Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas 2005

This looks like being the last entry before I am submerged in "The Family Christmas".
So, what's up? Well Karen Howerd and myself are organising a one day conference on Art and Technology in the 21st. This is under the auspices of NAN -National Artist Network- set up by Artists Newsletter magazine to encourage networking amongst artists. New Media Scotland are also involved.

This will take place on Saturday January 28th in the Changing Room gallery, Stirling.

Watch this space!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Childrens Drawings

Some stills from a film I made based on childrens drawings in The Park gallery, Falkirk during the Lys Hansen exhibition.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Art @ Kilbryde Castle, Scotland

This is the fifth art exhibition to be held at Kilbryde Castle, near Dunblane showing the work of a number of local artists.

We drove for miles down remote country lanes and eventually arrived on a wild dark wintry evening with gale force winds howling around us at this huge isolated private castle.

Pictured above: "Chicken" by Gill Wilson, "Burning" by Jim Wylie.

Tate Modern - Rachel Whiteread

Just visited Tate Modern in London and saw Rachel Whiteread's amazing installation of the inside of cardboard boxes cast in white fibre glass.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Healing Medicine exhibition, Edinburgh

Three Oncologists
- painting by Ken Currie in the current exhibition Healing Medicine at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery , Edinburgh.

This astonishing work of art celebrates the power of paint in the hands of a master.

It is of Professor R. J Steele, Professor Sir Alfred Cuschiere and Professor Sir David P Lane of the Department of Surgery and Molecular Oncology, Ninewells Hospital, Dundee

Monday, October 17, 2005

Lunch-time music, Stirling University

Martin Davies ( piano) and Ian Ainsworth (bass-baritone) gave a free lunch-time concert in the foyer of Stirling University.
Their recital"Musicians, Poets and other Animals" included Apollinaire's Le Bestiaire and a selection of English songs.

Their polished performance gave much pleasure to a large lunch-time audience.

Both are former members of staff at the university.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Lys Hansen art exhibition, Smith gallery, Stirling

Lys Hansen has two exhibitions opening this weekend - one at the Smith gallery, Stirling and the other at the Park Gallery, Falkirk.

Artist Anne Wegmuller (centre picture) gives Lys a helping hand with hanging the exhibition.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Robinson Crusoe

How's this for a bit of serendipity.
While driving along the Fife coast I pulled in at Lower Largo and stopped outside a house where Alexander Selkirk, the man who Daniel Defoe modelled Robinson Crusoe on, was born. Now they have this statue there to commemorate it.
Next day the newspapers are full of an international expedition who have found the actual campsite where Alexander Selkirk lived for four years on a remote Chilean island in the Juan Fernandez archipelago.
They found traces of Selkirk's camp with animal bones and holes that appeared to have housed poles for a shelter.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Wallace - Smith Gallery, Stirling

Is it possible to get TOO MUCH of Wallace?
I ask this question after attending the book launch of "The Wallace Muse" at the Smith gallery, edited by Lesley Duncan and Elspeth King. The book's fine, a gathering together of poems inspired by Wallace. The Provost had recently returned from New York where a quarter of a million people had viewed Wallace's sword - taken over from Stirling for Tartan Week. In the gallery was an amazing installation of a coffin, it looked like a regal lying in state devoted to Wallace .Our national hero ( "thank you Braveheart") died some 700 years ago and never got a burial- he was hung drawn and quartered and his limbs dispersed around the country. Now he is to be a proper burial....

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Having a few days in Prague. Stop off at the cafe used by Kafka, in the Jewish Quarter, and now named after him.

Walking along Charles bridge listen to an unusual rendering of Fur Elise- played on wine glasses.

They say the Sex Museum is the top tourist attraction in Prague and that the city is rivalling Amsterdam as the sex capital of Europe. In the night the city is heaving with hen and stag parties.

Having already been robbed on the underground in Chicago and Paris I was on the alert in Prague. Just as well cause I spotted that we had been targeted. Three men followed us on to the Metro then once they realised we were watching them they jumped off.

