24 December 2011

8 December 2011

Purple Rain

I painted this abstract expressionistic painting outside plein air style on the patio on an overcast day here in Scotland..

The sun appeared momentarily to be followed by a traditional scottish downpour...

I decided to leave it with the marks made by the rain as I rushed to get the painting and myself undercover...

Entitled " Purple Rain "...

It has now been varnished with a very high gloss finish to enhance the colours...

5 December 2011

Romantic Paintings by Stuart Kirby

Well it seems like winter has finally arrived here on the west coast of Scotland....yesterday the peaks of Goatfell on the Isle Of Arran had their first covering of the white stuff...

As a southern softy whilst I don't like the cold I enjoy the winter season here especially when the temperature gets well below freezing and the dampness in the air goes and the sun shines...seemingly more than the summer I feel...


Anyway back to the arty stuff when I was in Edinburgh dropping off my abstract paintings last month at the Gallery On The Corner I was asked to bring along one of my romantic oil paintings for viewing...

Subsequently I have been asked to paint 3 more romantic paintings for exhibition there in February 2012...

So here's a quick snap of the first one...




17 November 2011

Edinburgh Art Fair Tomorrow



Arty day out tomorrow...



Off to Edinburgh to complete my submission with these additional 3 framed abstracts at the Gallery On The Corner in Northumberland Street...



Then onto the Edinburgh Art Fair at the Corn Exchange for a browse and a nosey...

16 November 2011

Scotland Art

Latest impressionistic landscape/seascape painting

Looking across the Firth Of Clyde towards the Isle Of Arran from the rocky shoreline at Troon Ayrshire here in Scotland...acrylics painted on 7in x 5in masonite/hardboard...

18 October 2011

Black And White Photography Monday

Back in the summer I walked this Straiton Hill (Craigengower) its not too high just over a 1000feet...



Although not very high compared to the munros and corbetts of 
Scotland the approach behind the trees is very steep...



On the top there's a monument to Lt. Col. James Hunter Blair who was mortally wounded at the Battle of Inkerman in 1854 you can see to the Galloway Hills to the south and Ben Lomond to the north...


I love the cloud formations that you get in Scotland...


If only the rain bearing ones weren't so frequent especially these past 7 days.



13 October 2011

Black And White Photography Thursday

Black and white thursdays image above was taken from Millport beach looking across to Goatfell in the distance on the Isle Of Arran ...

It was taken during my bike riding trip from Largs during July this year.

The island on the far left is Little Cumbrae and the two small island where the yachts are moored are called Eileans which is scottish gaelic meaning islands.

10 October 2011

Wee Hurrie Fish And Chips Al Fresco

When I have me chish and fips from the " Wee Hurrie " in Troon harbour its not far to the free car park to dine in the car al fresco style with a view looking across the Firth Of Clyde to the Isle Of Arran...

Its very picturesque especially when its calm in the summer months as can be seen in the photo but if a hoolies blowing in from the atlantic ocean it can take on a totally different appearance.

Sometimes the Isle of Arran just cant be seen.

6 October 2011

3 October 2011

Black And White Photography Monday

















Today I'm trying to get a small portfolio of my abstract paintings ready for a possible group exhibition but I keep getting distracted doing other things...This is an image taken from the mainland above Largs in Ayrshire looking across the Firth of Clyde towards the island Greater Cumbrae...

1 October 2011

Black And White Photography Again




I must admit I had lost interest in my old passion of creating monochrome prints after digital photography came along and was against change even though I had a few images published in various digital photo mags in the 90's...

Recently having purchased some digital camera equipment for reproducing my paintings in print form its seems to have re-ignited my interest...

Although I still miss dipping me fingers in the those chemicals and watching the image appear in the dark I'm sure its alot healthier this so called modern digital way...and of course the convenience...

But for me there's still something special about a traditionally produced silver halide print on fibre based paper...

Anyway here's an image digitally produced entitled " Home By The Sea "


29 September 2011

The Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival


I'm participating in an art exhibition next month entitled " Postcards From " as part of The Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival at The Gallery On The Corner,Edinburgh...

Dates and more info can be found by clicking on this link....

Here's my entry No.152 entitled  " After Diagnosis "...













22 September 2011

Trossachs



I don't seem to be doing much painting lately which is not really a good thing...since acquiring a digital SLR camera I'm having a hard job leaving it alone...it seems to be part of me whenever I go off on some journey regardless of how far the journey is.Off course the simplicity of removing the SD card and slotting it into a laptop is luxury and a far cry from days gone by of waiting for the lab processing return or home processing monochrome film and prints...







I seem to kid myself that I can use the photos taken as reference for paintings in the future...maybe this just an artists excuse or even an underlying version of artists block...anyway maybe I'm just nurturing my creative consciousness by doing this who knows?






