Tag Archives: art

2011 Project365 (days 69-74)

17th March:

17th March 2011

What to do on a day off? I headed to the Kelvingrove Museum for a bit of culture, as I’ve not been there for ages. I love the heads. The day was also made infinitely better when I discovered that there was a person with the glorious name of W. Oliphant Chuckerbutty (he wrote one of the pieces being performed at the Kelvingrove Organ Recital). Go on, tell me you didn’t smile when you read that!

16th March:

16th March 2011

This is where my university department lives. And where I did my viva (did I tell you I had my viva yesterday?! 😉 ).

15th March:

15th March 2011

Thesis typos. Dear God!

14th March:

14th March 2011

Glasgow University skyline.

13th March:

13th March 2011This is my subject area at the Glasgow University library, where I’ve been camped out for the last few days. I think I was aiming for gaining academic gravitas by osmosis by this point!

12th March:

12th March 2011

Wet sleety snow in George Square. I woke up to snow on the ground so was hoping I’d get a nice picture of the square looking all snowy and lovely. But by the time I got there it was just really wet and slushy and this is the best I could do.

More bonkers-ness

Less than a week after seeing Guernsey’s Little Chapel (see below post; verdict: bonkers) HD and I took a trip into town to have an adventure. The place we were going was somewhere we’ve been meaning to visit for ages and ages and never quite got round to, and oh my goodness it’s a gem!

It is also bonkers.

So where did we go? The Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre, that’s where. The wikipedia entry for the theatre describes it as “Heath Robinson meets Hieronymous Bosch” – as we were going round, I was thinking it was more “Banksy meets Tim Burton in a scrapyard, with lots of vodka”. And probably some acid. It really is quite extraordinary- here are some photos:

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As if that wasn’t all wonderful enough, downstairs (the theatre is part of a newish complex at Trongate 103) is a wonderfully decorated Russian cafe called Cossachok which looks like it has a pretty decent menu, must try that out sometime, but also has some brilliant decoration:

IMG_1948 IMG_1950

And next to the Russian cafe is another gallery, where at the moment (though it’s the last day today so sorry not to alert you before!) there is, rather surreally, an art exhibition called “Tunnocked!” celebrating the wonder that is the Tunnock’s Teacake (that well-known Scottish delicacy) (note that other Scottish icon Greyfriars Bobby in the final picture):




Easter 09

IMGP6711We’ve had a very lovely Easter this year. Like last year we went to York, where we pretty much ate our way through the Bank Holidays. On the way we stopped at a cafe on the A66 which has llamas, where we inadvertently broke our dairy fast – the soup of the day was advertised as tomato, so we both ordered that, and when our soup arrived it turned out to be stilton and broccoli. What can you do?

As well as llamas, they also had some parrots and a couple of rabbits, who did try to do what rabbits do, but we were very amused by their ineptness at this – they got the one on top of the other bit OK, but weren’t particularly discerning about which was the business end!

Once we got to York we managed to get to the church where we got married (where they were doing a labyrinth) just in time to find them locking up, so we went to the pub instead. Whoops, perhaps not the most devotional of Good Fridays. In the evening we had a meal at our friends’ place where we were staying, and then we had a rather longer lie-in than originally planned on Saturday.

IMGP6716Saturday afternoon saw us shopping and visiting the Stanley Spencer exhibition at York Art Gallery (well worth a visit if you’re around) – I’d seen several of the paintings before (they are on loan from the Tate), but hadn’t taken in his landscapes before, which I really liked. In the evening we met up with the outlaws, who are holidaying in Yorkshire at the moment, and had a meal at the hotel where our wedding reception was – it was quite strange being back, it felt so familiar but it wasn’t our big day any more. After that we caught the end of the Easter Saturday vigil service at York Minster – this photo is from that.

IMGP6717Sunday morning meant of course Easter Sunday with all the celebrations that entailed. Which in my case meant Easter eggs for breakfast – what a civilised thing that is (my goodness it was beautiful!!). Then we met up again with HD’s parents for the Easter Sunday service at York Minster, which was really lovely – here’s a photo of Archbishop John Sentamu on the steps of the Minster after the service.

