caralockhartsmith

stories and illustration

Common Ground

A painting so much less linear than the illustrations I am working on, just a small painting, I think it is a moor in the Borders, and it is no longer summer, and there are no people. Sometimes in the country when you walk out into less inhabited landscapes, gradually your relationship to yourself changes. Any other living creatures seem to own the place, they have their ways of living, and you are a stranger, and to be jinked away from. But being a stranger feels like a privilege, and one wants to go quietly, not to disturb the natural world going about its business.

January 2, 2021 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

Silver Water

A long time since I went out and stood on the edge of the Lees, and gazed at the river. The river that has been described, possibly by Burns, as “the silvery Tweed”. There is something about being under the strictures of this virus that has altered the way I inhabit the world around me. There is some curtailment of freedom that gets into one’s marrow. People being up near each other looks somehow strange. So however lucky we are in our own landscape, in our relative lack of stress compared to so many, all the same, something burrows into the mind. When I am out in my studio, there I don’t feel it. The birds come and go. The blackbird, who flew into our window at night several years ago, and looked so peaky last year I thought she was dying, with all her feathers fallen out where she had hit herself, and her bare back of skull this strange bent shape, almost like the head of a snake, and a miserable ambience about her – well, this autumn, she is back, with a new quite pretty ruff of grey feathers round the back of her neck, and is her usual, sprightly, somewhat forceful self. She is so tame, she never flies off when I open the studio door, but just stays where she is. She knows her name, she comes when I call: Miss Ruche, Miss Ruche.

December 26, 2020 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Christmas Lion

Deciding to put images on Facebook each day, or as near as possible each day, in the New Year, I decided to start early with an image of some time ago, a Christmas card. Still working on a picture book, Musical Bears, but after this is finished and ready to sent out to potential publishers (two months, three months?), I will go back to painting and to wandering in the countryside of the Scottish Borders, with my camera, looking mostly for small details that catch my eye. Until I inhabited in a place where one could walk where one wanted I never understood how Right to Roam changes one’s sense of where one lives. I thought it was an ancient Scottish custom, but no, it was basically set into law round about the Millennium. The only PRIVATE notices you see are round people’s garden, everywhere else you can just wander. Up the road is the Hirsel, the estate belonging to the Douglas-Hume family. Our local aristocrats are very popular, unlike some…

December 18, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Christmas

and let us hope for a much less stressful, happier, freer New Year. Enjoy Christmas, whatever your circumstances x

December 15, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , , | 6 Comments

Liddesdale

This is from a few years ago, which is not my usual practice. Lockdown has made me look into imagery, emails, letters – I am sorting out correspondence, turning up such a trove from the past. I know that many people throw things away, but I am not one of them. In a big chest, recently recovered from storage, layers of documents lie, and reading them ressurects something of what has vanished, including letters that my mother left behind when she moved down south; they are all higgledy-piggeldy at the moment, but trawling them throws scintillas into the darkness. There are letters from before my son was born. Maybe it is not healthy to dwell on the past, but then we are none of us that healthy at the moment. This photograph is from the place where my soul still lives, Liddesdale. The River Liddel (Liddle) is one of the Scottish/English rivers, though it is the Liddel Burn that marks the Border a few minutes walk from the old house where I used to live. Now I live in Coldstream, on the Scottish side, still a few minutes walk from the Border Bridge that crosses River Tweed. What will happen if we secede from England? Strange days indeed.

August 24, 2020 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Reclining on the Wall

Memories of a summer in Liddesdale, that seems so far in the past. Is it my imagination, or is there a Lowry painting with the same imagery?

August 24, 2020 Posted by | Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Music is Amazing, but…

…bears get drowned out.

August 22, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Crash Bang Wallop

The bears despair.

August 22, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Screechy Screechy

So long since I posted, something about lockdown has stopped me walking out with a camera, when I go out it is just walking for the sake of exercise. These are strange times. When I go up to my studio, aka The Tardis, everything feels normal again, the birds feeding in the wild flower bed outside the window, the beans growing, music, paint and crayons. Nice. This is a double page illustration for Musical Bears, I am not doing roughs any more, just finished work. My son, who is a web designer, is setting me up with a professional website for my work, it is intimidating, a whole different world, still on WordPress though, so no doubt things will gradually explain themselves. Moi, je suis technophobe. Was on Zoom last week talking to my grandsons and got cut off, couldn’t see anyone but heard them all laughing invisibly at my bad language. Keep safe. Keep well.

August 22, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Musical Bears pages 8 & 9

May 2, 2020 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Uncategorized | , , , | 8 Comments

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