French window 2017 

Jon and I are staying in the French house with the fab view again. I think I am drawn to taking so many photos because I live in a basement in Edinburgh. Dad has had posh double glazed windows put in that open two ways. 

I was amused to find my daughter in the room yesterday taking pictures. I don’t go in for net curtains – but these keep out the bugs and flies so they are allowed …. the changing atmosphere and view is a fascination as you can see below. 


 



I have no desire to paint the images but, can understand why the impressionists painted en plein air – with lots of canvasses to record scenes  at different times of day. 


Palhais Portugal

We have been visiting Portugal this week at the Omissam Guest house. Jon booked us in for a yoga retreat. I was quite anxious because I haven’t done any yoga for years. However, Lia and her team are very adaptable and doing yoga once a day was an acceptable practice. 

The retreat is situated in the small village of Palhais. There is a lot of new buildings but the centre still has a lot of  charm. There are lots of blue and white painted houses and a few examples of patterned ceramic tiles.

The pavements and roads are made of cobbles that are cut into little cubes of various sizes


More examples of tiles – the chicken design was inside a cafe. The majority of designs that I saw are blue and white. 


The tiles are either set in panelled designs making a feature on a wall or a patterned area typically around the main door. 

Every roof is tiled in brown ceramic tiles – there don’t seem to be any guttering and several roofs have pretty ridge tiles and a ‘Moorish’ feel to them 


Because it is early July there are lots of flowers. Agapanthus seems to be used everywhere on rounderbouts, decorating roadside pots and gardens. 

 


Thistles , succulents and morning glory are in abundance too 

Manipulating Edinburgh with my IPhone 

The last couple of weeks  manipulations in my iphone apps, I’ve been experimenting digitally with ideas for paintings- I haven’t worked like this before. Usually the digital images are a end product in them selves. 


Interesting window at my gym – Edinburgh , waste pipes , Georgian window , light through a room, shutters , trees out the other side ( it ticked lots of boxes …..) 

I always sell a few pictures in my exhibitions that are Edinburgh based, so I like to manipulate what ever I am working on in that direction for a few pieces – shameless marketing? It pays for the framing and nibbles at the private view 


Heisenberg filter applied – I could do a whole graphic novel just using that filter 


Add a bit of dramatic colour – to see if it could work over the top of one of my mandalas – Nope 

Well we could use the trees reflected in the door at the gym or some stairs on the way to the market? 


Below I image bleneded the Heisenberg steps with the coloured gym window – which is a bit more interesting , but can I be bothered to draw all those railings? It’s always a problem wether to draw or whether just to leave it as a photo. 


Earlier this week  Edinburgh chimneys worked really well 



They inspired me to add a sky and a silhouette to a canvas I keep adding layers to – but, wasn’t going anywhere. I like the blue against my red wall

Memories of California-  wood and succulents 

Memories of my recent trip to California keep popping up in my head. I was thinking about blogging this morning and I decided that my prevailing memory is wood, houses, paintwork, floors, textures and succulents as big as dinner plates  

Living in Europe you don’t see many houses made totally of wood. 

 I remember a friends wooden kit house as a teenager and being very curious about it – wooden window frames and doors have to be constantly protected from the weather, how long would it last? (That was in the 1970’s it’s still there) 

In San Francisco ,Monterey and Sacramento there are lots of wooden structures – maybe because the weather is so clement – without our European extremes – the wood doesn’t need as much protection? 

My Dad and I commented whilst in SF on the quality of the paint work – we thought it would be a lucrative job being an external painter and decorator . 

I couldn’t stop taking pictures of the houses in SF . They are alien to my Edinburgh and Oxford raised eyes. 

The last weekend of our stay ,in Sacremento the weather was hot and sunny – you can tell by the clothing Jon and my Dad are wearing and the light , that it was not always so in SF lol. 

Visiting 3 locations  in 2 weeks , my eyes were constantly looking at different textures and decor- The SF house was quite dark , full of books and art 




One of the things I love about Airbnb is living in other people’s houses and looking at how they decorate and the stuff that they leave in situ when people visit . 

Monterey was the least looked after location that we stayed in – but it was decorated with fab stuff and had a charm of it’s own -looking back  it was a haven from the bustle of SF and the overwhelming business of the wedding 



Below a Monterey wooden house


Sacremento – the house was near Fair Oaks a suburb about 10 mins drive from my daughters law’s home. This was light and airy with a jacuzzi and a pool 

Succulents – I have always liked what Megan’s mum calls ‘Hens and chicks’ my Dad always says that a ‘good  big piece of art is much better than small piece’, I have found the same with the succulents  after my visit to California 

Doodling around thresholds

After last week’s journalling and thinking about my family I was exhausted – I haven’t felt like doing any more emotionally draining stuff. I felt like I was a bit numb and standing back and looking at that ‘me’

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I didn’t really feel comfortable working in my journal at all. Then Jon turned on the TV and it was live football so I did a spread looking at the different surnames I was associated with as a child- i don’t feel happy posting the whole spread so here is a sneak peak
I used a loud background and found bits like washi tape, my magazine letters and a print that I made when carving a figure stamp.

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I liked the idea that I am standing at a threshold- wanting to make art but not wanting to delve too deeply . So I played it safe and doodled doors at work on Thursday and windows today
I love architectural motifs and so this was easy play for me. Image making around the topic – cartoon windows and doors

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I printed my doors , scored and cut them so that they opened and then stuck them in my journal – more doodling and thinking about what is going on behind the doors

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