is when I’m starting this though I’m not sure I shall get it posted today. the last post was a bit of a cliff-hanger, I had started a painting and was not sure how to resolve it. somehow I strode into the studio a few days later and started in with a brushful of blackish paint and things happened … but I had stuck some ripped up painted paper on first.

I had made a drawing in my sketch book at the end of the day which was very helpful though


so I covered up the questionable black mark marks in what was the foreground, if there is such a thing in these abstracts, worked over the top of the rather neat and tidy first attempt, blocked out a large area in the middle defined by my black lines, scraped it off again with a toothed metal kidney tool left over from the ceramics studio

added more paint

turned the painting around

ending up with this which I am really pleased with. I think the months of painting with gouache on paper have really helped.

we made an expedition to the river, the Eden, which has settled to a quieter persona since I last saw it, when it had spread out over the surrounding fields (its flood-plain) and got into the kitchen of a house by the old bridge in Cupar.

the tufts of leaf and reed and other debris show high high it was. now this willow is showing the first signs of its new leaves.

it looked very slippery dark and deep, and started me off on another painting, on one of these 100 x 100 cm box canvases, same as the last one

the usual beginnings – glued on ripped up painting and marks with a drippy brush

going on to stick brightly coloured tissue paper and some “gold” leaf I had in my stash. a lot got on my fingers, I’m too impatient to be a gilder

and then scrawly stuff about the river

another day and I’m back in there with more paint

but then I covered a lot of this up

and it became a very spring-ish painting

pinks and greens dominating

some things left uncovered

bits of the gold leaf and tissue paper, for “How the river shines today”

my next project is some deep mapping of the hills opposite

Craigfoodie is the first target

meanwhile I am tramping the by now well trodden paths tracks and lanes

around Ceres Moor and Kemback

I found a new track the other side of Kemback

and today on the way back from Cairgreen Wood I found a new way to get across to Owlet wood

without walking down the road as we had before.

this is a painting about, not of, Cairngreen. Today there were five roe deer on the field outside the wood

and a little flock of siskins flew past me and settled in a small gorse bush next to the path.

I found a larch tree in bloom. I never knew they showed off bright pink flowers amongst the tufts of bright green new needles in the spring.