Friday, 29 January 2021


 Winter landscape paintings continue with this Scottish snow scene of a farm at the Spittal of Glenshee.

This is painting number 1844. This acrylic painting on canvas is 24 x 18 inches unframed.

Farm in Glenshee

Monday, 25 January 2021

First flowers appear

 Snowdrops and aconites are coming into flower despite a few frosty nights, but then we are in a short dry spell as snow bypasses Dundee again.

Continue to work on winter landscapes at the easel with a snow scene on the Cottage in Glen Clova.

Early snowdrops

Winter aconites

Cottage in Glen Clova

Friday, 15 January 2021

Winter Landscape Paintings of Scotland

 A new project to start 2021 is my plan to paint a series of Scottish landscapes in winter followed by a few allotment plots in winter. These will be based on images from my City Road Allotment Gardens. I have already done about 20 allotment plots in all seasons, but these will all be snow pictures 

Glencoe Village with the Paps of Glencoe in winter

Winter in Glen Clova looking towards Glen Doll

Auchmithie in Winter

Loch Fyne

Friday, 1 January 2021

End of a Turbulent year

 Most folks will be glad to see the end of 2020, to be remembered as the year Covid virus emerged and infected people all around the world. We all endured a year of isolation to prevent the virus spreading, but I feel I was one of the lucky ones. Although in lockdown all year, I have a big garden and allotment for fresh fruit and vegetables, so exercise and a healthy diet keeps us strong, and at home in my studio an artist is at peace in the world of artistic creativity.
My last three paintings finished for 2020 are shown below.

Random Thoughts

Journey into Colour

Two are semi abstracts and one a winter snow scene landscape in the Spittal of Glenshee. This view was taken from the back of the Spittal of Glenshee Hotel before it got burnt down.

Spittal of Glenshee


Monday, 21 December 2020

Three figure studies

December was a very wet month so the garden got a rest and I spent some time at the easel.

Three figure studies completed using the contrasts of light against dark with both sunlight and studio lighting. The first study was Enjoying the Sun

The next study Into the Night was indoors using back lighting and the last one was Time to Relax.

Enjoying the Sun     

Time to Relax

Into the Night

Thursday, 10 December 2020

That Loving Feeling acrylc painting


John completes the painting, "That Loving Feeling".

Rain arrived as forecast, so no gardening today. Time to relax, so after putting up the Xmas tree and lights I got out this painting in need of updating which I started some time ago. Reckon it has to be finished now, so it got signed (the last bit of paint) Yesterday it was cold but dry so it was up to the allotment to put a new felt covering on the roof as water leeking in was very serious. Help arrived to get it completed before the sun set. Brilliant teamwork. Ronnie nailed around the sides, I nailed the roof and Robert kept us supplied with materials. I think now that the Xmas tree is up, the lights on, the shed waterproof and my painting complete only task left is to open that bottle of Dalwhinnie Winters Gold. Well it is the festive season.

Thursday, 5 November 2020

Art Exhibition in Dundee

 Dundee Art Society are holding their winter exhibition, just in time for Christmas at their Roseangle Gallery.  Exhibition starts on Saturday 21 November and runs every day till Saturday 28 November 2020.

Open from 11am till 5pm every day. This is an open exhibition showing both members and non members paintings. Please drop in and browse our artwork. My three submissions are shown here. The Lady in Red in the Higb Street shows H Samuel the jeweler  with their clock, a favourite spot for Dundonians to meet up.

Autumn Colour in Benvie

Lady in Red in the High Street

Birch Copse

Friday, 30 October 2020

Five Figure Studies

 Five Figure Studies

These five studies were started many years ago to enhance my creativity to produce several different paintings from one image source.

Warm Tones

Lady in Blue

The Black Dress

Pastel Shades

The Red Stole

Saturday, 24 October 2020

 A few days before Halloween is a perfect time to harvest this year's crop of pumpkins. I got 6 fruit from 4 plants and two of them are enormous. That will stretch Anna's kitchen skills to provide roasted pumpkin, soup and sauce for pasta, stir fries, etc.

