December 31, 2008

between the old & the new . . .

Christmas has tumbled past in a flurry of happiness & contentment
wouldn't it be lovely if i could catch those moments in a delicate snow globe
to give it a gentle shake every once in a while & glimpse the magic over again

and now, here i find myself in this familiar old place
this kind of waiting space between the old & the new
a time for quiet reflection . . .
. . . wandering back over the happenings of the old year
my mind pondering some bits & musing others pieces

this has been a truly different & very lovely year for me. my 5 most precious things this year are : i proudly married the very wonderful mr O. i was given such opportunity to start working for me doing what i love most. my lovely niece Lou got her new kidney & is doing just grand. my 3 are all healthy & happy, i can ask for nothing better and finally, i started blogging ! & this whole new world opened up before my very eyes. I have learnt a great deal this last twelve months and now i am looking forward to the start of another. great excitement always fills me as it fast approaches, resolutions are scribbled down, must do's & would love to do's. i am ready to roll, here it comes, tiptoeing around the corner, so i am away to spend the last of this good old 2008 remembering & reminiscing, dreaming & planning and just being oh so thankful
wishing you all a very wonderful New Year,
may it be all you hope for in your heart

December 24, 2008

Ssshhh it's Christmas eve

  . . . its a magical night, silent & soft
such an expectant feeling fills our wee house
a stillness & a peace wrapped around us,
waiting for loved ones to arrive from distant places
sounds of paper rustling & secret present wrapping
excited laughter & busy chatter
no better place could i wish to be
but here in the heart of my precious family
on this night of all nights
Christmas eve
wishing you all a very merry Christmas
x x x
beautiful illustrations from
Jan Pienkowski's

December 14, 2008

touched by angels . . .

Touched by An Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

VLove arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.

Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

VWe are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love's light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.

Yet it is only love
which sets us free

by Maya Angelou

I am full of love for my family today and so grateful for our precious Louise sitting up & smiling in hospital . . . well & truly on the mend. Sending out such a very big thank to all you lovely fellow bloggers out there for all your comments & such precious support x x

December 11, 2008

Precious things 5

5 precious things i am so thankful for today
health & happiness
love & laughter

December 10, 2008

angels watching over you

. . . today is a day of waiting & wondering
today is a day of giving & receiving
today is a day for believing
today is the day. . .
. . . . . . . . my precious niece Lou is receiving her new kidney
today is a new beginning
a gift of renewed life
wonderful news, it all went well
we are sending Lou all of our love & hugs
for her to make a full recovery x x x

Burrell Collection - medieval stained glass

such a sight for sore eyesglowing wings of angels
precious colours set alight in glass the Burrells collection of stained glass
such a perfect place for my research
on medieval art

with imagination set alight and thoughts of a world long gone
i found so very much to explore and soak up
amazed at this, the work of those distant craftsmen

such a stunning collection of art work
gifted by Sir William Burrell and his wife to Glasgow in 1944
The Burrell collection in Glasgow is made up of a vast array of works
of all periods and from all over the world.

The Burrell Collection

December 08, 2008

wintery walks

take some precious time out

to go exploring deep into the quiet, magical woods

where i am uncovering amazing inspirations
colour & patterns, bark like patchwork
light & shade, air bubbles frozen into sparkling puddles

December 03, 2008

home again . . .

last week rushed puffing & painting in & out again
so very fast my cosy boots barely touched the floor
travels down to Bristol in all sorts of wintry weathers
for a long weekend visit to see lovely eldest daughter
lots of catch ups & cuddles, eating's in & out
river trips & sight seeings, present findings too
sad goodbyes, till Christmas, (not so very long to wait)
then it was back home through sleet & snow
waking bleary eyed to a world of white
sketched outside my window

November 26, 2008

IF - opinion

. . . in my "opinion"
there sure are dancing, delicate faeries
at the bottom of our wee scottish garden
hiding amongst the flowers there. . .
you just have to be very quiet
& look real hard. .

November 24, 2008

new canvas

My research is all done, for my latest piece at least. As i gradually learn to slow down, i am enjoyed digging deep into nooks & crannies. Oh the fasinating books i have read, the things i have re-rediscovered - a love of the calligraphy & colours of the Lindisfarne Gospels , my fascination with iconography & medieval art (always did love art history at college), these and much more. Here is a page from my newly begun inspiration colour book , this page below to inspire . . .

. . . this canvas below. I showed the rough for this a few blogs ago & now feeling more inspired i am making progress and have begun the final BIG canvas. A new voyage of discovery of canvas & acrylics, they are as yet a mystery to me.

