the end of August doesn’t include a bank holiday in Scotland, as the schools have been back for a couple of weeks. there’s no official end of summer feeling, though we had some chilly nights and I started to obsess about frosts and plants.

I have finally removed the protective fence around the bigger new bed, and mulched it with some lawn cuttings. the only prairie plants that are flowering freely are the little cone flowers

the bigger ones seem quite stuck, some with buds that aren’t opening, or in the case of the rudbeckias, unable to open fully.

happily, the love in the mists are doing well.

I have one rudbeckia flower fully out ….

along the river the himalayan balsam is flowering in its punk pink, freckled and in all shades from pale to fucshia.

it sparked a few days of working over a big mainly blue and peach canvas I decided needed more doing to it.

I did this to it on my ipad. looking at it again I like the mark-making –

better than what I actually did, above. a painter I like on instagram, Karl Bielik, summed up his work in one sentence as “I make visceral loose process driven oil paintings full of doubt and chance.” I guess that’s what I try to do, in acrylic, and the doubt always gets me. not loose enough, Jane!

experimenting with impasto and gel

this was under some of that jabby pink …maybe I shouldn’t have covered it up.

river bank drawing on the spot …

a resolution for more pink and drippy stuff … the blue section caught the drips from another painting, the last of the three Glen Feshies, and the right hand was the spare bit.

I had to wait for another roll of canvas to arrive, then these cut out and painted,

I zig-zag stitched them together with my old semi-industrial Bernina,

since I  was sewing these pink trousers and had the thread in the machine

not entirely satisfactory as the lower piece got stretched a bit. an interesting experiment. putting this arrangement on a stretcher might even it out enough … sometimes I probably overthink my painting processes!

more pink – but turning to white fluff now as the seed pods split open

a grey morning – this summer most mornings have been grey, the low cloud burning off later if we are lucky –

while I was taking this photo I disturbed the resident sea eagle which was perched on one of the posts

I wasn’t quick enough to catch it with the phone camera, but it flew low across the estuary mouth, its huge wingspan and white wedge on the tail making it easy to identify

and landed on one of the banks exposed by the low tide. you can see a dark object there. it was being mobbed by the seagulls which appeared tiny. it had something to eat out there. it might have been feeding from the seal carcass which is slowly rotting into the sand at the top of the beach. another day in conversation on the beach I found that there are two pairs here, one nesting in the forest at the Eden end, the way I walk, and one further up the Tay. introduced, and doing well.

a sure sign of September – a big but lonely clump of sea aster in flower. this is all over the saltmarsh edges at Morston and Cley to Salthouse, but I haven’t seen it here before.

my big news is that I decided I’d had enough of the 2017 Leaf with its very restricted range, and having read that the new Renault Zoe has a better battery range than some bigger cars – 240 miles – I found a forecourt car with 10 miles on the clock for £5000 less than the new price minus the government grant. of course I lost on selling the Nissan, but it’s such a relief to know that I can drive to Glasgow and back, or Edinburgh, or even the Cairngorms. it’s more efficient than the Leaf. I haven’t been very far in it yet, though I have a trip to Glasgow planned in the next couple of weeks to look at an exhibition of wonderfully colourful paintings by Alison McWhirter

meanwhile, this is surely the last stage in this 50 x 50 cm painting’s evolution. braided river/closing over brooding stones. another reference to Glen Feshie.

twittering swallows at Craigsanquhar farm on Saturday’s rather damp drizzly walk from Dairsie. they are getting ready to fly to South Africa.

I made a cake for a walk this weekend, I had planned it during the week, an extension of the Eden river walk, for Lucy and my Sunday walk. Poor Em being too old and wobbly for much of a walk, Scott is sacrificed on the altar of daughterly love, and he’s the one that’s missing out.

so from the house we walked down to the little stone bridge that crosses the river, and followed the meandering Eden as far as you can. before Springfield the way is blocked by a big old stone mill that comes right to the edge, and is owned by a concrete block company. but the road is quiet  and has a decent footpath, as so many places do in Fife

we passed a flower selling stall from a grower in the field, and made a note.

if we had been able to approach via the river bank there would have been a photo of this beautiful high-arched stone bridge, but as it was, here one is looking down from it.

then on and across the A91, but the road I had chosen is not quiet at all, and narrow, so we went into the stubble fields and up through a wood, almost blocked with bracken, then along the side of the hill in more stubble

with great views

through to Scotstarvit, passing by the farm yard, as the track that’s marked on the OS map is now blocked with trees and scrub, to the tower house

you can just see this from the other side of the river

built in the 15thC and modified early in the 17th

a good place to sit below and have coffee and plum cake

then back through the Hill of Tarvit estate, up to Whitehill, over Ceres Moor and back to my front door. 8.3 miles altogether with some steep uphill in that wood, and the most beautiful late summer day, quite warm. I wouldn’t want to do that every weekend, but now and again … our next expedition may be Norman Law, shorter but much steeper. it’s the most easterly of the Ochills and more or less north of Cupar, with wonderful views, so we want a clear, fresh day.

and the last painting of this post, possibly (that doubt again) resolved yesterday with thoughts of the golden stubbles and the tower, but it started in my usual way with some fluid lines and a bit of colour, then it became a pour painting

on Saturday i did some pretty intense scrawly stuff on it

but by Monday was doubting that, and it did seem very dark, so I got out all my yellows and golds and a bit of white and lots of impasto gel, and covered a lot of this up.

with more of this

and worked back through it with the palette knife point.

it may be finished,










  1. Lovely photos as always Jane. And that cake looked amazing! rosemary and almond? I bet Lucy was well chuffed. xx

  2. More super-beautiful and interesting photos of your countryside and your paintings, and now your delicious-looking cake too! Poor Scott!

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