Saturday, 30 November 2013

Cat(ch) up!

On Wednesday at my Art Group I started the painting below.  Once back at home I continued until it became dark.  Sometimes it is so much fun that when you stand back to look see its a "Yes!" and a punch in the air.  

 These two belong (if cats ever belong) to a friend of mine who lives many miles away. but posted the photograph on facebook.

  They were sitting on top of her fridge freezer.  Hence the 'deformed' appearance of Dolly on the right, waiting for the "Get off there!"  Harvey on the left saying, "What?"

Discussions the following morning with my framer, and friend, DougHe is to play about with the mounting.  I suggested we used the mount as a 'shelf', he is thinking about putting them in a box.  Cats like boxes.  Quite exciting and a bit different.

Later that day I had the pleasure of presenting prizes to a young lady who had entered the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses Christmas Card Challenge.  I started this off last year when it was very successful and this year was no different.  

 The challenge is to include a lighthouse.  This entry was from a 10 year old.  An easy winner.  Just love Santa surfing!

Thursday, after school, we were joined by our prize winner, her Mum and her teacher (who I had had to ask to verify it was all her own work !)  The prize was a free visit and tour of the Lighthouse for a family of 4, a t shirt, a book about lighthouses, and a bag.  

The DP and I have spent most of our evenings preceding creating the card into a saleable item as the official Christmas Card for the lighthouse

So here I am, on the right, the winner in the middle, and her teacher on the left.  The original drawing with the on sale Christmas Card to the left.  Is that one on the left old enough to be a teacher?????

Friday was an exciting day.  Not particularly pleasurably so.  The Board of Trustees meeting of the Museum, still fighting for its existence.  The weather threw a 90mph wind at us.  Not sure whether that was in support or not!

 This was over 70mph.
Over 80
And these were the two idiots who went up the lighthouse to check it.  Must remember next time I need a blow dry to save my money and go up there.

And finally just to let you all know I am fine.  The wind lifted me off my feet but I managed to grab the wing mirror on the car and .....survived.  That was a catch up I could have done without!

Monday, 25 November 2013


I recently attended a course on Perspective.  I did very well.  Thought I had now grasped it.  Vanishing points , yeah, easy.  

This photograph appeared on facebook.  After contacting the photographer, and receiving the permission to have a go at immortalising it in water colour, I began.  
Well, the first attempt had the cottage roof going in totally the wrong direction.  If someone could tell me which horizon you use to line up with I would be most grateful.  I realised where I was going wrong and found the 'horizon'.  Started again, cottage looked amazing, even the chimney...... all the other roofs were fine, so how come the lighthouse was totally wrong??  Was there a different horizon?  Surely there is only one?

I am now onto my third attempt.  Not like me to persevere.  If it dont work its on the wall of infamy.  Which indeed, is where number one and two have gone.  But I am blowed if this is going to defeat me.

Meanwhile, I got to thinking about perspective.  Me being deep, No!  

Recently  I have wondered how wrong my perspective on human beings is.  My horizon would be a level playing field with caring, respect, open minds, working together for the best for everyone.  How weird that some peoples perspective is not the same.  (Just been going through a bad time.)

I think the birds have it right.  

Lets get together and have some fun.  With no harm to anyone, and anyone can share in the view of us having fun and enjoy. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013


 Some of the Scottish Accordion Group.  Out of sight, i.e. not on the stage but in front of it were more, and fiddlers.  Some of my followers may remember last year when the DP and I went to their first visit to Lonmay Public Hall.  I was quite amazed that there were still as many of them, given the average age.......

This is our butcher.  Ian. 

 Who was also a story teller.  I find that I can now understand almost all the Doric!  So 
instead of just laughing when everyone else did I now know what I am laughing at!!

Last year I had to be removed as I was laughing hysterically at the antics of the drummer.
He is now 93 and still not missing a beat.

This lady is just waiting to be discovered and do the equivalent of Pam Ayres but in Doric.  (Should explain that Doric is the Scots language used hereabouts.)

