autumn’s bright face

after a weekend of summer temperatures we have really entered the new season, cold clear nights are here and there are stars to look at when I supervise B’s night outings in the garden. she says there are rats and cats – something gave her a big surprise around the bins last night, while I was gazing at Cassiopeia.

our beach walks have slipped to a little later, and there is no chance of meeting the nudist who seems to want to shock us women dog walkers at Kinshaldy beach, it’s too cold for his preferred outfit of boots, cap and rucksack. I got an article published in the local newspaper, the Courier, about him; after the terrible fate of Sarah Everard, we can’t just make a joke of creepy men who think a woman’s discomfiture is an aim to be wished for.

last week at 9.30 am, the perfect sky, the perfect sand and ripple marks

it was deserted until about an hour later

then I went to the Tatha Gallery for their current show of Wilhemina Barns-Graham

screen prints

I think the exhibition had an effect on that afternoon’s painting

I am making postcard size paintings

for an open submission online exhibition run by Highgate Art. you send 20 images, and if you are lucky enough that they select any, they go up for sale on their website anonymously. a way for lesser known artists to be seen.

this bigger piece on a full sheet of Khadi handmade paper, strong enough for multi-layers and quite a bit of water and wet paint applied.

the garden gets better and better, just hoping there are no frosts until the echinaceas and rudbeckias and other prairie plants have finished flowering. the greenhouse arrives tomorrow, but it’s a kit, so goodness knows when we’ll get it up. first there needs to be a level floor for the base.

I had a lovely walk along the Firth of Tay just over a week ago

I had to go to Wormit to collect leaflets and signpost for Open Studios, which happens in just under 3 weeks. there is a car park there just along from the Tay rail bridge (in the photo) and you can walk along the Fife Coastal path to Balmerino.

we met this lovely friendly young pig (B was not impressed), passed a sign for coffees and ice cream just off the path which another time might be useful.

some houses right on the path have their own boat slipway into the estuary. the path is quite up and down, on one case with steps, as a few little burns cut down the steep slope to the Tay through woods.

B has got to know about kissing gates, but each new one is a challenge.

At Balmerino you can follow a path inland through meadow and woods, past horses (as in the scribble above) along a road and then back down to Wormit with more views of the Tay and the bridge. a five and a half mile leg-stretcher, on a beautiful Sunday morning.

at Kemback on a rainy morning the leaves showed signs of autumn – this cherry will soon be blazing

and the black poplars

a rather different colour. colourful leaves have fallen in the wood and decorate the paths, but the trees still look green with that radiant light pouring through the beech trees on the lower slopes.

the horses at Blebo Craig, above the wood, are a rewarding draw

and Bims as always

even some agricultural machinery caught my eye,

but I have been looking back through old catalogues of my very different paintings in the 90’s, and then looking at Tracey Emin’s paintings alongside those of Munch in her recent exhibition at the RA, and thinking of those, I did a few self-life-drawings in the mirror and found that drawing horses and cows has sharpened up my skills, and I am interested in how that works with the paintings.

a small one. I am prepared to be much more minimal with this kind of drawing/painting

and use memory and the impression of how it feels to be in my flesh and bones as a seventy-one year-old woman, as much as how it looks.

painting like this has influenced my attitude to drawing for sure

then for October I am following a daily prompt by Angela Carr, for poems on the theme of Samhain, after a two month lazy layover of not writing a thing. I think it’s done me good as I am feeling fresh and enthusiastic, and the words are popping out onto the paintings again, no doubt influenced by Tracey too.

under your open arms

our unending confessions

nothing but our pulse

and the vibrating yellow layer over swirling greens

whereas this blue and gold knocks back a whole lot of detail and “stuff” on another diptych, and I’ve scratched through the paint with the point of a palette knife

harder to see in the photos

your anthill eyes
filigree and irreversible

the poem is addressed to Hecate as an earth goddess, thinking of our walk at Glen Feshie, but also thinking of self as embodying the triple goddess.

today was a ramble along the river eden

still low in her bed

under these hills that I never get tired of

and all the autumn berries

red ones

and pink ones on the golf course

leaves with their stems already snagged by earthworms, standing up in the grass

and these hills as ever

postcarding it

into my practise

with towers

and stubble fields






  1. I enjoyed this blog immensely Jane. I have missed some of your walk photos – but not the tales of the nudist. I have not been walking much recent so your walk photos were a joy to see. Your painting pictures are something else! You have such talent in so many aspects of ‘art’. It’s just wonder!

  2. I wrote a comment and it disappeared but it said – more verbosely – you are talented, all the photos – walks and paintings are wonderful and I enjoyed them all! Bx

  3. Another blog full of beautiful photos of your glorious scenery and your amazing paintings, and so good to feel how you get your inspiration.

  4. The immense, all-encompassing energy of images, writing and the overwhelming sense of the gift of unexpected release gives me such an exhilaration – Thank you , Jane……Best…Tomx

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