stories and illustration

Winter Sun 2

The landscape changes so fast at this time of year, the sun is so brilliant that I cannot see anything walking towards its flare unless I shade my eyes and look down at the pavement. Being in the car on sunlit days is a continual movement of pulling down the window shades, looking for my man’s dark glasses, squinting and blinking. I have all my life been so comatose in the morning that nowhere in any portfolio is there an image of dawn. My son says when I was at college I got up early, many moons and many suns ago. Sometimes I have worked all night, the night hoodoos me still horizontal, but working at night, there is something calming. It is like being in wild places. One can step off the machine, somehow. I wasn’t going to write anything this evening, I’m tired, I am getting back to doing things instead of moithering, but in the evening I’d quite like someone to lift me up to a high branch and leave me there until morning, slowly twirling in the wind. Not in a knotted noose. No. In a hammock, maybe, a twirling hammock. far up above the earth.

January 25, 2023 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Silvery Tweed

Again, an image of the Tweed as it crosses the weir, just down from the fishing hut, past which amblers, by request, no longer walk, but take a side route, down a bank, along a faint path through some shrubs and then out the other side, to continue a walk along the river. Everything intertwines round here, small paths branch off into other small paths. The Right to Roam in Scotland is such a gift, the occasional notices directing one away from various paths are acceptable. People need their privacy, even those with large lands. If you cross the space in front of the big house, a dog starts barking furiously. Best not to draw too much attention. Certain routes were closed during the pandemic. Since then, my walking has been so constrained, just up and down and round Coldstream, scarcely venturing out into the countryside, I do not know if these routes are still closed. But the New Year has brought some small changes in behaviour, to try and mitigate the large changes brought about by the last couple of years. I am back painting in my studio. I am putting the occasional image on WordPress, and writing a few words as the fancy takes me. And I am trying to turn off the computer at a certain time each night, and read some of the books that entice me. I was reading two books at the same time the other day, and when I picked up one I thought I was reading the other, and became confused, briefly. Now it is time to do other things. Good night. Keep warm. Sleep well.

January 20, 2023 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Little Hill and the Moon

This image makes me feel a tad wistful, as somehow my longer walks along the high wooded path above the other side of Tweed River seem wanderings of the past. But it is early in the year, and I am gradually trying to sort out the workings of my mind and the workings of my cupboards. Maybe these things are connected. The cupboards, then the mind, maybe. The little hill has a crown of trees, which I have not explored. This side of the river is England, where there is not the right to roam. One notices the notices. Standing in the little path and looking back across the river is Lennel House, where Beatrix Potter used to stay. The pandemic has done something strange to us all, I think; but I shall be back, Little Hill, in the light of day.

January 7, 2023 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Merlins Crags, Liddesdale

Happy New Year to everyone. So long since I posted, the last year has been strange; but among my wishes for 2023 is to create a post, however brief or nutcase, at least a few times each week, to get me back into my environment of making imagery, posting, communicating . Where I used to live, with my son, in the Liddel Valley, where part of me still exists, there was this hill which was called Merlins Crags, and I used to think it was part of the King Arthur legend, as there were rumours of him haunting these parts on the Border between England and Scotland. But then when I went back there and walked for miles, alone, all day, I saw merlins up there, the smallest of the hawks in this country, in that exact place, and the only place I have ever seen them; so maybe that is why the name is as it is. I shall have to look up how the word Merlin come to mean these apparently two different things.

Nearly 10 years ago I wrote two or three lines about these crags. But this painting was created since then.

January 1, 2023 Posted by | Art, Painting, Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Storm Damage 2

I shall visit this tree later in the year, to see if it has survived the ravages of the extreme weather we have had this late winter, in our usually temperate country.

March 22, 2022 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Storm Damaged Trees

The Hirsel, a large estate that is part of Coldstream, lost 1000 trees in the storms this year. There was a notice up by the entrance to one of my usual walks saying Danger, Footpath Closed, but it was a beautiful calm spring day, and the high winds passed through some weeks back, several of them … so I bypassed the notice and took myself and my camera down the path by River Leet. There are fallen trees everywhere, but the saddest sight to me is the trees that have their tops torn off. The place is in one way like a Paul Nash painting of the battlefields of WW1; but in another way it is strange to see robins and blackbirds hopping about within the tangle of branches, and daffodils everywhere, and to hear the noise of children in the park across the other side of the water. The faintly sinister sound of chainsaws has been accompanying us for weeks. Trees are still leaning against other trees, and others have fallen across the Leet. Such chaos everywhere. Blue skies.

March 22, 2022 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Willow Leaves

Fallen willow leaves, from beside the Leet, a few yards from where it flows into River Tweed.

November 19, 2021 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Liddesdale Flowers: Orchid 1

I’m just posting the image of a flower from a place that is dear to my heart. Today I needed to walk to clear my head, then I did not listen to the news, but picked up a book that was in a pile on the edge of the table, one of those wide-ranging and exemplary anthologies produced by Bloodaxe Books, a publisher based in Newcastle upon Tyne. I read poems by Denise Levertov, whilst waiting for the oven to heat up. There comes a time when walking in the woods (thank you, Scotland, for the right to roam, it means more even than it sounds) and reading quietly seems like a way to deal with a feeling of strangeness and stress. Much better than Facebook….

September 14, 2021 Posted by | Art, Illustration, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Swan by the Border Bridge

January 9, 2020 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , | 6 Comments

Curled Leaf and Ice

December 26, 2019 Posted by | Art, Photography, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: