

This is a watercolour I did at college...
Had decided it was rubbish
and I couldn't paint.
As it progressed I got frustrated but persevered.
I like it now, but I reckon it looks better
as a photograph.
Maybe be a good print.

Been wanting to put this up for ages,
so here it is.

Maybe another watercolour is in order to practice?
Hmm... could be.

sketchbook pages

this was the first of my dabbling with sketching my fiddle.
the orange/gold/red/yellow is extremely pleasing.. although the dark blue later is opposite.. maybe getting all balanced..... yin/yang.
then we move.... I like the shadows showing on the body of the instrument.

very rough but I like it, especially the scraped bits. Not sure if anyone else will see the fiddle , but I do....I then pressed some tissue paper onto the wet paint and transposed it beside the painted image... liking that bit. There and not there.

Then it moved to lines... I drew the contour of the fiddle body side and followed with 4 more lines to show the 5 lines of the stave in music. This is beginning to get somewhere, I hope.

I then drew outlines of the trees outside my window and repeated the 5 line stave fiddle body contour. Quite liking the dark tissue paper too.

From here, I'm not sure where to go , more experimentation required.
For another day though.


I've been in the studio(wee art room) playing with collage and my sketchbook.
This is inspired by the brief we've been given for summer.. too much .... really, really, too many possibilities but maybe that's the way to go.
The cover now makes me want to open the book. all to the good.

Whew!, haven't the foggiest idea what to do, well not entirely true, I have the glimmerings of ideas but nothing that grabs me so just juggling ideas and see what I get.

Most certainly feeling a little drained after the run up to our exhibition, work starting to trickle in and I still feel a little like running away. Ah well!.. cheers, a wee glass of wine and a chill.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

photos of exhibition

ok.. photos!

Back again after preparing for our exhibition and feeling much less anxious. The day went very well, quite a few folk didn't appear but we were pleased.
A photographer from the Forfar Gazette turned up and our mugshots are getting in the paper.
Felt daft doing it but needs must. One of the best things is that now we've had our first private view we'll never have to have the first one again... Hurray for that.
was shown how to do my camera's panoramic shot..

From here the images are of my work.

'Seeing Kelvingrove'

'High Balance'

'He Dances' & 'She Dances'

'Trafalgar I' & 'Tafalgar II'

Here are some of my lovely family viewing part of the exhibition.

I'm off tomorrow to sit there and hopefully speak to some viewers and maybe....
sell a painting. (positive thinking).
Taking my sketchbook and research book to do more of my summer brief.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

a seagull poem

Larus argentatus

herring gull


natural vacuum cleaner bird.

A rubbish eating pest.

Grey backed glider.

Coastal dwellers moved into town,

protected under law ?

still culled and hated.

But beauty in flight,

wingtip to tail.

Grey backed glider,

hoarse from your raucous call.

I've been tidying up my photos and other word type documents on my external hard drive and found this and a few more. This and the others were inspired by the photographs of Simon Humphries....

anther one tomorrow.

claeaning day..

This morning..and I mean early, at 3.23, woke up and had to paint in my sketchbook, then a cup of tea and a wee read of the book. What a lovely morning... and of course back to sleep til a decent hour occurred.

Cleaning day today, definately.
I went round to pick up Sharon's artwork so I can take it to Montrose on sat then came home and cleaned, cleaned and then some more cleaning.
There's a special man arriving tomorrow which probably had a lot to do with the tidy.
Moved furniture around and feel really good about it all.

Been doing some drawing for the summer brief or is that 'the brief summer' ..ok it' not that funny I know but made me chuckle.
Fiddle parts, so many curves and random ideas to evolve.
I've still no idea what direction the brief will take me, seem to have lost track for a bit.
Too much information, a vast amount of possibilities and a slightly befuddled brain. I feel drawn to the earth(gaia), the wicca and the land artists. I believe balance is needed, but not sure how to convey that.
The road trip, hmm, there are physical trips and mental journeys both of which have equal merit. The nostalgia part, I feel is a running back to a safe place, where the modern world is just too overwhelming. Or just holding on to important parts of our culture that have been overlooked or just tossed aside in favour of 'progress'. The erroneous thought that old is bad and new is good.

ok... whew! I feel the load lightening being rid of those thoughts.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

finished pieces

The final photos of my contribution to the RudaTanzania fund.
At a few moments I took these pieces too far and had to push it further to get them back to something I considered ok.
Quite a learning experience, to ruin a piece and still get something out I wanted.
Really enjoyed making these and I reckon there will be more.

this one was a practice for a mural I was doing, getting used to drawing horses but it turned out so well, it's for Ruda as well.

Hope whoever gets them enjoys them...