Wednesday, 24 June 2009

A "REAL" Blog.

Jen's Jon Burgerman Birthday card to me (coloured by me)

It's been far too long since I've put some time and effort into a proper blog, saying what I've been up to and what I've not been up to. I'm just starting to get accustomed to having so much time off (it's a hard life, I know) - last week's five days off were a little wasted to be honest, however, this week I feel they have been put to good use. Today though, I have to wait at the flat for an electrician who's meant to be coming to fix the shower so it seems a good time to give the blog a go. As some of you will be aware it was my birthday last week, I had a great time and just wanted to take this opportunity to say a huge thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday and such.

I'll start with a few bits of work that I enjoyed from the Edinburgh and Dundee Degree Shows. Luckily we got to see both of them (although I did only make it around Illustration and some of Graphics at Edinburgh).

A set of Drawings by Laura Martin, Dundee.

I feel that the choice of the Vision building for the Dundee show was a good decision and would quite like to see the show there again in the future if at all possible. There was a fair bit of work that I enjoyed at Dundee but would probably take me far too long to talk about it all so I'll keep it short and sweet. I think one of my favourite pieces in the Illustration department were these sketchy drawings by Laura Martin, I like how fragile the line is and also the use of colour.

'Treehouses' drawing by Genevieve Ryan, Edinburgh

I didn't really get a chance to look in great detail at Genevieve's work, although I really liked this postcard. I may be somewhat guilty of not taking sufficient time to view everyone's work in the Illustration department at Edinburgh but I enjoyed the show nonetheless.

Print by Lizzy Stewart, Edinburgh

I've been a fan of Lizzy Stewart's work for a while after being introduced to her work by Jen. I really enjoyed seeing Lizzy's work up close at the degree show and also thought that the amount of sketchbook work she had amassed was pretty impressive (and of great quality). Well, after looking in at the degree show in Edinburgh we decided we'd leave for a wander around Edinburgh, however the weather didn't really allow us to do that, instead we popped into a coffee shop opposite Analogue to shelter from the storm. After that Jen and I went to purchase a Nigel Peake print (from Analogue) for our bedroom wall, which I must be honest, is still yet to be put up.

Sketch in an Edinburgh Coffee shop (page 1)
and then doodles at home, the next day (page 2)

More doodles from the next day (or so...)

Back to more some work that I like, I'm a huge fan of Jeffrey Brown's work (as I'm sure most of the people who know me will be well aware) and when I heard that there was an 'Incredible Change-Bots' fan club I felt I just had to join, with joining I received a membership card, a 'Change-Bots' mini-comic and a trading card which is another piece of original Jeffrey Brown artwork for the small collection. Anyway, after getting hold of these I wanted to look at some of Jeff's work again and so the other night I stuck my head into one of the books, 'I am Going to be Small' to be precise, no matter how many times I flick through the pages it always makes me smile. Could be a contender for one of my favourite Jeffrey Brown books...although in all honesty I suppose I could say that about any of his work. So yeah...

My 'Incredible Change-Bots' fan club membership card.

'Shootertron' trading card (front and back)

Classic Jeffrey Brown.

On Saturday I booked my first official holiday from work and we (Me, Jen, Fiona, Daniel, Mark and Margaret) went up North to Carrbridge to attend a party to celebrate Jen's aunt's wedding. It couldn't have been a nicer day to sit outside and have drinks, chat, a barbecue and a fire, definitely some of the nicest Scottish weather I've seen in a good while...and this is the fourth year I've lived here. The following day we travelled back through to Dundee, again the weather was great and so we stopped at Bruar Falls for a bacon roll and a walk alongside the falls, a most awesome weekend (following photos where taken by Jen).

Making friends with the residents.

Life's a Killer: Wisdom from a piece of wood.

Bring it on Mel Gibson.

Me and Jen at Bruar Falls.

At some point last week during my ridiculously lazy days sitting about the house playing XBOX, watching South Park and drinking some beers, I decided that I really should take advantage of having a lot of time off and also the fact that I now can get pretty much anywhere in Scotland for free. It did strike me that for somebody who lives in Scotland I've not seen a huge amount of it so I'm going to make an effort when I have days off to use my rail pass and go to places I've not been before. As a result, yesterday I decided to go north to Stonehaven. I was originally going to visit Aberdeen although a friend discouraged me saying that there wasn't a huge amount to do there.

In the end I was happy with the choice of Stonehaven. I had best intentions to get up early and make the 0720 train, however, after staying up until 1 o'clock the night before with friends I managed to fall asleep again after trying to get up at 6. I almost stayed in bed but I started to feel guilty when I noticed how nice it was outside. I got out of bed and made the 0930 train. I've never visited Stonehaven and I was rather lost when I first arrived but after a bit of a wander I made my way into town and then to the harbour, the weather was stunning, but with it being Scotland I didn't bring sun cream but instead i had two jackets (one of which is my winter coat). Typical.

I walked up to Black Hill War Memorial and sat and drew for about half an hour in the sun before heading south along the coast towards Dunnottar Castle, a set of castle ruins from around the 17th Century. I spent about three hours looking around the castle grounds and enjoying the sun before sitting in the shade and having some lunch and a little more drawing. I think from my sketchbook pages I realised that I don't have the patience to sit and draw old ruins, however I found the place itself really interesting and enjoyed spending the day there. Instead of heading straight back to the harbour I made my way down to the beach (falling over once, the path was rather steep), went for a paddle in the North Sea and skimmed stones.

After that I headed back and found a Pub in the harbour area, and was rather pleased to find that they served my favourite ale. Two pints of Timothy Taylor's Landlord later and I decided to head back to Dundee and finish my day out. I walked about 10 miles all in all and caught the sun quite a lot, I have a very red nose but I had a great day out so it was worth it. Next time I go away I think I'll make sure I have Sun cream, then again saying that if I pack sun cream it will most surely rain. You've got to love Scottish weather (Following photos were taken by me, unfortunately I only had my phone camera so they're a bit crappy but you get the idea).

Black Hill War Memorial, Stonehaven

Sketch of Black Hill War Memorial

The approach to Dunnottar Castle

Seagulls atop Dunnottar

A section of the ruins.

Sketch of Dunnottar Chapel and Black Hill War Memorial in the distance.

The beach below Dunnottar

Beach below Dunnottar, a great beach for stone skimming.

Apologies for the terrible quality of the photos from my phone, two lessons learnt from yesterdays trip? Wear sun cream and take a half decent camera.

Oh and someone should probably tell the authorities that an Englishman comprimised Dunnottar's defences. Gees, and I heard that place was practically impenetrable.

Until next time...

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