Saturday 31 August 2013

Red Letter Day.

Today I sold Eight Paintings.


A red letter day (sometimes hyphenated as red-letter day or called scarlet day in academia) is any day of special significance.  Wikepedia.

I think selling eight paintings in one day is a red letter day.  Last one for me was passing my 11 plus.  That was actually the first red letter day when I realised, Hey I can do this.

The two above were sold.    I am still in shock.  And the two below.

Plus four others.  My euphoria at this is .....

........Not helped by the fact that I have three exhibitions in September signed up for and therefore some challenge, one such wanting work on Wednesday.

And, just in case HMRC are looking at my blog I have spent far more than sales on paint, paper, mounts and framing. And, so far, I do not think I can be taxed on the feel good factor. (and I have the invoices to prove it.)

But, oh boy, the feel good factor outweighs just about everything.......

Monday 26 August 2013

Festival and Fun, Home and Away.

As I said, in a previous post, the Dawn Patroller took himself off to Edinburgh for a few days.  We have three daughters living in Edinburgh so, as he doesnt mind sleeping on a floor or in a travel cot, whereas I do, off he goes.

The Festival is on, as every year in August.  So here is a flavour of the festival and fun there.

 Whatever you do, do not stand still, otherwise you will be fly posted.

Weather not very good, but does that stop them?  NO!  Perhaps not that bad. It wasnt snowing, but they were ready for that too.

Wherever you  look, wherever you go, something is going on.

Kids have lots to do also.  Although in  Scotland the children have returned to school.  Or just started, for the first time, as has our eldest grandchild.  His first week was half days only so had a chance to have quality time with Mum and Granddad.  They went to a performance of the Just So Stories, which is probably the only thing I wish I hadnt missed!

Way too big to be carried, "You're a school boy now!"

One event I always regret not having witnessed in person is the Edinburgh Tattoo.  Fear not friends, tonight its on the tele.  

So - the fun here?  Well my kind of fun! 

First, my depiction of our stag Roe Deer who visited last week, and my take on a Peacock.  Some of them live up the road, though this painting was taken from a DP photo of the ones at Scone Palace.

Do hope you are all having fun this Bank Holiday, we dont get one here in Scotland. 

But I still had fun.

Saturday 24 August 2013

Back in Action.

The Dawn Patroller has returned from his jaunt to Edinburgh.  Seeing the three daughters who live there and lots of happenings at the Edinburgh Festival.  Possibly, nay definitely, another post.

Not doing much Dawn Patrolling as he has a trapped nerve in his back he still manages the odd foray out to capture the wild life hereabouts.

Cairnbulg Harbour, with Fraserburgh in the distance, a Heron surveys.


Watching the comings and goings.


As does the Buzzard from a fence post inland.

 Returning home, yet another caterpillar moving up the front door.  Presumably the fairly frequent opening and closing of said door deters them from making a chrysallis.  But on the window frames which dont have much movement we are hoping to do our bit for the future of the butterfly as they do spin themselves a jacket.

Our Basking Shark has not made an appearance the last two days, but here is one more photograph of our star of the week.

I have been busy closing down the Sea Bird Exhibition at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.  Doing lots of tedious jobs, counting up the Visitors Votes for Best in Show.  Which is going to one young 8 year old whose entire extended family came in and voted for him.......  Trying to work out who exactly bought all the sold pictures as there they hang with red dots, there is no money in the till, and no details of who has actually said , 
"I want to buy that one." 

Think I will stick to just doing my own thing, so back in action down the shedudio.


Friday 23 August 2013


Bask - to lie in the warmth or sunshine is one meaning, another from the Viking language is to bathe.

The DP had not ever seen a Basking  Shark.  Well I did !  From the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses Cafe.  So - along he came and got this picture.  

The basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) is the second largest living fish, after the whale shark, and the second of three plankton-eating sharks, the other two being the whale shark and megamouth shark. It is a cosmopolitan migratory species, found in all the world's temperate oceans. It is a slow moving filter feeder and has anatomical adaptations to filter feeding, such as a greatly enlarged mouth and highly developed gill rakers. The shape of its snout is conical and the gill slits extend around the top and bottom of its head. The gill rakers are dark and bristle-like and are used to catch plankton as water filters through the mouth and over the gills. The basking shark is usually greyish-brown in color with mottled skin. The caudal (tail) fin has a strong lateral keel and a crescent shape. The teeth of the basking shark are very small and numerous and often number one hundred per row. The teeth themselves have a single conical cusp, are curved backwards and are the same on both the upper and lower jaws.
Basking sharks are a migrating species and are believed to overwinter in deep waters. They may occur in either small schools or alone. Small schools in the Bay of Fundy and the Hebrides have been seen swimming nose to tail in circles in what may be a form of mating behavior. Despite their large size and threatening appearance, basking sharks are not aggressive and are harmless to people.
It has long been a commercially important fish, as a source of food, shark fin, animal feed, and shark liver oil. Overexploitation has reduced its populations to the point where some have disappeared and others need protection.

The DP then went off to Edinburgh for a few days.


While he was gone we watched from the Lighthouse Cafe and SEVEN Basking Sharks appeared.

We had so many sight seers inside the cafe and down on the shoreline, including the Police, as some idiot decided to swim out to them, which is really not on, but he did get some amazing pictures.

 It has really been amazing to see these creatures.  