Discovered Black Theatre. The Wow! theatre group were opposite our hotel. Amazing!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Old Man of Storr

Environmental artist Agnus Farquhar created the most amazing noctural art project on the Isle of Skye this summer. It involved walking to the top of the Old Man of Storr- at midnight! Well, you set off at 11pm to be precise. I was there two days before the launch and walked up in daylight. There's a fantastic view from the top- which you wouldnt see if you did it in the dark. However, I can well believe that the memory of the experience of doing this walk, tricky in daylight and even more perilous in the night, would remain with you for a very long time.

Ian Hamilton Finlay

Some pictures taken during a visit to Little Sparta, a remote hilltop where Ian Hamilton Finlay , an international artist who is finally getting the recognition in Scotland that he deserves. He's in his 80th year and has three retrospectives in Edinburgh.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Whisky in Scotland

Sometimes it's the unexpected that turns out to be the most interesting. I had gone to Dufftown to see the artists in residence at the Glenfiddich Distillery only to discover that they did not open until noon.
So I went to the Speyside Cooperage to kill time and spent the entire morning there. Here skilled craftsmen make and repair around 100,000 casks, or barrels , a year. They work at a fantastic pace and are paid peace-rate.

Monday, August 29, 2005

New Orleans

Where are they now? Hurricane Katrina is about to hit New Orleans, the worst in its history. This guy runs the Voodoo Museum with his collection of exotic snakes. What's going to happen to them in the forthcoming hurricane? he can't escape and leave his snakes behind....
I made a video some time ago in the Voodoo museum and a small section is included in my mini movie which I have entered for the first ever Guardian's laptop movie competition.
New Orleans is below sea level and waves of around 20 feet are expected.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Francis Bacon exhibition

After a week of video-editing I needed a break from the computer and decided to look at some I visited the Francis Bacon exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh which everyone is raving about.
Yes, its interesting but hardly riveting. He seems to have spent his life painting his succession of gay lovers. And they all looked the same.
Somehow it all looked so old fashioned. Are we really expected to stand there and admire in silence a bit of canvas on the wall? somehow now in the 21st century one expects more of art.

And I got that out in the corridor where I saw the gallery's newest purchases, a set of Damien Hirst medical prints. Now I could identify with that!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


still trying to figure out file format for uploading drawing images...seems tif works.some more of my drawings can be seen on my website (

Friday, August 19, 2005

Edinburgh Festival

Visited Edinburgh Festival.
Wanted a "cheesy" photograph of an icionic Edinburgh view and one of a piper. During the Festival there appears to be a piper on every corner so I followed the sound of this one to Princes St and found it was a blind piper with his golden Labrador. Feeling very guilty and voyeuristic I threw some coins into his box and took this photograph. Was I right to do so? if he had been sighted I would not have hesitated.
This raises again all the moral dilemmas about photographing people in public.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Paradise flower

This is just an experiment to find out what the new Blogger imaging software will upload. Photos are OK but drawings are not. The image is of a Paradise flower I was given which I have used as a motif for some thank-you cards.

Evening view from my home

This photo was taken last night from the kitchen window.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Katie, Changing Room gallery, Stirling

This is a photo of Katie watching a video I made of her grandmother's hands for a week I spent last year in the Changing room gallery, Stirling, part of their innovative scheme of inviting artists to come in and create work in the gallery. I chose to work with members of the public inviting them to have their hands photographed. (

"The Journey"

I do believe that I have managed to upload an image, one of my digital photos, to my goes

Martin Parr, photographer

Heard Martin Parr, one of Britain's best known photographers give a talk on his work today in Edinburgh. He's a member of Magnum and there's a stunning exhibition of Cartier- Bresson's work on at the Dean gallery.
Martin is using the new Sony Ericsson k750 photo messaging phones- all two megapixels and sending it direct to the microsite website. Site not easy to access, to start with there is no section for the UK but those I did manage to get through to in Italy showed some amazing photos.

Monday, August 15, 2005


This is my first attempt to upload an image from my digital sketchbook using the new Blogger goes...

Does Virgin support Tiger?

Yes I know this is a peculiar question - unless you happen to own an Apple and have Virgin as your server.
This is not good news. I am sitting here with a state of the art machine - IMAC G5 and Broadband since you ask- and I can't acess the internet. ( I am writing this on a borrowed pc laptop).
So far all the technical helplines have hinted darkly that it cant be done, at least not yet.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Electronic spirituality

Electronic spirituality.
Is cinema the contemporary sacred space? on the radio this morning head about an Aid worker giving a poor Indian family money to buy food. Later in the day he saw all seven of them come out of the local cinema. He was furious and told them so. The Indian father replied:"We will always have to struggle to find something to eat but the money allowe dus to do something this afternoon which will remain with us for ever."