Last weekend my partner Evlar and I headed up towards Aberfoyle and The Queen Elizabeth Forest Park in the Trossachs...we visited members of her family on the banks of Loch Ard and had a stroll around as you do...the weather was typically Scottish which made for some varying light conditions...The forest the Loch and vistas of Ben Lomond emerged through the improving weather conditions as the afternoon went on...A nice run out...

13 September 2011

Goatfell and Failed

Well its been a while since I posted on my blog...to those of you who take the time to read my ramblings please accept my apologies...

August flew by and was a busy month for me..with my sister coming up from the south coast of England to Scotland for a much welcomed visit...here at The Bed and Breakfast Ayr we have had alot of guests which has put things on hold art creativity wise more or less...


Anyway last weekend with good weather forecast we decided not to take any B&B bookings and headed across the Firth Of Clyde by ferry to the Isle Of Arran with the sole intention of climbing the highest mountain on the island Goatfell...I've often looked at this mountain in awe during sunsets from Ayr beach...



Artistically thinking the heather is in bloom in August/September so natures palette is always something to behold...Many artists get inspiration from nature and hill walking like landscape artist Keith Salmon who is also based in Ayrshire Scotland...


Unfortunately we never made the summit due to changing weather conditions and being unprepared clothing wise which dictated a hasty retreat back down Goatfell to Brodick to await the ferry...





As the weather turned to rain Goatfell took on an spooky appearance on the return ferry journey a little different from those sunsets from Ayr beach...






31 July 2011

Millport Isle Of Cumbrae On Yer Bike

Many times whilst in Largs I've watched the ferries go to and fro across to the Isle of Cumbrae pondering whats on the island...with warm weather during the past week it was time to explore this island with my partner Evlar.


After driving some 30 miles up the coast to Largs the bikes were removed from the rack and we cycled to the ferry terminal on the seafront... tickets purchased we queued for the ferries arrival and duely departed on the 10 minute crossing...


On docking the only two options were left or right...so choosing right we headed to the north of the island with views to Greenock and across the Firth Of Clyde to Helensburgh and the Isle of Bute...

The roads on the Isle Of Cumbrae are narrow and the initial absence of motor vehicles is very noticeable although this absence is intermittently broken with tourists who seem to have an embarrassed look for disturbing such tranquility...Push bikes are in abundance and dictate the speed on the roads...you can even hire them in Millport...




Its not long before you come across Fintry Bay and strategically located across the road from the sea are Fintry Bay tearooms the ideal pit stop for those using a push bike...





Looking seaward from Fintry Bay the bottom peninsula of the Isle Of Bute seems within grasp with Goat Fell on the Isle Of Arran as a backdrop in the distance...





Millport the centre of activity on Cumbrae brings you back gently to the car and modern life although it has not succumbed to full blown commercialism thank goodness...




Cycling down the appropriately named Stuart Street I'm thinking I'm liking this place with its views and pace of life...eventually the road returns to previous calmness...looking back the eileans shelter the boats anchored in the bay from the elements...




Rounding the bay the road turns away from Millport...a roadsign informs you its just four miles to go out of the total ten mile circumference of this island...





After passing the Scottish National Water Sports Centre the return ferry comes into view...We wait to board and head back to Largs...






When in Largs there's one thing you just have to do...thats to sample the ice cream at Nardini's to round off the day...I would like to personally thank whoever or whatever created the weather during my time on Cumbrae it was awesome...



20 July 2011

Toronto I Like


In Toronto last week I felt a warmth from this city which lies on the northern shores of Lake Ontario...Its young vibrant and has a buzz..its a place where something is always going on event wise...


I was supposed to have attended the 2011Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition the previous weekend at Nathan Philips Square but a stag night and subsequent wedding and reception left me unable to make the 80 mile trip from St.Catharines...


Situated in the university district is the Ontario College of Art and Design which has a building that is a little different from the norm...underneath is the aboveground art store...



Getting around the city is no problem either with the streetcars that go over and underground...

11 July 2011

Niagara River Jetboating

video

Why is it when your away from home technology lets ya down..So here in Canada for a wedding my laptop charger/adaptor failed..Fortunately Ian the brides brother came to my rescue and helped me get a replacement...thanks Ian...Close by to St.Catharines is Niagara On The Lake so several of us from the wedding party decided on some additional adventure was needed...needless to say we had a blast...

24 June 2011

Fish And Chips at the Wee Hurrie


Once in a while I like fish and chips...when living down south in Eastbourne I was partial to plaice and chips from the Sovereign Fish Bar in Beatty Road...the owners family originated from Hong Kong which might have had some influence with the light batter which enhanced the fresh fish...yum...Of course wrapped in paper...