Some hilarious poetry, including one about a chuckie (stone) in the shoe.

This is a picture of the Lonmay Public Hall.  Taken in the daylight.  Try and imagine it is night, there are no street lights.  It is a narrow country lane.  Great fun parking, then finding your car afterwards!

A great evening.  So funny that our nearest neighbour and I had a catch up chat there. Well when you live a fair bit from your nearest neighbour......  There were others there we had a great claik with (chat).  

The other bit of shenanigans this week.  Dalrymple Hall,  where our art group meets, is being rewired.  So we are currently meeting at the new Community Sports and Leisure Centre.

In the staff kitchen......  Bit cramped.  But dry.

I do have a swimming costume, which has never been wet.  Hmmmm.


Wednesday, 20 November 2013


On Monday the DP and I drove into Aberdeen.

 The occasion was to meet our two youngest daughters and our granddaughter.  P has travelled up from Lincoln to stay with eldest sister A in Edinburgh, wherein also reside the other two, E and C.  We met in a lovely cafe that I was introduced to by Christine a bloggy friend, Writing from Scotland.

Grandma and Granddad.

 Daughter P and granddaughter.

 Youngest daughter.
 Show her a camera and you get this big cheesy grin.

A lovely day.

Part of which was spent in Primark.

And I was bought this lovely jumper!

(pictured on the day after when I had me hair done.)

  Spare moments since then.

The gorgeous seal pup, now losing his baby fluff.

And the second of this years Christmas cards, a Partridge (red legged) and a Pear Tree.

Next two days on more serious stuff being a trustee at the Lighthouse Museum.

Nice to have these lovely family interludes, and the painting of course.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Grampian Transport Museum.

On Friday I was driven to Alford by the Business Manager of the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.  In his BMW we must be paying him too much.

We did not follow the map as above.  It is a far pleasanter route to go across country from Fraserburgh in a somewhat meandering, but quicker way than going into Aberdeen and out again.  Particularly as first heading that way there was the too frequent major road crash, blue lights, and traffic at a standstill.  So we meandered.  Lots of Autumnal beautiful trees, views of the hills, nay mountains (?) .

Mither Tap at Bennachie.

Arrived at the Grampian Transport Museum.  This closes in the Winter.  So we got a personal guided tour from the equivalent of our Business Manager.  Preceded by a very interesting chat about how they do things, how we do things.  Extremely worthwhile.

Now I love Lighthouses, as you are all aware, and I am not that bothered about transport.  If a car has four wheels and starts when I turn the key I dont care what make it is, but wowee the exhibits here were totally fascinating.

 Jimmy Connelley's motor bike.


Chitty chitty bang bang.

 A Dalek, escaped from Doctor Who.  

This chap is all wired up to light the annual bonfire!

There was so much to see, so many unique exhibits.  

I found myself thinking, "Goodness I remember driving one of them, so I must be vintage."  
 Lorries from the past, vehicles from the beginning to the present, fascinating.

I shall certainly go back for a longer look.  You could spend a whole day there and more.

Here is one for Laurie, I love a Cloudy Day blogspot.  (Her owl paintings are far superior.)
This is a Screech Owl nesting from a photograph by Bill Westheimer.
Three French Hens to become this year's Christmas Card.

How many days left?  Have I got time to paint the whole of the 12?  Although I can never remember in what order they are in towards the end, how many pipers?  How many Lords?  Aaaaaaargh.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Lighthouse Museum doings and the dreaded C word.

I haven't posted about the Lighthouse Museum for some time.  Always lots happening.  We have a very small team of extremely loyal and dedicated staff who work their socks off.

A recent addition has turned out to be a star.

Not only is he an excellent guide, a really nice person, fitted in so well with our small team, he is an ace photographer.

This is today's storm approaching, taken from the top of the Kinnaird Head Lighthouse.

This one is the other view from the Lighthouse.  Now is than not stunning?  