We had a few hours to recover from our weekend of eating and celebrating, before returning to St C’s for a Visions bring and share meal, with communion. We got to see lots of friends we’ve not seen for a while, and catch up with people, and eat even even more. I’m still pretty full, 2 days later!

IMGP6720We rounded off the day wandering round some of Via Luminosa (check out the Visions link for more details). Visions have been involved in staging a number of multi-media art installations at various places around the city centre, telling the Easter story. It is on this week as well as last week, and again is well worth a look. We weren’t able to see all of the installations – a couple of them were having technical issues, and a couple of them were in shop windows but as the shops were shut on Sunday they weren’t able to use them. But here are a few pictures from the installations we did see:


IMGP6734Yesterday we enjoyed a coffee with the outlaws followed by a leisurely walk along the river and a picnic with the friends we were staying with. I was really happy to see lots of signs of new life, including some very very very fluffy goslings!

We got back last night, it’s good to be home, but I’m very grateful for a lovely weekend away 🙂

Glasgow exhibitions

I went to two exhibitions this week. One was by a friend from church who is a professional artist – details of the exhibition are here and a Sunday Herald interview about the most controversial piece in the exhibition (actually my least favourite of the paintings) is here. The exhibition is only on till Sunday, but if you’re around it’s worth a look. I was glad to see some of the paintings had sold – some of them are really lovely. Sadly they are way out of my price range, so I had to make do spending a couple of quid on a Danish pastry.

The other one was a small exhibition of photographs by Amnesty International. It was very moving – to be honest it was nothing new, as I’ve been following the anti-LGBT stuff in the Moldovan and Romanian media this year, and I had seen some coverage of the Riga march. It just breaks my heart that many of the protesters (whose faces were twisted with hatred) were identified as Christians. Jesus wept.

The exhibition is on till 10th December, at the Q! Gallery on Saltmarket. Again, do go to see it if you get the chance.

More art

Luton garden Sept 2008This is the picture I drew in the in-laws’ garden last week. I really like this one, I think I like the colours particularly. The perspective is totally out (the big plant barrel is probably more than twice its actual size in this picture and I didn’t leave enough room after drawing the bracket to draw the basket that’s hanging from it), and the plants are hardly accurate. But hey, odd perspective and accuracy didn’t do Picasso any harm, eh? 🙂

By the way, thank you everyone for your concern, actually the man flu seems not to have materialised, so that’s good. I still don’t feel entirely right (quiet at the back please!) but I think this is just regularly scheduled big girl’s blouse-ness rather than death throes. So that’s alright then.


So, in the last two days I have written over 7,000 words – not in a thesis-worthy form, but a useful exercise nevertheless, and I expect I’ll be able to use quite a lot of it, providing I haven’t wandered down an irrelevant back alley. I do have a slight nagging doubt that I might have done just that, but fortunately I have supervision next week and my supervisors should have read what I’ve written, so if I am missing the point they will at least be able to put me right now before I wander off too far!

Once I’d emailed the work to them, this lunchtime, I noticed that the sky was very blue today! So I went and sat in the garden and did another drawing. I’m heading back to Glasgow this weekend so I shall take it with me to scan it, and hopefully it will appear here next week. I was really pleased with this one 🙂 It’s been a while since we’ve had a nice day so I’m glad I was able to make the most of it.

The first art for a long, long time!

Luton garden June 2008Slow news day today (I eventually got my work off to the supervisors, but it took ages as it ended up being twice as long as I’d originally planned. I’ve no idea how I’m going to stick to less than 100,000 words!) so I thought I’d put up a drawing I did. I actually did this one in June, but only got round to scanning it this evening. It’s of a corner of the inlaws’ garden in Luton – not one of my best, but not one of the worst either! I must try and do one more before the weather puts paid to sitting outside with my sketchpad till next year.


I’ve been meaning for ages to put up some pictures from our honeymoon, but have only just got round to putting my pictures on flickr. Hopefully though this will give you a good taste of the beautiful Outer Hebrides, somewhere I’d definitely love to go back to. If you click on any of the pictures you should be able to see them bigger.