My trustee meetings with the Business Manager this week have taken place sitting on a bench looking out to the sea and watching these fish.  Everyone is talking about this, sharing, we are all basking in the glory of nature.

Monday 19 August 2013

The Dust Settles....

Well, you didnt expect me to start cleaning after an exhausting week of rellies and hangers on did you?


Our cats are only just moving back in out of the shedudio.   

The one pictured above is one of, oh it must be, the hundred living at the Willows Animal Rescue Centre.  

This one, in my favourite colour of cat, appears to be working out how to get in the cage and eat the guinea pig.

Some of my time since my family left on Saturday has been chilling out, along with our two cats, down the shedudio.

I have been drawing with the brush,  not very successfully.  

Had a break, much needed after the failed exercise, of drawing with a pencil.


Have to admit I really have not done anything about the dust, but me and the washing machine and the clothes line have really been going it.  All bedding and towels washed and dried.  Pillow cases into the ironing basket, the rest folded ready to go back on the beds. Towels back into drawers.

Also been out distributing NEOS Catalogues to cafes, Leisure Centre, oh just everywhere.

While scooting from the shed to the house am totally horrified by the amount of weeds shooting up everywhere.  So when I do get the dust to settle and then vacuum it up I have to go outside and kill things.

Speaking of killing things, anyone else in the UK been inundated with b****y flies?  I know why, it happens every year, harvest time.  Combine Harvesters due any minute.  Then I have no chance of dust settling.


Saturday 17 August 2013

Apologies for absence, being a Grandma.

My Grandaughter, aged 21 months, has come to stay.
Mum and Dad came too and Nanny. I am Grandma, she is Nanny.
Arrived Monday, that took the whole day, travelling here from Lincoln.

Tuesday they visited Macduff Marine Aquarium, Duff House at Banff and lots of Fishing Villages on the way down again to here.  Pennan, Gardenstown and Crovie.  They have been up the Lighthouse, lunch at the Lighthouse, on the beach, up sand dunes by Rattray Head Lighthouse.  Fraserburgh Swimming Pool.

Thursday Daddy and Nanny went off to Balmoral to gatecrash the Queen.  While Granddad and Grandma, Mum and Granddaughter went to Willows Animal Sanctuary. ( for the full story.)

So above is me and Granddaughter where we met one of the many horses.  And I did my horse whispering.

Which GD found hilarious.

I was not allowed on the slide.

 One for Tina at  who made this gorgeous doll, Sam.

 Bath time and bed.

Sadly, once that had occurred we hit the wine bottles.  Should have gone to bed.

I leave you with this lovely picture of one of our wonderful beaches.

They all left today.

Normal Service will be resumed, just finishing off the wine.

Thursday 8 August 2013

North East Open Studios. (NEOS).

Commences on the 7th September and our part of the world finishes on the 15th.  The rest finish on the 29th, but start later than us.  We have been split into three different parts this year, as there have been so many entrants, well over 300.

You have the opportunity to visit Artists in their studios and craftspeople in their workshops.  

Inside the catalogue is the map.  It covers the whole of Aberdeenshire, but this is our bit, the North.  (I am not sure why one cluster is in the North Sea. Which we also are, but not as far out!)
 Many artists join up with each other in a venue.  But each artist has to pay the entry fee, £140.  Fortunately we are recognised as a group of total amateurs so only had the one payment to make. 

Our Wednesday Art Group decided to enter this year for the first time. 

Not exactly an inspiring picture.  But this is us top of the page.

We are told by the more experienced that NEOS venues are visited by people really interested in ART and who will BUY ART.  No pressure there then.

Our entry and everything to do with had to be done months ago, and yes twas me who struggled with it all.  But now its only four weeks away and we are in a state of panic.  I cannot find the entry picture and the chap doing the publicity for our wee area wanted a bigger one.  Huh?  Anyroads we had a democratic meeting and they decided the following was to go in all the papers.

As a sample of what we do.  Well, what I do.  Badly.  

This morning, following our democratic meeting, I hared off to Dougs the Picture Framer to get, "Here's Looking at You Babe" framed.

Also, "First, Peel The Otter" (Title of a book by John Henry Dixon, Grim and Ghastly Recipes for the Gruesome Gourmand.)

And along with the rest of the group we are all painting manically, searching for mounts, so as to put on a good show.  Phew.

Now for a bit of calm.

One afternoon this week.  At the rear of our house in the Barley field.

Never seen one so big, Roe Deer,  ahhhhh, get the paint brushes out...........

Monday 5 August 2013


Having been away from home so much and despite the DP'S best efforts, everywhere was ready for a blitz.  Many of my paintings returned to roost at the homestead.

Gannet ascending is now in the dining room.

And loves young dream in the hallway.

The rest of them are dotted through the house, back on the hooks they came from, and the rest are in a large IKEA bag waiting for the next exhibition.

 The many Alliums I planted have been amazing.  Ones that have gone over are now drying in a wooden vase in the sitting room window.

These massive headed ones are still going and the really tiny ones too, much loved by bees.

 They are the deep purple.  To the far right are the Hosta flowers.

So along with the dusting, vacuuming, a bit of dead heading of roses, yanking out the weeds, blitz.

On the coast the Gannets.

A Sandwich Tern pretending to be a Gannet.

 And finally, a reminder to myself, you can sit amongst those who discuss things internal and still smile.

Blitzing?  Furthest thought from my mind......