Friday, 18 December 2015

Cous Cous the Puss Puss


 Cous Cous is a farm cat. Born in the barn and claimed by my boy when she was just a fur ball of a kitten cat.
       She is our first pet and she has moved with us over the years. Cous Cous pre dates all the dogs and quite often comes with us all for the last stroll of the day. In the woods with three dogs and a cat. Causes other walkers some delight to see such a sight.

Our Collie practices its sheep dog herding skills whenever the daft cat is on the prowl in the house, and I am convinced the cat goes out of its way to wind the dog up to the max. She also has a bad habit of sitting on the keyboard when I am working at the computer or standing on my watercolour pad when I am painting....! So cute, I know, but also quite annoying!
Blue Whiskers
 
Cats are a theme I have in my artwork and they appear from time to time in my watercolours such as ‘cat in a courtyard’ and ‘the long walk home’ as well as the more light hearted ‘CATalitic’ and ‘CAT a tonic’. ‘Blue Whiskers’ is a little watercolour sketch I did many, many years ago and has stayed with me as my logo and working title for art cards.
 
 
 
Cats have that independence and elegance that dogs seldom achieve. I often consider cats to be like women and dogs like men.... and I have suffered some abuse over the years for drawing this comparison... but, its just my opinion. Women and cats are independent and elegant, offer affection on their terms, and are incredible hunters. Men and Dogs are much simpler in character. Not too fussy about cleanliness, eat anything and are often far to keen to be affectionate....  I have a close bond with the dogs, and they are integral to my day-to-day life. The cat lives with us, eats our food, and from time to time play fights with me... until I bleed.
Chocolate Orange
 
 I enjoy drawing cats and I like the elegant shapes they pose. Perhaps there mystique draws me to them and adds greatly to the story of a painting. Where has it been? Where does it go? Who did it meet and what adventure has unfolded between then and now. It’s probably best we don’t know and thank the gods of fate they return safely.
The Cat will stay with me as a feature of my artistic endeavours.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The Three Amigos


I mentioned ‘walking the dogs’.
I thought I would elucidate somewhat and tell you a bit more about the puppies. When I say “puppies”
I would clarify that ALL dogs are puppies to me.

We got our first puppy a few years ago after a close encounter with a border collie pup, who was three months old, and on it’s way to the outer Hebrides. Our boy adopted it for the four hour hop to the Isle of Tiree. On our return home we interviewed many a dog, before deciding to extend our family with an eight week old tri coloured collie.
 
 
 
Poo for Poodle
  Some years later, and well after the Collie had trained me, we took in two refugees to safe them from harm. They are a 15 year old toy Poodle who we affectionately call “Poo” and an eight year old Parsons Terrier. The Poodle is my elderly Aunt’s dog. My Aunt  has been ‘touched’ by the horror of Altzimer’s and is now in full time care, her ‘Poo’ had nowhere to go... The other dog, due to a long list of ‘unfortunate circumstances’ needed a new home at the very same time as ‘Poo’. They came as a pair. We knew them well before we decided to take them out of harms way, and over the last twelve months, they have been part of our gang.
 
Walking the Dogs consists of a march over a couple of miles along the Fife Coastal Path and then to the woods and down onto the Forth foreshore where we explore the nooks and crannies of the bay of Dalgety. No walk is ever the same and apart from seasons, weather and others that are out and about, chewing the fat, I like to change my route and change the focus.
The Three Amigos
 
Most of the time it is all about the dogs, but quite often I like to indulge my passion for nature and we explore the bounty of the hedgerows and woods. The tides of the Forth bring many changes to the foreshore and we clear the litter and collect anything that I think can be recycled..... much to my partners horror.... The Collie is fixated by a ball, a stick, pine cones or any other object she can chase, collect and bring back to me, so I can throw it again and again and again...and one last time... and again!

They are my personal trainers. They make me walk every day. No  excuses, no days off, every day. Oh, and when we go on holiday, we need to go where three dogs are welcome and there is many a mile of woods and shore to wander. I love the quality they add to our lives and, although the boot camp has been fraught on occasions, the three amigos are a joy and a pleasure.