We only caught the ferry by the skin of our teeth on New Year’s Eve, but catch it we did, and we were blessed with a really calm crossing (having heard all sorts of tales of doom and woe as to the usual state of choppiness of the Minch, the stretch of sea between Skye and the mainland, and the Outer Hebridean islands. After just over an hour and a half, we were rewarded with a lovely sunset over Harris, our eventual destination:

first view of Harris, from the ferry

We saw in the new year very quietly – just us and Jools Holland on the telly at the cottage. We had a lie in on New Year’s Day, but I wanted to get out and about, so we drove to a remote beach on north-west Harris, and did a (scary) walk up some steep hills to get a view out over the Atlantic (next stop, America) and the small uninhabited island of Scarp. Here are some pics of that, including proof that we were both there!

Scary walkView to Scarp
View to ScarpView to Scarp

Once we’d reached the point where we took those photos of each other, although it wasn’t at the planned end of the walk, we decided that as the light was beginning to fade we’d better head back to the car. It was just as scary on the way back, and I found myself thinking as I clambered over rocks and tried not to look down at the sea that it would be just typical for me to manage this scary climby bit and then fall over on a flat bit at the bottom. And lo it came to pass, that in a field of grass about 200 yards from the car, I slipped on wet grass and rolled over in true comedy fall stylee, felt my knee twist, and that was that. Eventually I did manage to get up, and using both walking poles was able to hobble back to the car, but that evening it really hurt and I was in tears by bedtime. So the next day saw us heading off to A&E in Stornoway on Lewis (which although it is known as the Isle of Lewis, just like Harris is the Isle of Harris, they are actually attached to each other). Before we left though I took a picture of the view out of the kitchen window, something I did every morning so that we could see the various changing weather and colours and whatnot. Anyway, this first picture is our lovely view.

view from the cottage - West Loch Tarbert

Next up is the end result of the A&E trip. It transpired that I had torn my knee ligaments – which would explain the pain anyway! I was very embarrassed thinking about my medical history, which mainly consists of comedy falls and damage to various bits of my left leg (broken foot, torn knee ligaments, torn ankle ligaments, dislocated knee, and torn left shoulder ligaments just for a bit of variety once). If it wasn’t so far past the sell-by date I think I’d take it back and ask for a refund and a new leg, as it is definitely getting beyond a joke! This was just what we needed at the start of honeymoon! (this is the closest you’re ever going to get of a bedroom shot by the way!):

Peglegbedroom shot

The bandage was meant to be on for a week, but after 2 days it was driving me mad (and was also not really compressing the knee like it was supposed to) so I took it off. I’m such a bad patient.

I took some pictures out and about near the cottage. The first is a picture of the cottage (which was gorgeous, 5-star self-catering, all mod-cons (including jacuzzi and dishwasher), and even the ironing board cover was tasteful!), and the second is of some of our neighbours. I think they’re young Highland cattle (aka hairy coos), too young yet to have the trademark scary horns. Then the third one is of the end of the path past our cottage – we were able to walk (or in my case hobble) about a quarter of a mile, and were rewarded with lovely views out towards the island of Taransay, which was used by the BBC in the millennium year for the reality show “Castaway” if anyone remembers that:

our cottageMeet the neighbours
looking towards Taransay

As well as exploring Harris we spent quite a bit of time on Lewis as well. Harris has much more dramatic scenery, it’s quite mountainous and rocky (in fact it has virtually no trees) with amazing sandy beaches on the west coast. Lewis is more bleak and less hilly, with large parts of it covered in peat moors (in fact we had a peat burning fire in the cottage which meant we were always lovely and toasty warm). Probably the most famous historical site on Lewis is the Calanais standing stones, which are older than Stonehenge. Most of these pictures are of the main standing stones, but a mile or so away from this site are two smaller stone circles, so the last two are from Calanais 3 – I’m particularly pleased with the last one:

Calanais standing stonesCalanais standing stones
Calanais standing stonesCalanais standing stones
Calanais 3 standing stonesCalanais 3 standing stones

Another famous historical site on Lewis is the Carloway broch, which is a Bronze (I think, could be Iron) Age dwelling place which has been remarkably well preserved, and which apparently had people living in it as late as the 18th century!

Carloway BrochCarloway Broch

Not far from there is a well-preserved Blackhouse Village, which has small stone and thatched cottages that were until fairly recently inhabited and preserved the old island way of life (one of them is now a youth hostel), and a Norse kiln and mill:

Blackhouse VillageNorse mill and kiln

We travelled up the north-west coast of Lewis to its most northerly point, the Butt of Lewis – here are a couple of pictures of the Butt of Lewis lighthouse and the rocks the lighthouse is warning sailors about. We didn’t stay here long though – it was far too cold!

