Saturday 25 May 2024

 I am so pleased to be able to tell you all that Liz and myself are fine following our recent covid infection. We are both amazed that we had gone so far through this pandemic and not been infected.

Above is another A2 drawing, this time of the Bocage in Normandy, France. With about forty friends we all stayed in a chateau about half a mile from this lane. In modern times it is a lovely area to walk in, with lanes, paths, all in deep woodland, interspaced by tiny fields; like I said "Lovely", but during the second World War the fighting through this area was awful. As we think of the Ukraine, Israel and Gaza, plus many more areas of conflict and tension, it is a salutary lesson and reminder for us to be appreciative of the peace we enjoy in a deeply unsettled world.

The Bocage is so beautiful; we must remember as Liz and myself often have, traveling with my paints is such a privilege and honour. Paintings are such lovely memories; so why not plan to take a sketch book with you, as our planning for holidays and trips are thought about for summer. 

Saturday 18 May 2024


The other day I posted an image to you all of the Coble landing at Filey and asked you all as to if it needed colour or not. Unanimously the verdict was for colour. Well the original being drawn in water soluble ink; it would not take any water colour without making an awful mess; so start again.
Re drawn, big bold and loose, water colour very freely splashed on, does it work?

As many of you will know Liz and my self have Covid so are isolating for a few days. we are well, but bored. Roll on being free again!

Monday 13 May 2024

Today a photo because on breakfast TV this morning they were showing photos of unusual nesting sites. This is one of my favorites; I took the photo on the Stoer peninsular in the extreme north west of Scotland last year. The district was very remote and exceedingly beautiful, amazing coastal and mountain scenery abounded. 

This is obviously the village post box which for the season is out on rent to a local feathered couple. I did not see another box. but I suspect that mail can be handed into the nearby "Flossies", a famous, walkers, cyclists drop in coffee stop come sell anything and every thing place, which is situated in this small village, in middle of nowhere; beautiful.

Hope you like it, we love Stoer, its a must to return if the opportunity arrives.

Tuesday 30 April 2024

 Today I am asking for your opinions! What do you think?

The drawing is of the Filey boats (Yorkshire) pulled up high and dry after the days fishing; with the usual tourists milling around and the maintenance work ongoing. When I lived in Yorkshire, Filey was about my favorite venue to visit. Just to the right of where I am standing was the working and fishermen's men's cafe, where an amazing bacon butty was always ready, with lots of chat, gossip and good hearted banter going on. Over the years I got to know several of them quite well.

But the question: This is an A2 image and I like the draughtsmanship; but does it need colour?

Opinions please

Wednesday 24 April 2024

Just at the moment I can't believe just how busy I am; it is wonderful to be so appreciated and wanted. It all feels rather good to be appreciated for your art. But apart from the workshops and commissions etc, the ongoing developmental work also continues.

The large (A2+) ink images are going ahead full steam. This work is challenging in the extreme with the size of the images creating all sorts of questions and in the learning of new skills with the pen. One of the hardest skills which I am learning are the new levels of patience and steadfastness, continuing with a piece as it slowly progresses. I am learning to be able to visualise how a piece will look in the future while it is being produced and then to carry on with the work to fruition.

Good fun and I love it; but it is hard and challenging. I hope you like the above, it is of the Basingstoke Canal as it passes close by Sainsburys near Knaphill.


Thursday 28 March 2024

 Today being Maunday Thursday, so tomorrow the crucial elements of our faith play out their pathway.

A few years ago just as the covid drama was unfolding, Liz and myself were in Jerusalem, we visited the tomb garden. Whether or not the tomb in this garden is the correct one, is immaterial and of little importance. What matters most, is the stopping, thinking and realisation of the amazing consequences of Jesus' actions in and around this place.

The late morning was pleasantly warm, bright and sunny; too many visitors were in the garden, but that didn't matter; being there was what mattered.. Seeing and being where Jesus rose was astounding, the presence and realisation, sent a shiver of thanks down my spine.

As I said earlier too many people were present in the garden; thankfully the pen allows the omission of these masses. It was so special standing at the top of the stairs looking down towards the tomb and  sketching. Special yes, holy yes, thankfully yes; amazing certainly.

Have a lovely blessed Easter.

Thursday 14 March 2024

A slightly unusual and fun image today.

Last night I was invited to an event which amongst other things had a craft section included in the evening. Those of you who know me will remember that I love the arts and although I am not really into crafting, I respect it and see it as a creative worthwhile form of expression. I digress, then the nightmare happened.

The leader of the evening said from the rostrum, Duncan you are an artist will you judge the work for us. The situation where it is very easy to loose friends. was thrown at me, with no get out clause.. So think fast. Many of the painted Easter eggs really were rather good. So I wandered round talking to the crafters, offering appropriate encouragement and getting to understand what was happening.

As I said earlier many of them were rather good. But one stood out! A lady was having great fun decorating an awful egg and it was bad, ever so bad, but she was laughing and having a great time. I can not imagine an egg being done in any way worse.

So at the judging talk I praised the many excellent eggs, there really were several really good ones produced. Then I talked about the awful egg, everybody was laughing. I explained the intentions of the crafter, the rather rude symbolise drawn on the egg and a bit more; it was good fun and the crafter of this egg was laughing the most, with her mates joining in. With everybody's agreement she got first prise.

The point of this story-----, enjoy your art, it doesn't need to be clever.

By the way, painting eggs like this is an Orthodox Church tradition, this was fully explained during the evening. This also resulted in the end with much laughter, whist understanding the serious side of Easter.