I found it hard to choose which frosty morning car windscreen photo to use for a header the other day, so I thought I'd just post all three -
Wondrous, fantastical landscapes - I just had to stop and photograph them before we defrosted and set off....
Today, a walk in rain past thundering streams and crashing waves, with gales forecast for tomorrow.
..by this lovely book I found in the Oxfam shop (deposited about thirty books, bought only one!).
It is written by Rebecca Otowa who was born in California, grew up in Australia and married into a very traditional Japanese family.
It gives a little bit of an insight I think into Marie Kondo's thinking (see here).
A delightful find.
-of nothing much. Except that I've had this image in a file for ages, and I just love it!
I wonder who she is texting?
Should you find yourself on the McGills 907 bus as it sits in Port Glasgow with the engine idling, between 18.06 and 18.11 of an evening, look skywards! The most wonderful moving cloud of swarming starlings swoops over the town. I wanted to shout to all the sleepy going home commuters on the bus 'Look, look! Are you watching?' (but I didn't..) This 4 minute display will mesmerise you.
Isn't nature astonishing?
I was commissioned a few years ago to design a traditional cottage garden for Weir Cottage in Botolph Claydon, Buckinghamshire.
There was only grass and a very narrow path. I made the path appear wider by adding a strip of gravel in a similar colour to the brick to either side, and softened that by planting clumps of the lovely erigeron karvinskianus along it - the flowers are a pinky brick red and sprinkle about in a very naturalistic way.
To the left of the path is a border of blue - catmint, geranium Roxanne, linaria - foxgloves and feverfew (volunteers) were allowed to stay..
Apricots and pinks are predominant on the other side of the path - roses, apricot foxgloves, achillea, lavatera, rock roses and potentilla, and of course alchemilla mollis....you can see the pink foxgloves jumped in too - they were pulled out every now and then - but the feeling was of a relaxed natural mix so we weren't too ruthless about interlopers.
Over the fence is a duckpond with entertaining ducks and geese and a large willow. A fine bit of 'borrowed landscape' looked out on from the windows of the house (and the responsibility of the farmer...).
Looking back down the path from the house. There is a little sitting area surrounded by roses tucked in to the right with a young flowering cherry planted close by for shade. There is a small sunny lawn, a patio, and on the pond side of the house a flourishing herb garden.
A few metres of native species hedging will by now be screening the cars from the lawn you can just see on the left. (The gravel parking area will take several cars.)
What a lovely commission it was, and what a joy to stay there on many happy occasions - such a wrench to leave it, but pastures new....
To view the inside of the house estate agent details are here - do let me know if you decide to buy it!
I do hope it goes to a garden lover..
We saw Moscow Ballet's Swan Lake last night (a delightful Mothers Day gift - thank you both!). It is surely one of the loveliest of the fairy tale ballets. Nadezda Ivanova was a wonderful Odette/Odille but I think my favourite part is the corps de ballet in the moonlight in Act 2 - the music, the costumes, the synchronisation - enchantment!
This was the traditional Petipa choreography - see 4 min clip here. Have any of you seen Matthew Bourne's version with the male swans?
There is a 2 minute video of the exhibition I mentioned yesterday here
Architecture was a compulsory subject when I was at GSA. I'm so glad I studied it - it led to a lifelong interest, and later to study in Landscape Architecture.
Architect Steven Holl gets up at 6.30 am to do these tiny watercolours (another 'lark'). It's quite exciting to look at them then walk across the road and see the huge real thing!
You can click on the images to enlarge and there is lots more at www.stevenholl.com
Yesterday I was shown round the Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art.
I've been thinking of it since, and went back today for a closer look at the exhibition Drawing on Holl from where the above image comes. This exhibition (free admission and on till Mar 23) is worth seeing and the fact that it is on display inside Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Art School building gives you, if you don't know the building, a useful little experience of Mackintosh's articulation of space and light which influenced Steven Holl in his design.
The entire effort here is an homage to Mackintosh says Holl.
I was lucky enough to spend four years studying at GSA, two of them in the Mackintosh building which I know and love, so, like most alumni I imagine, I was not a little wary of what I would find, and sceptical of what seemed a possibly overly concept-led approach. See this post for further links, photographs, and a (rather waspish) review.
I am still processing the experience of being inside the building (which is quite different and ultimately much more important than merely looking at it) but my first impressions are of a quite poetic and elegant manipulation of space and light, of beautifully generous proportions.
It's dynamic and exciting and, sticking my neck out here, I'm going to predict that it will (in time) become a much loved building.....Yay for GSA!
And for Alan and Sarah! Thank you.
Whether you are male or female, how would you answer these questions?
Even before it was switched on at dusk,
it was rather lovely, with pale crocus growing in between,
and the late sunlight casting long shadows as we waited quietly for the dark.
People were still arriving in little family groups - lots of babies it seemed - when a musician began playing ambient twinkly music..
and the lights began to softly glow.
Almost imperceptibly changing colour....
In his book Catching The Light the artist, Bruce Munro, says
'The Field of Light is a personal symbol for the good things in life'.
Subtle, gentle, magical - this romantic artwork is in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh until late April.
Tomorrow : people who love what they do.
Did you know that a snowflake falls at a rate of about three miles an hour, about six times slower than a raindrop? From a delightful book Let It Snow! by Rosemarie Jarski.
The photograph of a snowflake is from Snowflakes by Voyageur Press. I've given both books as presents in the past, then bought copies for myself.
There is snow on the hills tonight and it's very cold.
I was quite thrilled to find these fresh flowers in the supermarket.
Each flower is about the size of my hand.
The label doesn't say where they were grown.
The colour is fabulous. You can just glimpse some larkspur from the garden which dried naturally in the vase and kept their colour.
I am hoping these will dry in the vase, then I may try spraying some for Christmas.
Nature does it best!
Drawing that is.
These strands of marram grass, left in the fine shell sand as the tide went out on Luskentyre beach on Harris, were so beautiful. They remind me of Chinese calligraphy in their elegance and simplicity.
Every 'stroke' has such energy and vitality.
Some rather more conventional holiday photos tomorrow....
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)