Butt of LewisButt of Lewis

By this point in the honeymoon it was the weekend again – if I remember correctly the Saturday we didn’t do much as it was raining lots (one of only two days we had to stay indoors due to the weather, mostly it just rained overnight and wasn’t too bad at all during the days). On the Sunday I found a little church on Harris, but I won’t say much because I Mystery Worshipped it – when the report comes out I shall make sure to link to it! Then in the afternoon I got out my pastels, for the first time in about 2 years (yikes!), and sat in the garden of the cottage and drew the view. I’ve included a picture I took before starting the drawing (the weather and colours kept changing even in the hour that I was doing the picture, so the end result is a kind of composite of the various weather and light conditions). By the time I got to the point that I was ready to do the boat, the wind had blown it so that it was facing me head rather than side on (or whatever the correct nautical term is) so I had to make it up and you can see that it isn’t entirely accurate when compared to the photo. But overall I’m quite pleased with it, especially as this is the first drawing I’ve ever done at A4 size (usually I do A5) and so I was pleased that it wasn’t disastrous!

West Loch Tarbert - view from the cottageWest Loch Tarbert - by me

Next up is a view of our cottage from the main road, which gives you a great idea of the location. If you can see a cluster of 3 white cottages to the left of the picture, ours is the furthest right of the three. Then the other picture here is of a view of one of the large, beautiful sandy Harris beaches from a viewpoint a few miles away, which will give you an idea of the type of scenery we were surrounded by:

The cottage and West Loch TarbertHarris beach view

A bit further into that drive I was blinded by the sun whilst in the middle of a rain shower, and my first thought was “where’s the rainbow?” As you can see, we found it (this is again looking over to Taransay, but from further south in Harris):

Rainbow over TaransayRainbow over Taransay

We watched the rainbow fade (whilst eating our cheese sandwiches – very romantic!) and I took some arty shots of us and the beach:

Harris beachHow romantic!

Here’s a final view over towards Taransay, and then a shot of a 16th (I think) century church on the south of Harris, St Clement’s Rodel:

View over to TaransaySt Clement's Church Rodel

The next day we headed back down the coast road towards Scarista Beach, which consistently appears in “Top 10 beaches in the world” lists. Just before we got there, I managed to get a shot of an older hairy coo (and was glad I was a bit of a distance away, I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of those horns!). Once we got to Scarista we flew HD’s power kite which was fun (once I’d figured out how to not make it crash to the ground at enormous speed). I also included a picture of our trusty car here (more on that later):

Hairy cooScarista beach
Kite-flying on Scarista BeachOur trusty car (RIP)

Towards the end of the honeymoon I got up, opened the blind in the kitchen to take my daily picture of the view, and found a rainbow greeting me. So I rushed out in my dressing gown (much to the bemusement of the workmen at the next cottage – it was *very* cold and windy!) and took some pictures. And then the next picture is from our last day, when we were in Stornoway and visited the Lewis war memorial:

Rainbow over West Loch TarbertLewis War memorial

The final two pictures are of our last morning – we took the walk along the loch path for a final time, and also up to the main road to have a last look over the loch and the cottage:

West Loch TarbertThe cottage and West Loch Tarbert

On the way back we had the treat of being tannoyed on the ferry, arranged by Smudgie whose brother is a CalMac Ferries Captain (he wasn’t the captain on our particular ferry, but he did get a mention – the tannoy message congratulated HD and I, wished us a happy honeymoon, and then gave congragulations from Captain Smudgiebrother). Again the ferry crossing was remarkably smooth and unchoppy (for which I am very grateful, I hate choppy ferry crossings), and we arrived at the ferry port on Skye and prepared to drive home.