His, and others expertise in photography got us thinking.....

In February it is the 25th anniversary of the highest wind speed ever recorded in Great Britain, 142 mph.  That would not just have taken off my shedudio roof, but the whole shebang.

So the plan is.... The Broch Storm Photography Competition

To remember the storm of 13th February 1989 which saw the fastest sea level gust of wind ever recorded in the UK at the Kinnaird Head Lighthouse at 142mph we are launching a "Broch Storm Photography Competition" to coincide with the 25th Anniversary of the day on 13th February 2014. All competition entries will displayed in a Broch Storm Exhibition to run at the Museum from 13th February until Easter.

My next exhibition planned is in April (but thats another story).  So it is nice to have this to work on. 

In between there will be the Kids Christmas Card Challenge.  Entries close next weekend and we have then to choose a winner, who's design will become the official Christmas Card for the Museum, and they get lots of goodies for designing.

Meanwhile I have been designing my own Christmas Card which will be based on Three French Hens, I draw the line at 11 Lords a Leaping et al, three is a good number.

So where are you all at in your Christmas Preparations?  So far I have bought one present.  Thinking about making what seems like an unsurmountable number, and trying to convince myself, this happens every year, and you always come through.

I have arranged a wreath making morning at the Lighthouse Museum early December, now then, would all my relatives like a wreath - I can think of some I would like to ....... stop it, Tis the season to be Merry, Good Will to all Men, Women and Children.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013


Are they more trouble than they are worth - discuss.

So the request was a painting of Oyster Catchers.


"Why have they only got one leg?"

They are all asleep, thats what birds do, tuck the other leg up to keep warn."

"I dont think the people who look at the painting would know that."

Just waiting for, "Why has the one on the left got an udder?"

Monday, 11 November 2013

Keeping going.

This chap appeared out of the blue (black) after many years absence, thankfully he's on his way out much quicker than in the past.  

I do think he is departing much quicker as I now have my art to balance my life.

How I wish I had had it years ago.

These are very small paintings.  Coal Tit being blown off the log outside our kitchen window.  And an Oyster Catcher sitting snug in the shelter of rocks.

I sold my painting of Oyster Catchers last week.

And subsequently have been asked for another picture of Oyster Catchers.  

Well if that doesn't keep me going....

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Whooper Swans.

Along with the thousands of Pink Footed Geese that overwinter with us here, in the North East of Scotland, we also have Whooper Swans.  

As I was driving along yesterday I noticed this stubble field full of Whooper Swans. I had never seen so many all together.  I pulled in, phoned the DP, and then continued as I had to be somewhere else.

And he is a far better photographer than I!

Whooper Swans have a deep honking call and, despite their size, are powerful fliers. Whooper Swans can migrate hundreds or even thousands of miles to their wintering sites in southern Europe and eastern Asia. They breed in subarctic Eurasia, further south than Bewicks in the taiga zone.
 Musical utterances by Whooper Swans at the moment of death have been suggested as the origin of the swan song legend. Wikepedia.

Hearing them flying over is magical.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Scary !

Photograph of a sleeping Screech Owl by Bill Westheimer.  I occasionally see photographs and think I would like to paint that, (usually the Dawn Patrollers)  In this instance I contacted the photographer - across the pond - and asked his permission to paint from the photo.  Now I do know we do not have these in Buchan.... Anyroads he must have checked out what I do and came back with a Yes, and, when I have done it wants it sending so he can print it off for his website.  Now that latter part is SCARY.

 This is a windsurfer off the Fraserburgh Beach yesterday.  60 mph gusts of wind.  Scary.

Because at the same time this was happening a few miles south.

Halloween has been spread out over a few days.  The Lighthouse Museum had its evening of ghost stories tours.  As we went last year on the first of such events when it was oversubscribed we did not go.  My lungs would not have got me far this year.

However, the evening after, the DP went to Aden Country Park for Aden-een.

And we still have Bonfire Night to come!