Since being up here in the south west coast of Scotland I have sampled a few establishments...the variety of seafood in these chippies varies immensely from whats merely described as a "fish supper"...which I was informed by a sign within was always haddock unless unavailable to be replaced by whiting...On the other end of the scale I think I've found my favourite place for fish and chips albiet a 20 minute drive to Troon Harbour...

Called the Wee Hurrie...I think I can say this is best fish and chips I've ever had..only cooked to order... in tempura batter...presented in a box with tartar sauce lemon and plastic cutlery...they never make it back home as they cool too quick and are consumed in the adjoining car park whilst looking at the seals in the harbour or out to the Isle Of Arran...

The menu is so varied...so tonight was fish and chips night...I asked what fritto misto on the blackboard menu consisted of and was told a mixture of haddock cod sea bass sole and salmon...mmm maybe next time I thought and had my usual sole goujons chips and tartare sauce...which was naturally consumed in the car park...yummy...

18 June 2011

Plein Air Abstract

On the only day of sunshine this week here in Ayrshire I went outside and played with me paints plus a 30in x 30in canvas and created this...entitled " Expression On A Summers Day " ....

13 June 2011

Ayrshire Tatties


Amongst other things I like about living north of the border is the quality of the food produce...

Ayrshire folk I am told are often referred to as " Tattie Howkers " this goes back to times when locals and Irish people came to Ayrshire to work at the time of the potato harvest...

I used to love Jersey Royals spuds like most people but over the years I'm not sure they taste as I remember them in my youth...probably something to do with ageing on my part...

So as the rain was down south for a change yesterday a visit to Dowhill Farm at Turnberry was hastely arranged...with an array of food stuff on sale and free samples I returned with some washed small tatties which were delicious...



13 May 2011

21 April 2011

Off To Feel The Currant Bun And Riding A Virgin Again

Currently I'm onboard a virgin train in a quiet coach heading out of Glasgow bound for London...the stations are beginning to flash past...I'm off to my hometown of Eastbourne on the Sussex Coast to catch up with friends and family for a few days...Seeing the weather forecast on TV this morning makes one wonder if I'm overclothed... I'm not looking forward to lagging all my luggage on the tube during rush hour later...Still needs must...Hope you all have a great easter break...

18 April 2011

Way Down To London Town



" Being Together "
Oil On Gallery Wrapped Canvas 50cm x 50cm
SOLD

Angus And Back

A daytrip to Glamis Castle Angus beckoned last friday as friends and family had moved to there from Ayr to live and work on the Strathmore Estate...

The dovecot looked an interesting structure...

Naturally with Forfar just a few miles down the road Forfar Bridies were bought from a local butchers and consumed...very delish...

14 April 2011

Ready For A Squeeze

A kind person got me these on a recent trip to Canada here...I always wanted to try Tri Art acrylic paints but alas only place I could find them in the UK that sold them stopped stocking them a while ago...Even tried the listed european supplier but he wouldn't send to the UK for some reason unbeknown to me...Anyway I shall look forward to squeezing the tubes soon...

8 April 2011

To Plein Air Or Not to Plane Ayr

A few years ago I started to get interested in Plein Air painting...As a serial procrastinator I never got round to actually doing it although I did get some gear together like a folding chair etc and arty materials to use out in the field...

After todays glorious unexpected sunshine and warmth here in Scotland I'm procrastinating again on this subject...

Only thing I'm concerned about once the basics are down on the board/canvas is that too many things are going on and constantly changing...

So with this in mind I think I shall get so far and take a snap and finish the work off in the studio...

Here's Some on my current favourite gessoed hardboard which gives a textured finished appearance I like...

Not pure plein air I agree...but close enough for me...I think...


30 March 2011

On Its Way To A New Home



"A Moment In Time"
Oil On Gallery Wrapped Canvas 100cm x 100cm
SOLD

Had an enquiry this morning...After being seen at a recent exhibition this painting has now been personally collected and has a new home tonight...A nice end to the day...

29 March 2011

I like Glasgow


The Duke Of Wellington with his now famous hat outside the Goma in Queen Street...always brings a smile to me face while walking to the station...more


17 March 2011

Walking The Dog


A better day weatherwise today...captured this image of Greenan Castle during my exercise with the hound... 

15 March 2011

Last Night And This Morning


                    This Morning                                      Last Evening


A dramatic change in weather here today...although an extremely minor thing in comparison to things happening further afar...

13 March 2011

Abstract Painting... "Close To The Edge".....Free UK Shipping...

A small abstract painting on a deep box canvas entitled "Close To The Edge" sides are painted..9.5in x 7in x1.3in approx....some impasto...gloss varnished...comes unframed...hang it any way round...Free UK Shipping...
click here to view






11 March 2011

The West Highland Line....Off To Mallaig...Hogwarts And All...continued...

