The Scapegoat - Acrylic on Canvas, 2016
This was my second Acrylic piece on canvas, from 2016. If you look closely you'll see the red thread on it's horn. I was encouraged by my tutor to be a bit more bold with colours and thicker paint and I'm quite pleased with how it turned out in the end. Right-click on any of the pictures and choose view image to see them full size.
The Blue Lamp - Acrylic on Cotton Paper, 2016
This was my first Acrylic piece, on cotton paper - our brief was a "tonal" painting. It's based on a vintage photo of the Gallowgate in Aberdeen, and you can just see the outline of Marischal College at the end of the road. I was trying to get the murky atmosphere that you sometimes get in Aberdeen in the colder weather, and of course at that time period the air would have been smoggy due to the coal fires. The Blue Lamp is a very old (and famous) pub and I was trying to capture the welcoming atmosphere in the middle of a smoggy, soggy urban landscape. This was my first ever attempt at acrylic and I didn't realise until halfway through that you can dilute the stuff, so the paint is very thick in places ;) although apparently that's a Good Thing.
My Holiday Hat - Pastel on coloured paper, 2016
The brief here was a self portrait, which I found very hard as I do not like being photographed or painted. Anyway, this was my second attempt at using pastels. It was bsaed on a photograph that Lillian took of me when we went to Israel in 2015. Even in October in Israel, the sun can be very strong and on a visit to one of the many National Parks there, I bought this coffee-coloured straw hat in the gift shop. It actually made it all the way back home on the plane, but whether there will ever be enough sun in Scotland to warrant it's use is another matter!
My Assessment Pieces - Watercolour on Paper, and Collage on Board, 2017
You will have to expand this one to get the full experience, as it's two for the price of one! Our assessment brief was to create something from a memory for a piece at least A2 big, then take a small part of it and do something related, but in a completely different medium. The memory I chose was of Baby Daniel climbing up onto the Bimah, behind Rabbi Eli who is trying to read The Law. We were all sat in the front row trying not to laugh as Yom Kippur is supposed to be a solemn occasion, and the more that people tried to distract the baby, the more he wanted to get to Eli. I had no choice but to do this from memory, as of course we are not allowed to take photos on Yom Kippur, so this is probably the only chance that you will ever get to appreciate this funny moment. For my expansion piece I chose the tallitot (prayer shawls) that the men are wearing and translated them into a flag for another Jewish High Holiday, Simchat Torah. This is a happy occasion where the children make flags and stick apples on the end of the pole, and we dance and rejoice at having been given the gift of Torah. My wee Scottish Rabbi has a kilt and is holding a Torah in a green mantle, the same as our Shul scrolls. Instead of an apple I made the pole into a thistle. The full titles of these pieces are - L: Eli Reading The Law On Yom Kippur and R: Scottish Simchat Torah
Lillian's Assessment Pieces - Watercolour on Paper, and Watercolour on Board, 2017
Lillian did the Improvers' class along with me and these are her two assessment pieces. Again, you will have to expand it to see it all. She is particularly fascinated by artworks that feature the insides of rooms, with lots of little details (one of our favourite paintings is Windows in the West by Glasgow artist, Avril Paton) so this gave her the starting point for the pink room. Her expansion piece is the cat on the windowsill, which she assures me didn't start out to be any particular cat, but somehow ended up looking like our own cat Holly (who sadly passed away in October 2017). The full titles are - L: Grey Cat In The Window and R: The Pink Room
Lillian with Baileys and A Laptop - pastel on coloured paper, 2016
This was my first ever pastel on paper, and it's a portrait of Lillian in her usual pose - with her beloved laptop and the cat draped over them both.
Slow Kilts Day - watercolour on paper, 2016
This was the scene inside the Glasgow Barras on a very wet, windy, horrible day when the place was just about deserted and most of the stalls closed up for the day. One of the very few still open was this colourful, overflowing stall selling second hand kilts and all the accessories to go with them. As there were no customers, the kilt man was sat in front looking very bored, playing games on his phone. The sleepy old dog was actually from a couple of stalls up, so I put him with the kilt man for company. This was one of my very first paintings and I'm very fond of it.
Sunday Morning Buskers - watercolour on paper, 2014
This was one of the very first pieces from my very first art class. I only had a wee pad of paper so the tutor gave me this big A2 bit to get me started, and I eventually ended up with this street scene from the centre of Brugge (Bruges). It's usually quiet on a Sunday morning, but in the afternoon both locals and tourists come out and all the cafes and restaurants start to really buzz. There are always buskers and this particular folk quartet were very good indeed. One day I'll get round to painting the Bird Market in Brussel (Brussels) which I also find fascinating.
The Spirit Of The Pipes - watercolour on paper, 2016
This statue of Edward VII stands at the corner of Union Bridge and Union Terrace, and there used to be a local man, Will Daniel, stood in front of it, playing the pipes. Will was actually an American by birth, but he loved Scotland and had made Aberdeen his home. He would always be found at the front of the statue, come rain or shine, from morning to night, playing his pipes. Sadly, Will passed away a couple of years ago, and only then was it obvious just how well-loved he was by the people of Aberdeen. Flowers and notes were laid all round the statue in tribute; the city lost a great character and he is sorely missed. This painting is my tribute to him.
Tuna? Where? - watercolour on paper, 2014
An early attempt at trying to paint our Holly. It didn't turn out quite right but I did find it amusing. I'll maybe give this another go later.