On our second week painting the figure, the weather cleared and Ying brought the model outside on the back deck. After everyone had cleaned their brushes and left for the day, I started this still life. The chair and apples were left in place for the second day of painting. As I was paining, Judy walked […]

Ever since I saw this tiny lighthouse from the window of the Jacobite cruise ship, I wanted to paint it. Once the smallest manned lighthouse in the UK, the Bona Lighthouse on the Caledonian Canal kept ships safe with a single paraffin lamp in a bedroom window. Today the building has been restored and converted into a holiday house, room here […]

Reclining female in red robe. I used this sketch as a reference for a painting but wasn’t able to capture the energy of the original. I did this sketch in Life Drawing class at the Mountain Art Center in Ben Lomond. The Art Center offers weekly classes.  No need to plan ahead, just drop-in and join in […]

Along the northeast coast of Scotland many of the beaches are covered in so many pebbles and empty muscle shells that you can’t really layout on the sand. Roseisle Beach just a few miles east of Findhorn Village is a lovely sandy haven. The Germans must have noticed this sandy shore too. To prevent foreign […]

Ruda is the Gaelic for Ram. This rock cliff overlooks Neist Point Lighthouse on the Isle of Skye off the western coast of Scotland. The day I was there I saw goats and sheep grazing on the hillside. I also discovered a yogi sitting in the lotus position at the base of the ram horned […]

You can find these lovely lupins blooming at the Boath House, a Georgian Mansion thirty minutes east of Inverness. The eight room hotel has been completely restored and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. But for a real treat save room for afternoon tea and a walk through the 22-acre estate.  

I rented a room in a flat in Findhorn Village so I often walked around the horn, past the bay to the open ocean. This is the view looking back at the marina from the bluffs. The bluffs provided a wind break and a nice place to set up my easel to paint.

This is a small painted sketch I did in preparation for a larger painting, Badlands. In some ways I prefer this looser rendition to the more details version. Which painting would you rather look at; Badlands or Upland Stream?

A time saving device used in gesture drawings is blocking in the scull; using a flat plane for the face. Capturing the gaze is enough for a one-minute pose, anything more and you won’t get the whole body done. These quick studies help loosen up your arm and ground you in the art of seeing the whole image before moving […]

The country roads of Scotland are full of photo opportunities. The only problem is finding a safe place to pullover. Usually by the time I did the view I wanted to capture was a hike back in the opposite direction. I tried to take some while driving but those never turned out. It was tempting […]

I was on my way from Aberdeen to Forres, in the middle of the Scottish Uplands, a hundred miles from the coast, but there were seagulls flying above. The hills on either side of the single track road were dark, barren and round like coastal dunes. When I saw this stream cutting through the jagged mountains, I […]

When I see grapefruit, I think of grandma McNeil and how she was forever on a diet! Carefully sectioned grapefruit was a breakfast staple, along side a perfectly poached egg. The rice bowls under these grapefruit are older than me. Collected in the orient during the military years. Ours was an eclectic household, where nothing matched and […]

After doing a dozen landscapes it was a treat to get back to my comfort zone, the figure. No model at hand, I used a mirror instead. In the early stages of a painting I decide what I’m going to try to accomplish, besides something pretty to look at. For this portrait I set about exploring warm […]