After a 5 minute stop at Fort William and a change of Scotrail staff we were soon heading back down the track in the direction which we had come..is this normal I thought..the adjacent track sidings were occupied by several Caledonian Sleeper carriages coupled to a diesel locomotive which had made their way up leaving London Euston around 9.15pm the night before arriving in the morning at about 10 a.m...As we accelarated the wheels on the train shreaked and shrilled as we were redirected by the points towards Mallaig relieving my directional concern..We soon arrived at Banavie with Ben Nevis still visible through the glass...


The train left Banavie very slowly which seemed strange at the time but the reason for this was soon understood as we went over the girder bridge spanning the Caledonian Canal linking Inverness with Fort William...Looking in a northly direction crossing the bridge "Neptunes Staircase" a series of stepped canal locks came into view...

Neptune's Staircase

The journey continued towards Mallaig...with views coming all the time...one this side of the train then one on the other...there are some awesome landscapes in this part of the world...




After a few stops including the bizarrely named Loch Eil Outward Bound we approached the curved 100 feet high Glenfinnan Viaduct...21 arches of concrete splendour built between 1897 and 1901 by engineer Sir Robert McAlpine...close by at the head of Loch Sheil stands a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie commemorating where he landed to commence the rebellion of the Jacobites in1745...This location has been used many times in the film industry most notably in the first two films of the Harry Potter series where it was used together with the Jacobite Steam Train which was then called the "Hogwarts Express "...

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Past Glenfinnan station the west highland line and the A830 run side by side interchanging positions on several ocassions then you come to Loch Eilt...the line runs along the southern shore for what seems an age...circular small islands with tall trees are dotted repeatedly through the loch...

Loch Eilt

Loch Eilt

Its not long before we arrive and depart Lochallort station...the next station is Beasdale which is a request stop...Soon the track runs next to the coastal Loch Nan Ceall and arrives at the village of Arisaig...this stations claim to fame is that is the most westerly station on the UK mainland...

Arisaig Station

Arisaig looking out to Loch Nan Ceal

One thing I love about Scotland is the changing light...the weather on the journey up had been changeable... rain in Glasgow...blue skies appearing over Rannoch Moor and now back near the sea in Arisaig grey blue skies.We were just one stop away from journeys end at Mallaig....Turning inland once again we soon came to  the village of Morar with renowned for its pale white sands...

 Morar

8 minutes after leaving Morar the train arrived at our destination Mallaig...the 2 carriages slowly rolled into the terminus at 13.36...quietness suddenly became apparent as the diesel engines of the train were silenced...the guard on the train told us via the trains public address system that the same train would leave Mallaig for the journey back to Glasgow at 16.05 leaving some some 2hrs 29mins to explore Mallaig...


First impressions leaving the station were as expected out of the tourist season...Jaffy's Seafood Shop was closed for refurbishment so no big prawns to take back...the tourist information centre the same...walking into the harbour area wondering around it soon became apparent how quiet it was...I often think yeah I could live in places like this but this made me wonder especially out of season...

Mallaig

Over on the slipway fishing boats were undergoing maintenance having their hulls painted...


Strolling back towards the main road fancying a brew we came across a sign directing people to a table fair at the Mallaig & Morar Community Centre...On investigation the fair unfortunately was packing up but we managed to get a cup of tea and free homemade sandwiches and cakes...fantastic hospitality...Talking to the local lady who offered us tea she told of how the local fishing industry had shrunk to just a few boats operating out of Mallaig as the fish stocks had declined...Much like the Scotrail ticket office staff in Ayr station she thought it was crazy to come to Mallaig and back in a day...

Crossing the road and entering the car park after leaving the centre the view across to the islands of Eigg and Rhum was something special...

Eigg & Rhum Islands

After exploring the beach area for a while the thought of the return journey came to mind...having consumed most of the liquid refreshment on the journey up it was time to restock at the local supermarket...armed with a couple of bottles of red wine and some snacks it was time to head back to the station...next to the station is the Mallaig Heritage Centre which housed some abstract artworks of the late american artist Jon Shueler who lived in Mallaig for some years...His work is also in several public collections in Scotland...

Time soon passed and people were starting to embark the return train...we left Mallaig and headed back towards Fort William...with the light changing once again as daylight started to fade in preparation for the evening and night...the reflections in Loch Eilt and Ben Nevis looking sinister as we approached Fort William again...

Loch Eilt

Ben Nevis in the evening reflected in Loch Eil

Not long after departing Fort William the light faded to darkness...the red wine tasted great as did the nibbles and tiredness from the day set in...

The Kyle Of Localsh Line beckons next and soon...but thats an early morning start 5.12 am train...ouch...