Another lesson that so needs re-learning, is to experiment, still having such difficulty in just letting go & exploring, there is still a little block in there somewhere, if i could only find it and fish it out. . . so today i started another, tiny, just for fun, faerieish type of canvas. . .

i have so very much to learn

November 21, 2008

Tranquility & time out

these things i love
* To be woken by early morning sunshine slipping through my windows
OO** Watching dust motes tumbling & swirling in golden beams of light
O** Slowing down and watching the world go by

* Spending time with my family ~ pure happiness
The picture above represents a moment of tranquility for me, bringing back such sweet memories of far off days. It shows my daughters & 3 of my nieces & me off walking through dappled woods - taken by my Mom.
Do you have a favourite picture or thought that makes you smile, feel warm inside?

pop up books . . .

So often over on daily art muse i come across deliciously inspiring things,
today when visiting, i found this beautiful stop-start animation by Katie Davies
it is indeed hauntingly wonderful, i love Katie's illustrations & the music by Bim
a tale told of love & loses
using another of my favourite things
a pop up book

November 20, 2008

lettering in stone . .

This is my day job . . . working sometimes for a stone mason,
lettering ancient pieces of granite & marble & painting with designs.
Sitting painting at here at work, my mind goes a wandering
thinking about all the lettering i am surrounded by
words sandblasted into surfaces, there to remain for many a long year
soft dusty sandstone richly coloured granite from near, Dalbeattie or Creetown
from afar India or China cool marble, one misguided drip of paint & the marble stain
and lettering, for generations past fonts traditionally used
have been "old english, helvetica or times new roman"
some inscriptions are silvered
some are gilded with big soft, round tipped brushes
once the size has been applied & gone off (sticky)
the gild is gently worked into every nook & cranny

a very few are still hand chiseled, mostly those old enough to have originally been done in this way. Those old pieces in need of some loving restoration or to have another line of inscription added. Hand cut or leaded letters, these slow, precise processes i love to watch. It is a skill passed down by generations of stonemasons. Sadly, technology has gradually crept in, computers & machinery can do the same job in so short a time, (though the finish will never quite match up ). . still, those craftsman's skills now mostly redundant in this line of work. So sad.
Sometimes, i get to see delicate old pieces that come in to be worked on
and i am always amazed at the skills that were used
and try to imagine the hours of patience.
 Lettering, words, quotes & sayings are humming round inside my head,
One day, i hope to work them into my paintings, decoratively tucked away within.

November 19, 2008

Ritchie Collins rich colours . .

today i spent an oh so indulgent day wandering through local galleries
there i stumbled upon and fell in love with the work of Ritchie Collins
i just had to share some of his beautiful paintings with you . . .

such rich colour & touchable texture
the images conjure magical feelings

a scottish artist born & bred, Ritchie studied painting and illustration
"His work is influenced by the Scottish coast and wild countryside.
Celtic art, myths and Scottish folklore are a constant source of inspiration."

I love that he paints images from his dreams, his memory.
It seems i am drawn to colourful works more & more
as my own painting develops

November 13, 2008

the letter P ~ painting, peonies, puppets . . .

i love shapes, sounds, words, letters
to say, to hear, to touch, to read
i find letters everywhere, see my pebble P
peace, painting, peonies, pre-raphaelite, paella
pegasus, pajamas, photography, plums, puddings
potters wheels, packages, puppets
words can paint such delicious pictures cant they . . .
what favourite p things do you love x

look at you now . . .

not 5 minutes since i sat sketching you and now...

look at you, winner of awards
well done my lovely
next. . . the scottish apprenticeship awards

November 11, 2008

distracting lovely things to do . . .

. . i am finding umteen other things to do
dreaming of beach combing for precious finds
like the delicate "pelican foot" shell up there

wishing i was out wandering the hills
picking little bundles of lucky heather
getting lost in the yummy books
that arrived from lovely rima ( thank you x)
when i should be finishing this ...
and this . . . .
and this, you know the one i started a few weeks ago!
its a terrible habit i have, if im not sure about a painting
i hesitate to finish, just leave it sitting there, waiting!
i so want this to be just right, for me

November 10, 2008

bonfire night

I love our family bonfire nights  . . .
on saturday, after dark we gathered, family big & small

craggy bonfire built in the depths of grannies garden
cosy hats & gloves to hand, warm woollies & sturdy boots
brimming bowls of homemade soup to keep the chill at bay
marshmallows ready for toasting over the fire

when slowly but surely the heavens opened and my did it rain
strange lot that we are, most perceived, determined to the end
we still burnt our fire & set off rockets soaring into the rain
stood mesmerised by crackling fire & the warmth of the flames
the tiny sparks dancing up into the dark night sky
then inside we dashed to mugs of hot tea
steaming dry in front of the roaring fire
to much fun & laughter, i love our family get togethers
our belated 5th november, bonfire night celebration

November 05, 2008

Midnight skies & velvet quiet

driving home, tired thoughts & tummy rumbling
round the last corner towards our village, then . . .
look what i saw, i had to stop, step out of my car,
take a moment to breathe in the beauty of the faling evening
. . . this oh so quiet, stillness, depth of colour in the sky
frosty freshness i breathed in, soft bleating in my ears
i went on my way with calmed mind, my senses all sated