Monday, April 25, 2005

Artist to watch - Michael Visocchi

Well, it's happened.
I wondered who would be the first artist in our year to make a mark in the art world. Opened Scotland on Sunday newspaper to see that Michael Visocchi is one of five young artists singled out by art critic Iain Gale as "rising stars".
Congratulations Michael! you were always very hard working . He's a sculptor and actually MAKES THINGS!.....

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Good News and The Bad News

First, the good news...the pedometer works like a charm, clocked up 10,000 steps for the second day ( O.K its early days!) but one gets a sense of achievement and that's important in this fitness lark.
Talking of which...the bad news. TV programme last night on vitamin pills pointed out the dangers of overdosing on Vitamin A just by taking a vitamin pill a day, nasty things happen like damage to your liver and thinning bones. I have been taking vitamin pills for years! Did a quick check on the labels, horrified to find that Vitamin A is the main ingredient! Have chucked the bottle in the trash can.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Pedometer and video editing

Have just invested in a pedometer in order to encourage me to get away from the computer. 10,000 steps are recommended a day, that sounds like an awful lot of walking. Still, I need it. For the past couple of weeks I have been tied to the computer, editing my work from the Royston Road Project. Have got to reduce nearly 8 hours of footage to a maximum of 20 minutes. Help! need to do some walking to mull over ideas.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Lost posts

why have all my latest blogs disappeared into thin air?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Web Page

At last! my new web page is up! with thanks to Andy Allan who designed it for me.Now to make it inter-active...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Artist residency

Royston Road Project

Have just finished filming in Blackhill/Provanmill, Glasgow. It has taken a lot longer than I expected, a combination of bad weather and difficulty setting up meetings with people. The two women who had agreed to be filmed today failed to show up. However, found another woman, a local activist in the community, was very co-operative and allowed her son and nephew to be filmed too.
Now into the editing stage.....

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

this is an ink drawing of my cat Posted by Hello

Peer Crit- Glasgow

Some time ago a national Sunday newspaper did a survey on the best place to live in the UK - for employment, health, environment, children, culture etc.
Guess what? Glasgow topped the list as the most edgy place to live if you want to be a contemporary artist.
Well, after last night's crit at the CCA, organised by Steven Anderson, a young painter, I begin to understand why. He had gathered together a group of around 30 artists with four presenting work. These were Aya Iguchi, Japanese artist currently working with sound as artist-in-residence in Lanark musuem, Michael Wursteauer an experimental filmamker who showed a very creepy film made inside the pedestrian/cycle pathway underneath the Clyde and Rachel O'Neil a ceramic artist who has just negotiated an artist residency with Scottish Arts Council funding with a factory in Glasgow.
I showed some work I made during a week's residency in the Changing Room gallery, Stirling.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Glasgow - CCA

Tomorrow I have volunteered to have a free crit in the CCA - Glasgow. No idea what this will involve. Will it be like Art College where they proceed to rip your work apart?

Saturday, March 19, 2005


Hotel Argon, Frankfurter Allee

Over in Berlin for a few days to hear Dana Hoffman make her professional debut as an opera singer at the Philharmonia concert hall.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Herald: Old Comrades Reunion

A dozen of us turned up at Babbity Bowsers, one of those trendy Glasgow bars, for our annual reunion. Always feel a bit squeamish, wondering who will be missing...and who has died in the past year?
But tonight it's fine. No talk of deaths though we know that some of our former colleagues had indeed passed away since we last met.
It's seven years since I left The Herald as a Feature Writer to go to Glasgow School of Art but it seems, after a few hours in the company of my ex colleagues, that I have not been away at all... sometimes I do miss that shared camaraderie we all had as journalists, the rough and tumble of a daily newspaper office and tight deadlines.

Friday, March 11, 2005

web page

Well, I guess it has been some time since I did a posting. Have been to Chicago and I am now working as an artist-in-residence in Glasgow ( Royston Road Project).
What has spurred me on to put an entry in is that I am working with web designer Andy Allan to put up a web page and he wants to know what links to put in. Well, I reckon one to this blog is a start.