#120. 17 May 2017. Honeysuckle bloom.

I did this drawing at my mum and dad’s garden where they have a monster honeysuckle bush. Although I love my own garden, it is tricky to grow plants in. It was grassed over when we arrived a few years back, and has numerous damp and shady spots, so everything I plant seems to struggle a bit. I am therefore quite jealous of mum and dad’s garden, which has full sun round three sides, walls, and very old flowerbeds that have been cultivated for 100+ years. My mum’s in a home now but she was the chief gardener formerly, so it is nice to sit in the midst of her work.

#118. 15 May 2017. Rabbit and star finial, Glasgow University Chapel.

#118 15 May 2017 Rabbit and star small

This carving is at the end of a pew in Glasgow University’s Chapel, and shows a figure seated on a chair of stars, protecting a huge bunny rabbit washing its face. The symbolism seems quite unusual for a religious context: both transcendent and earthy, and seriously cute.

The chaplain Stuart Macquarrie came over to chat when he saw me drawing and said there were quite a few other animals on finials including a monkey. (In fact, I read, it’s a pipe-smoking monkey, and there are quite a number of them. A satirical swipe at high-falutin’ academics, maybe?)

The chapel dates from 1929,  and this figure has an art nouveau style that reminds me of Mackintosh and the Spook School. Stuart thought they were by Italian sculptors.  Wikipedia reveals the design of stall and carvings are by Scottish sculptor Archibald Dawson, of Glasgow School of Art, and Italian woodcarvers worked for him.

If anybody knows more about the symbolism of this, please comment, though I suspect it might only make sense in the context of the complete group, which I didn’t have time to explore in my limited lunch-hour.

#116. 13 May 2017. Man and three dogs.

I saw this guy for a few seconds near Govan subway this morning as I drove past. In just a glimpse, he and his dogs seemed to convey themselves like a painting of a saint and his attributes (though of course appearances can be misleading).

His three identical white dogs were like the three graces, surrounding him in a protective circle – off the lead but effortlessly controlled.

I drew this when I got home that evening using my ‘wrong’ hand which is a technique I find useful for drawing dream/memory images.

#114. 11 May 2017. X-Ray.

I made a rubbing of an oyster shell using a red chinagraph pencil, then added some background with charcoal. I then inverted the image in Photoshop and added the red colour back in. I love the chalkmarks-on-blackboard/skeletal effect you get by colour-inverting charcoal on paper.

#110. 7 May 2017. Fiddlehead ferns.

I don’t know if these ferns from my garden are true edible fiddleheads -somehow I feel if common or garden* Scottish ferns were edible, summer hillwalkers would have been harvesting them in swathes by way of revenge.  But whatever this exact species, the name really suits them at this stage of development.

*possibly the first time I have used this phrase in its correct and original context.

#109. 6 May 2017. Saturday afternoon by the Cart.

Waiting for a coat of paint to dry at home, we took some fish and chips to Pollok House and sat under the trees by the river. The eagle-eyed may notice the skipped 5 May image – unfortunately, I simply clean forgot to draw yesterday. Put it down to paint fumes.

Observation – you see a lot of soles of feet on sunny days.