I’ve been very busy making a new Big Cartel shop where my paintings can be bought with a couple of clicks and a credit card, uploading the images onto my website and in parallel with the shop. I had a couple of issues with scammers trying to catch me out through the website, so the shop feels much safer, as well as easier if you do want to buy something. plus it allows gorgeous large images of the paintings! the link is here

we had some snow at the beginning of December, and some icy mornings. this is from the front windows of my new house in Cupar. the line of trees at the top marks a footpath that goes all the way over the hill to Ceres, a two mile up and then down, and there’s a café there, for better times and weather. I have to edit out the houses, I’m not used to being amongst so many and such similar buildings, but it’s rather lovely having this view. the hill continues further over to the right.

at the top there are sweeping views across to Kemback

and towards Tentsmuir, which is about the same distance from Cupar as from St Andrews. I have bought a season ticket for their parking. as we are to be in Scotland’s Tier 4 on Boxing day, I am crossing my fingers it will stay open. during the first lockdown it was closed, as were the car parks for beaches in Norfolk.

there are small woods either side of the footpath full of long-tailed tits and other woodland birds; this small painting on paper is On winter’s edge/long-tailed tits/black plastic – they have covered the sloping field next to it in the plastic, with straw on top, and a banner of it had got caught up in the trees on the wood’s edge. I’ll be interested to see what is under it in the spring or summer.

the wood is called Owlet wood, so I named this painting On winter’s edges/owlet wood/muir road,

but one area has been cleared, I think to take it back to heathland, or muir/moor, as in Norfolk where so many old heaths have been overgrown by silver birch. it’s a bit of a shame as in the last month or so they have cleared the last strip of it through which a path ran, mossy and heathery.

it’s very wet after the continual wet weather we have had, and water runs off the pasture fields and the woods

making a little rushing burn down the side of, and across the path. there is an old limestone quarry about halfway down, overgrown with trees, which I thought might be pleasant, but there is a marooned shopping trolley and a lot of bottles lying about, so it might be a haunt of teenagers trying things out away from adult eyes.

it’s certainly a good walk, it will keep me fit. there are plenty of walks around Cupar, the local ramblers society have produced a folding A1 sheet of them.

the fields at the top have a fairly gentle form of agriculture, very mixed, so in better weather I’m hoping to see meadow pipit and lark, maybe curlew.

meanwhile I am still in St Andrews; this is the view from the Duke’s Old Course on a wet day. it’s called Braw View, twenty minutes walk from this house via Lumbo Den.

my furniture and studio stuff will arrive in Cupar on the 5th of January (Tier four allowing), by which time the bungalow will have had its makeover, new boiler and all, and the garage should be ready to receive the studio things, forty odd paintings, two tables, a plan chest, etc. I hope there will be room to move in there. but I will probably have to wait a while for an electrician to change all the lighting fixtures very much not to my taste.

the Duke’s golf course is rather wonderful, full of bits of woodland and gorse scrub, and a big artificial pond surrounded by trees,

plus that view.

usually you can see Tentsmuir beach and forest, the Eden estuary, and the West Sands beach of St Andrews.

all these small gouache paintings on paper express a feeling of place, and I suppose it’s stronger when you first come to a new landscape to live.

I have thirty three paintings for sale in the shop, and there’s more.

all painted on the guest room bed. I run out of paper and have to order more. it’s beautiful thick watercolour paper made of cotton rag that doesn’t curl up or develop buckling when it gets wet. even the cartridge paper is a bit special. Making art is expensive and one needs to sell it to be able to make more.