the wall in my studio challenges me to cover it with canvas, so my next painting is even bigger, more like a square. I struggled with it, but didn’t alter my studio layout until I’d finished it. now I’ve put the table in the window and have 2 painting walls, and an extra two feet to step back. not much admittedly …

this painting is not about the wood, but more to do with Cairnlug and Cairnfoodie, the hills across the Eden valley from Cairngreen.

drawing with this Pentel brush pen on paper is quite like sloppy acrylic

and floppy brush on canvas.

but I often forget just how good this brush is, a signwriter’s brush from Handover, and don’t get it out.

the under-drawing is just a start, although I do like some of that fluid stuff to show through later

and the yellow was a hopeful thought …

plus some bits of drawing/painting on paper collaged on

I had another walk around there on about the last nice day we had recently

there were red campion flowers, the first I’d seen this year

lichened stone walls under the barbed wire, and sheep-grazed fields looking the worse for wear.

then this row of beautiful beech trees along the road, all with specks of pale green leaves, making one think of Hockney’s spring paintings.

cherry trees too. the first half of May has been glorious for their blossom, whether hybrid ornamentals or the wild “gean”.

and now we have the full electric yellow of the rape fields. they make it easier to identify other places we’ve walked from a distance.

so all these things go into the mix. I rather think I should have stopped here!

I found a wonderful quote from Arthur C Danto about the Japanese artist Chuta Kimura which is apt, and something I would like to aim for;

“to occupy a third position, not intermediate between these but alternative to them, that may be referred to his Japanese roots. It is as though he wanted the landscape to express itself, wants there to come to the surface what does not necessarily meet the eye: a force, a stirring, a shifting and a wildness, a spirit one has to provoke by some counter-energy on the artist’s part.” Here is an example of a painting by Kimura.

“It is as though the landscape were some sleeping dragon disguised as hills and meadows, as some peaceful place, but which, with enough prodding, reveals its true power, dissolving into something that writhes and whips and flashes before it subsides back into colors and shapes, leaving the memory of something untamed.”

could one bring the excitement of all that

into this? at this point I have got rid of most of the excitement! the graphic part of the painting almost painted out.

perhaps this has brought it back.

then there is Tentsmuir, which is so dynamic. Kinshaldy beach to be more exact

drawing the clouds

and the long lines of the sandbanks

I have to go back to this.

my painting of the clouds “Cloud Shadows Walk Back and Forth” is in an online exhibition from today called Re:connect.

I am rather pleased, it’s on the Society of Scottish Artists’ website, and is one of only 30 selected. a good start to my painting life in Scotland.