Unfortunately, once we were back on the mainland and had been driving for a while, the temperature gauge on the car suddenly lit up. This was not good for lots of reasons, not least among them the fact that although we were on the mainland on a main road, it was a mainland main road in the middle of nowhere and it was very cold and very dark. HD managed to pull us into a layby on the other side of the road, and on lifting the bonnet we found lots of steam and not much water. A very amusing call to the AA later (the guy first asked me if the A87 had a street name to help him find us, and then when he’d found the rough area on the map asked me if I could see a large loch. I had to explain that as it was pitch black I couldn’t see anything at all, and going by visual cues wasn’t going to help us much!) we were eventually found by the AA contractor, but then it transpired that my membership only entitled us to be taken to the nearest AA garage and not home. So HD phoned the RAC (of whom I hadn’t realised he was still a member), and the same AA man turned out to also be an RAC contractor, so in the end it was his garage that took us the remaining 130 miles home, with the car on the back of the lorry. It turned out that it was a serious problem (the head gasket had gone), and as the car was not worth much (I bought it for £350 over 5 years ago, and although I had to get it patched up every so often I think I can say I got my money’s worth from it) we had to get it scrapped, and last week it was finally taken away to the great garage in the sky. So it was a bit of a dramatic end to the honeymoon, and is a bit of a pain as we are now carless which means we can’t reach the storage place very easily and the stuff we need to take to the recycling is building up in the kitchen because we can’t get to the tip.

But – not to end this on a gloomy note – Harris and Lewis were amazing, the honeymoon was great despite comedy falls and car deaths, and I’d go back there again with no hesitation. A very fab start to married life 🙂


This weekend Glasgow has been hosting the biannual Radiance Light Festival – which is basically where you wander round the Merchant City area and come across lots of random light installations. Possibly the bizarrest we saw (we went this evening) was the giant lightbulb-suspended-from-a-crane (it’s Art, you know). HD wasn’t massively impressed, I enjoyed it but didn’t see anything that made me really stop in my tracks. Walking round the Necropolis (the Cathedral graveyard – reminiscent of Nunhead Cemetery for the south Londoners in my readership) in the dark (apart from the light installations) was interesting though – that’s a place I’ve always been meaning to go and take lots of pictures, but I think I’ll do it in daylight. The lights in the trees in the Zen Garden at the front of the Cathedral were pretty though, I liked them. I took lots of pictures, most look like you’d imagine photos taken in the dark of light installations would look like (ie not great!), but there were a few I was pleased with, so I’ll stick some of them up on my Glasgow photo blog later this week.

In other news, we are finally getting our act together. With less than 5 weeks till the wedding, it’s probably just as well – this week’s jobs include paying the hotel and booking the honeymoon amongst other things (so minor details then!).

Can you tell what it is yet?

Due to popular demand, here are the pictures of my latest artistic endeavour.the inspiration

raw materials First of all, take some raw materials, and then follow it with a bit of inspiration that even I’d be able to copy (in this case, it’s a picture by the artist Lucio Fontana).

the resultSee what I mean? Doddle 🙂

Of course, like all proper artistes, I had to add my signature. Just in case I’m ever famous, you understand.

As the finishing touch – find a cute model:


I really enjoyed the party, it was great to see some of my friends again, although there were also a lot of people there I didn’t know. Some people had really gone to town with the “come as a work of art” theme – including 13 people (complete with table) who came as Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper”. It really was very impressive to see the effort some people had gone to. Though at one point earlier in the day I wasn’t sure if we were going to make it – HD and I spent the afternoon in A&E to get him checked out, as someone had driven into the back of his car the day before (he’s OK but a bit shaken) – I did think at one point we were going to die of old age before we were seen. After eventually being seen (after a 3 hour wait, which I suppose could have been worse but wasn’t the greatest way to spend a Saturday afternoon) we got the train to London and on to the party, I was very impressed that HD still said he’d go as after a car smash and an afternoon in A&E I don’t think I’d really want to go to a party full of strangers wearing silly costumes. Anyway – it really was good to see my friends again, it’s been a few months since I saw them and I do miss them a lot. We also spent Friday night/Saturday morning and Sunday lunch at HD’s parents’ place, so that was good for me to get to know them a bit better (they’re not too scary, thankfully).

Now I’m back home I’m trying not to think about PhD supervision tomorrow. I’ve already put it off a week, and I don’t know how I’m going to blag it. Then on Tuesday I’ve got my least favourite tutorial of the year (hooray! it’s the role-play exercise). So I’ll be feeling a bit sick till Tuesday evening.