Sunday, 28 August 2016

Colour Choice

This week's post is basically about my new cardigan. I was shopping in Sainsburys (large supermarket, also sells clothes and homeware) when I spotted a red waterfall style cardigan. I needed a new cardigan, but red is not usually my colour. For one thing, it is my Stepmum Ying's favourite colour and I don't want to tread on Anyone else's sartorial toes. Lots of people seem to have a signature or favourite colour and you don't want to take away from that. I bought the cardigan and people keep telling me how good I look in red. I think it gives me more colour in my face as I can be quite pale.
So this is to encourage people to step out of their colour comfort zone sometimes.
I usually wear green, navy and blue. But sometimes I fancy a more punchy, bold colour and crack and buy yellow or red or pink. We don't have to be tasteful all the time. Sometimes you want an outfit that says 'look at me!'

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Search for the Stone

On Thursday I went on a fantastic trip up far, far north with my friends and colleagues Anna And Jane. Part of the plan was to visit Cawdor Castle, but for me the main objective was Pictish stones. It was a long journey through miles of forests flanking the road north. 
First, we stopped off at Sueno's Stone near Forres. This is an enormous six metre high monolith, which seethes with battling figures and celtic knotwork. It is sensational. The stone may depict a huge battle between the Picts and invading Vikings about a thousand years ago. 
A few miles on is Rodney's Stone, on the drive to Brodie Castle. I have painted it here. Easily overlooked as it is only about four feet high, but with fascinating monsters, symbols and an intricate cross on the back. The otherwordlyness of it draws you in and grips you. I wanted to look longer, I could have examined and drawn it for hours. Luckily I have a dust mask fitting for work at Brodie in a few weeks, so I can return.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Seen from the Train

A while coming, this one. I like travelling by train and spotting interesting buildings as I go. This house is just south of Edinburgh at Prestonpans. It dates from the 1600s and was recently restored after a terrible fire in the 1960s. It is is harled in a lovely orangey gold colour and has two small outlying towers, formerly used as doocots. Pigeons were kept in small towers for food. 
Two historical facts, Prestonpans is named after the salt pans that were a big medieval industry by the seashore. In the Battle of Prestonpans the owner of the house died fighting Bonnie Prince Charlie. I found it poignant that he died within sight of his own home. Also, it is a romantic myth that no Scots fought for the government against Prince Charlie, a Catholic autocrat. 
I love this house and woner if you can visit as there is a small railway station just nearby.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Buddlea Butterfly

Just outside our flat is a spectacular Buddlea shrub. It has these vivid purple flowers and attracts insects. This is a tortoiseshell butterfly. We have had fantastic weather this weekend and I wanted to celebrate it with a colourful painting.