Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunday cookery projects

Sunday is my cookery project day. Lately I've been doing Italian, but as our Paris holiday is coming up this week it's French. Also greatly inspired by the FT eating in Paris supplement this week. So excited about the holiday, badly needed as we are both feeling pretty ground down.

French cookery features tricky things like sauces and desserts. Today Molleux au Chocolat (molten middle chocolate pudding) and chicken with sauce Robert (mustard and tomato paste flavour). I passed on some of the sauces including Blood Sauce (blood) Angry Sauce (chillies) and Crapaudine Sauce. A crapaud is a toad, but I don't think toads are harmed. The name refers to the squished shape of a spatchcocked chicken it is served with.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Women's Biography Project

Pleased to be back on my project with the excellent biography of Eleanor Marx. Eleanor is a really vibrant and interesting person. Also vivid descriptions of Victorian life and events,olitics a d people of the time. A really absorbing read. Also ordered a biography of Lee Miller, fashion model turned war photographer. I also loved My Family and other Animals, which I hadn't read since I was a kid. Wonderfully written and a happy place to be over the last few weeks.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Teaching Drawing

This week my work hosted a respite activity day for carers. I was drafted in at the last minute as their artist had let them down.

I gave a drop in drawing workshop with portrait drawing, using a bust of Jane Mackenzie Fraser and still life with a violin or teapot. I really enjoyed this, it is very rewarding to help people create something beautiful.

Left is a quick sketch of Jane I did while demonstrating. The plaster bust is from the C19th and is classically inspired and yes, her neck is that long on it!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Autumn Flowers

I like to buy flowers for the flat. As we are now in early autumn, I got these lovely sunflowers.They seem very autumnal to me and are so huge, scary and full of life.

Only van Gogh can really paint sunflowers but here is my attempt. Freehand watercolour without drawing which is fun but tricky. I think I need to change the water.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014


I am really loving all the NEOs exhibitions. Pottering round lovely homes looking at art and craft helps me to relax, especially with all the Referendum horror we are constantly bombarded by. Stress.

This is Kemnay House, the nicest venue I have found so far. The house is approached from an exciting dark, tree overhung drive. The back part of the building (seen here) is from the 1600s and the exhibition was in an C18th wing with lovely panelled and muralled rooms. The house is very private and secluded, somewhere you rarely get to see.

Sunday, 7 September 2014


Two guest pictures from North East Open Studios. This is a week long event where you can see exhibitions of artists and designers work.

One of the great things about NEOS is the interesting venues for the displays. Yesterday we went to see Lynda Rennie's textiles and crafts. These are inspired by city and sea landscapes. She was showing them in the Ladies Clubroom at the Albury Sports Centre. A peaceful spot in a wooden pavilion with a croquet match going on outside!

Today we saw four nature artists exhibiting in the luxury garage of a beautiful Victorian house in Aberdeen. I particularly liked Jenny Musker's nature watercolours of birds, bugs and mushrooms. There were also quilted fabric landscapes and teensy landscape miniatures painted with a brush with two hairs!