South of Ratho towards the East Pentland Hill – Experimenting with watercolour and acrylics in a watercolour Moleskine
Common Haggis. Ink on a watercolour Moleskine.
This is a drawing of the common haggis. These shy wee creatures are very rarely seen as they have almost been hunted to extinction. The recent cold weather, however, has meant that they are venturing further afield in search for food. They became popular when Robert Burns wrote a famous address to a “Pudding” made from boiled haggis and many fear, as the 250th anniversary of the poet’s birth approaches, on January 25th 2009, that the beasties will be further decimated. To this end, a vegetarian variation is being promoted but “traditionalists” claim that it doesn’t taste the same. Haggis’ are being driven from their natural habitat and many sightings have been made outside Scotland even as far away as parts of the USA where surreptitious agencies seem to have introduced breeding pairs to that country. One National newspaper has even gone so far as to offer prizes for authenticated sightings ( http://haggishunt.scotsman.com/)
Those who are cruel to snowmen should be afraid – VERY, VERY AFRAID!!!
(playing around with mad ideas) Ink/watercolour on a watercolour Moleskine
Woods on the edge of our village – Ink on a small watercolour Moleskine
These woods contain many mature trees but kindly people have planted hundreds of small saplings amongst them, as an investment for the future. Folk after my own heart. Question? “When is the best time to plant a tree?” Answer! “Twenty years ago.”
Is the course open? – Ink on a watercolour Moleskine.
Wandering round the local golf course, the other day, To look at some of the magnificent trees there. I was amazed to hear someone ask if the course was open for play. Aye, some of us Scots are a hardy, if somewhat stupid, race.
Winter Scene, Evening – Ink on a watercolour Moleskine
The temperature is about -4C in this scene which is almost tropical compared with the overnight low of -8C. This group of trees is well known, locally, for many badger sets but the clever wee devils are probably fast asleep, well underground. The doctors say I will probably regain the feeling in my legs in a few weeks when all of this snow will be a distant memory.
Scenes in Central Edinburgh – Ink/watercolour on a watercolour Moleskine
In a magnificent gesture of friendship the good folk of Hordaland, Norway, send a Christmas tree to the City of Edinburgh, every year, as way of thanks for Scottish support during the Second World War. The tree is positioned on the Mound (please see my posting on November 6th) and the lights are turned on towards the end of November, marking the start of the City’s “Winter Festival”. (This happened on Thursday 27th this year). I hope that this painting gives a rough idea of the scene.
Echoing the sentiments from Norway; albeit somewhat early, “A happy Christmas to all at “Moleskine” and a prosperous New Year, in 2009, as well”.
Ghost stories are traditionally told at this time of year in Scotland so I’ve attempted to paint what is reputedly the most haunted place in my country. In 1679 around 400 “Covenanters” were imprisoned here and endured many years of harsh imprisonment before being executed or transported. It is said that their ghosts still cry out for vengeance and there are many tales of folk, who are daft enough to go on one of the many “Haunted Tours of Edinburgh’s Old Town”, becoming paralysed with fear when they visit the far end of the graveyard where many of the prisoners are buried. On a lighter note the small Skye Terrier, known as “Greyfriars Bobby who faithfully watched over his master’s grave for 14 years, is also buried in these grounds. Special dispensation was granted, in 1872, to bury an animal in consecrated ground.
The scene at the end of our street today. Reminds me of another poem
Winters came, the snow has fell
Wee Josie’s nosis froze as well.
We Josie’s frozen nosis skintit.
Winters diabolic, intit!
This was done with ink and watercolour on a watercolour Moleskine. The “border” was created by my attempts to hold the page flat with low tack, masking tape in an effort to stop the page cockling when wet. It seems to have worked but was a bit of a hassle. Does any one else have this problem?
It’s steadily getting colder here in Scotland. As I sat on this bitterly cold day, eating my bowl of gruel, I reflected on the wonderful summer this year. It was, I remembered, on July 8th. On that distant, sunny day I photographed this butterfly on a Buddleia bush in the garden. I decided to paint a copy to remind me of heat and to warm me up. If there is anyone out there with spare fuel, warm clothes etc please make a drawing of them and post it on this site.