Pumpkins now in store

As day lengths get shorter garden activities start to reduce and that gives me more time to get the brushes out and start some new paintings.
Light on the Loch acrylic painting

Just completed an acrylic landscape at Loch Earn, called "Light on the Loch"
Now started another winter scene of Arthurs Plot up at City Road Allotments.

Tuesday, 29 September 2020


                                                          PLANTS FOR SPRING 

As the summer flowers begin to fade we look ahead to next year for the spring flower displays. This is the time to organise the planting of wallflower, pansies, polyanthus, myosotis and bulbs of numerous kinds including daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, crocus, snowdrops and aconites. Hanging baskets are perfect for pansies and polyanthus.

Tulip Red Emperor

I make mine up then keep them over the winter in a cold greenhouse. This protection helps to bring them into flower a few weeks earlier than if left outside, but keep a lookout for greenfly and black spot fungal disease and spray with a combined insecticide and fungicide recommended for roses. Baskets can go back outside in March as the greenhouse starts to fill with other plants. Flower pots, tubs and borders can have any spring bedding plants but only use wallflower where height is not a problem. The flower displays benefit from under planting with tulips.

Use the taller Darwin Hybrid tulips such as the red Apeldoorn and Golden Apeldoorn with wallflower, but with other low growing bedding such as pansies it is better to choose a dwarf tulip such as the dwarf double, Red Riding Hood, Abba, Negrita, Sun Lover and Peach Blossom. If you want to start the show early try Scarlet Baby which will flower in March same time as many saxifrages so try grouping these together. Good tulips to follow these are the Fosteriana Red Emperor and the white Purissima, both quite early and the latter claimed to be scented, but I have never detected any scent on mine. However for a good scent use some hyacinths such as the red Jan Bos, Pink Pearl or Delf Blue,especially in tubs around doorways and on the patio where the scent will be noticed and appreciated. Both daffodils and narcissus come with scent and several are quite strong.

Tulip Showcase

The Jonquills and Cheerfulness are well scented as are large trumpet white flowered Mount Hood. These bulbs can all be retained next year after flowering as it is easy to find a spot for them in flower borders and amongst deciduous shrubs and trees. However it is the snowdrops that start the show in early February, but in these recent times of mild winters they are often in flower in December in sheltered spots. Plant these in decent sized drifts spacing the bulbs about four inches apart. In time they soon reseed themselves and the drifts intensify and get bigger. Snowdrops are followed by the yellow aconites, Eranthus hyemalis, which are quick to spread and develop large intense drifts as they produce ample seeds which germinate readily.


 However watch them carefully as in the first year they only produce seed leaves and in the second year produce one single leaf. However patience is rewarded as they flower in the third year. Crocus planted in large drifts make the next garden display. I can find a space somewhere every year for planting more crocus. I often use them amongst tubs of pansies then after flowering they get replanted in borders. Another three favourite dwarf bulbs to add to the show are the blue flowered Chionodoxa, Anemone blanda and Grape Hyacinths. All of these bulbs lend themselves to companion planting. I also buy in some Oriental Lilies every autumn and these have their own border, but as they flower in summer I like to plant them amongst grape hyacinths and tulips and gladioli. They are all happy together each planted at different depths and give us a display from spring with the grape hyacinths and tulips then in summer with the lilies and gladioli.

Other excellent companion planting is dwarf tulips in the rose bed and dwarf red tulips amongst drifts of yellow Doronicums. 

Wee jobs to do this week 

Geranium cutting

 Lift End of September is a good time to take some geranium cuttings from strong stocky plants in beds, tubs and hanging baskets. Break off the top three inches of shoots and insert into cellular trays with potting compost with added grit for good drainage. Keep in a cool greenhouse but protected from sun, then in November transfer to a windowsill for over wintering. Once rooted they will continue to grow so remove flowers and the growing point to encourage branching and use the removed shoot as another cutting. They will all make sturdy plants for planting out next year. END