for one day, that is, the day before yesterday, the temperature rose to 17C and I sat out in the garden to have my coffee. but today it is 11C and the sun in and out. it’s a good sign though. There was a chiffchaff singing on the path to Ceres Moor, so that is definitely a sign that spring IS here.

on walks in the last week, snowdrops are still in flower and looking fresh, and the blackthorn is not out yet, though the buds are showing signs. in Norfolk I am sure it will be out and the snowdrops definitely over.

we walked round the loch at Kilconquar (pronounced Kinnocher)

last Saturday and came quite close to two herons. the snowdrops there were wonderful.

yesterday¬† I walked in Lade Braes in St Andrews, it’s full of snowdrops, crocuses and drifts of bright blue scylla, – heard a chiffchaff and saw a bumble bee. but for some reason didn’t take any photos, these are all of Kilconquar.

the day before yesterday we went to Kemback, climbed Jenny’s steps (there must be a hundred of them)

on the way I admired the Lomonds – I looked them up geologically, and their shoulders are sills of volcanic rock that flowed (when hot) through the horizontal weaknesses in the sedimentary sandstones, and their peaks are the pipes through which the molten lava rose to the surface and erupted as volcanoes. Largo Law is another such remnant.

not much sign of spring in the woods yet. I expect if I was there at five-thirty in the morning the dawn chorus would be deafening, but mostly it was quiet, with a couple of mountain bike enthusiasts zooming about.

I think in another month there will be bluebells.

another expedition to Cairngreen wood, walking round it widdershins/against the sun this time. you always see different things walking paths a new way.

the latest little pocket book/four winds book is filling up

the quicker the drawing the better it is

the top of Garliebank, the steep hill I can see from the house, has great swooping perspectives, and you can see the snowy Cairngorms peeping over the top of the local hills. I have a plan to walk round all the local hills which you can see from Ceres Moor and from Garliebank.

for now the newly ploughed ground with its scalloped edges and strips of green catches my eye.

in the studio new work on canvas has begun

things disconcert by going too quickly

so some collage disrupts that

but then this one took matters into its own hands

and became this

and then,  a small act but a major decision today, I turned the right hand panel upside down, which oddly enough fits well and makes the whole thing more dynamic. and finished.

whereas the square canvas has much to resolve, although it’s become very much more interesting

the black features at the bottom are the problem, I love the marks but it seems very unbalanced at the moment. the dark in the top half does have various purple-brown and maroon marks that you can’t see in this photo

but on the whole it needs something more interesting going on across it.

the reworking came from this very loose painting in my big sketchbook. which itself benefits from having two halves, like a diptych.

it’s always good to have a problem waiting for one in the studio, even if you turn it to the wall for the time being, and read a book, or tackle the garden instead, it’s working away in your brain.