Weel done, Cutty-sark!


Charcoal on paper, 59x86cm.

“Warlocks and witches in a dance:

Nae cotillion, brent new frae France,

But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,

Put life and mettle in their heels.

A winnock-bunker in the east,

There sat Auld Nick, in shape o’ beast;

A tousie tyke, black, grim, and large,

To gie them music was his charge;

He screw’d the pipes and gart them skirl,

Till roof and rafters a’ did dirl.

Coffins stood round, like open presses,

That shaw’d the dead in their last dresses;

And, by some devilish cantraip sleight,

Each in it’s cauld hand held a light:

By which heroic Tam was able

To note upon the haly table,

A murderer’s banes, in gibbet-airns;

Twa span-lang, wee, unchristian bairns;

A thief new-cutted frae a rape-

Wi’ his last gasp his gab did gape;

Five tomahawks wi’ bluid red-rusted;

Five scimitars wi’ murder crusted;

A garter which a babe had strangled;

A knife a father’s throat had mangled –

The grey-hairs yet stack to the heft;

Wi’ mair of horrible and awefu’,

Which even to name wad be unlawful’

Three Lawyers’ tongues, turned inside out,

Three Priests’ hearts, rotten, black as muck,

Lay stinking, vile, in every neuk”.

From Tam O’ Shanter’ by Robert Burns

A scary Hallowe’en to you all!!!!


Cala de Valledemossa



Acrylics on paper, 42x59cm.

A small fishing port nestled at the foot of sheer cliffs which crash into the sea on either side, the village is accessed down a steep, narrow, single-track roadway of scary hairpin bends.

Dreaming of happy holidays gone by this painting was developed from pencil sketches made from the harbour wall opposite.

The Cherry Pickers


Acrylics on paper, 42x59cm.

This painting started out in the usual subconscious way but the real magic occurred when musing on the red splodges brought to mind this poem by Andrew Young, a Scottish clergyman and naturalist born in 1885:


The cherry-pickers left their picking

And ladders through the branches


And cherries hung like gouts of blood

Down the long aisles of white-washed


But now the sun is breaking through

Dark clouds that dry to pools of blue

And the smooth Medway lies


Except for drops the boughs released.

What is it makes the sun so proud

He will not suck a passing cloud

But needs raindrops to quench his


Well, let him do his picking first.

It was the “gouts of blood” that did it for me!

ps: Many thanks to yawn, pikink, and Hello Fig for having a look at and “liking” my previous and first ever post on WordPress. Thanks!

18 October 2013

As usual my morning starts with what I call a “Subconscious Musing”. This gets me started in the morning without the pressure of trying to ‘design’ something. As the title suggests the image comes firstly from my subconscious with a bit of automatic drawing/painting quickly followed by more painting (in acrylics) following my muse.

This, of course, gets the paint tubes open and my brushes wet before setting off on something more demanding. Well, actually this has it’s own demands with a constant eye having to be keep the mind open and trying NOT to get too definitive too early on.

After a while I step back to see what has transpired and I allow my imagination to wander and muse on what I’ve done so far developing and subtracting intuitively until I feel I can go no further.

Here, for what it is worth, good or bad, is todays work:

 It is what it is.131018.SubMusing