Meet Me in the Birch Wood

Acrylics on card, 42x30cm.

Meet me in the Birch Wood
Where the leaves are fa’ing doon,
One efter the other
An’ strewan a’ aroun’.

Orange and yellow wi’ bright red stalks
They litter the emerald green
Like confetti at our waddin’,
Discarded at the scene.

Ye’ll need tae wrap up warm now
An’ pit oan yer strippit scarf,
Fur there’s a snell wind blawin’
Ower the cauld dark earth.

Leave the Chanel in the closet
And pull on those long black Skinnys.
And fur-lined boots are the answer
Tae keep attached yer minnies.

For winter is almost upon us
With early falls of snow.
And frosty mornings whiten the grun
After starry black nights below.

Meet me where the Long-tailed Tits
And tiny Coals and Blue,
Pick their way through the high canopy
Of rowan and dark green yew.

Searching in every nook
For grubs to sustain them tight
In huddled roosts in sheltered cranny
Through the long dark night.

Don’t disappoint me my darling
For I need to see you once more,
To ask if you could ever still love me
Like you did wance ‘afore.


The Empty Forest

My wanderings take me to quiet places devoid of people and mostly that’s the way I like it:

Along the Forest Footpath“, Acrylics on paper, 42x59cm.

Sometimes, however, I feel that certain landscapes need the presence of people to not only populate it but to bring welcome life otherwise we wouldn’t have any experience of it at all. This forest footpath I think is crying out for either a single figure, perhaps walking a dog, or a couple, who could be young lovers or more to my generation, old lovers, out enjoying the Great Outdoors. What do you think it could it be?

Your imaginative views are welcome.

F-F-Frozen Forest Footpath

[I do like a bit of alliteration]

Winter still has it’s grip but bright sunshine encourages us to get out of the house and go for a woodland walk.


“F-F-Frozen Forest Footpath”, Acrylics on paper, 42x59cm.

Contemplating The Race

On my wanderings up and down the Glen I always stop at a place I call The Race which is my description of how the river races down over flat slabs of rock and plunges into a deep pool, smoothes out, gurgles around, and then makes off in a sedate manner on it’s onward journey. I always stop there and lean over the barrier to contemplate the Meaning of Life [42, since you ask].

“The Race”, Acrylics on paper, 42x59cm.


You almost can’t see the water but you can hear it – dribbling and gurgling under the mass of logs and branches that criss-cross the gully, obscuring what lies beneath.

It looks totally inert, dampened by snow, but there’s life in them thar hills.

“Gully”, acrylics on paper, 42x59cm.

Deep in the Dark Woods

The sun dips down below the horizon and the woods grow quiet. No more for today the chatter of tits or the machine-gun rattle of pica pica (magpies). The trees that remain vertical after the early January storms attempt to incarcerate the Rotten Calder but cannot contain it’s incessant flow to the Clyde and the sea.

Mixed media (charcoal and Neocolour) in sketchbook, A5.

South Bridge

The big freeze continues although bright sunshine still makes it a much better day for sketching than working in the studio.

Hopefully when the dreich weather returns I’ll be confined to barracks and so will try to convert some of these sketches into paintings. Personally I would rather paint direct from the subject but it’s too far for me to humpf painting gear the length of Calderglen, so I content myself with sketching.

“South Bridge”, mixed media in sketchbook, 2xA5.

The bridge is unfortunately closed off at the moment because of the danger of rockfalls further along the track.