Did I mention we had a cat called “Cous Cous”?

a Collie trying to look cute...

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Location, Location, Location.

I work from my home is sunny Fife, Scotland. In a fine place called Dalgety Bay, which is in fact the name of the bay on the shore of the Firth of Forth. It has a southern aspect overlooking the river Forth with the iconic Forth Bridge to the west and Edinburgh to the east. We have been here for a number of years and just love it.
The countryside is on our doorstep and we can walk the length of Fife courtesy of the Fife Coastal Path, which is good when you have three dogs! Nature's constant shift provides endless inspiration for me as I strive to understand the symbiotic connections of all around me and man's marks on the landscape always fascinates me. [I have to say that some marks on our landscape are a disgrace, the plastic debris on the foreshore and litter in woodlands are one of my pet hates... but that is a subject for another day.]
 
 
Within a few hundred meters of my home lies the ancient monument of St Bridget's kirk. It stopped being used as a place of worship many years ago and is now part of Historic Scotland's gems. I walk past it every day and quite often linger in the grounds as my bairn's bairns play in the 'castle' walls. I say it stopped being a place of worship, however, the Dalgety Parish Church hold an open air service in the kirk on one Sunday every year. It is 'open air' as the kirk has no roof!
Further along the shore to the east of the bay lies Braefoot. An ancient woodland that hides the fortified buildings used to defend the Forth Bridge during the first world war. The gun placements and support buildings were upgraded and brought back into use during the second world war. Now listed as a group of buildings with special interest, but being reclaimed by the forces of nature.
 
 

The next village along the coast is the beautiful Aberdour, steeped in history and has just about everything you would want, or need, within its small, but perfectly formed, confines. I had the great privilege of living there for a few years and last year, and the year before that, I shared a little art gallery on the harbour wall with a few other artists and one very special maker. The photographs of the harbour and Hawkcraig Pier were taken from the gallery on the Gallery. Alas, the little Gallery is no more, however Aberdour has the fabulous Quay Gallery which is owned and run by Aberdour's very own Artist in residence, Alan Dawson.
Aberdour has inspired many of my watercolours and I am proud to say that the village baker and the McTaggarts café have adopted one of my works as their own.
'The Village Baker' features on mugs and magnets and other livery in both of these fine establishments. But, F C Lonie the bakers is up for sale....!  
What will life be without the famous Lonie pies?
 
Aberdour Art Festival is part of the summer festival and is where I started showing my work. It seems a long time ago, but just the blink of an eye. In 2016 I will again be featuring at the Aberdour Art Festival and have been asked to help organise the event... I am very pleased to be able to give back some of the joy I have received from exhibiting. I look forward to the challenges ahead.
 
In the meantime I will continue to be inspired as I walk the dogs on the foreshore of Dalgety.
 
 
Forth Road Bridge Closure.
I made the train station on time and tomorrow we will reverse the order and I will deliver Janet to the station for her commute to Edinburgh. I know peoples routines and lives have been radically altered by Forth Road Bridge closure, but.... It has got to be for the benefit of all concerned. I of course mean that our environment and our lifestyle has improved. Not by choice... No, No! By default of a fractured girder. 80,000 vehicles have stopped crossing the bridge, and the alternatives are public transport, or drive for a lot, lot, lot longer. It occurs to me that the failed steelwork has tapped us on the shoulder and said "there is a better way". That means investing in our public transport systems, making hard choices about our travel needs and changing our priorities. Archie Duncanson, author of 'Ecology Begins At Home' gives an interesting spin on our individual power of choice and I have inserted his table on pollution ratesTrains have a much smaller footprint than cars and ....

if all the traffic were cars, and... if we all now commute by train.... we reduce pollution by 77,500 less car journeys every day. It is not a choice, it is a must. Perhaps after the long closure of the road bridge we will have developed better habits and stick to them. Perhaps!
 
"Anyway" I hear you cry... "What about the new watercolours you promised" Yes, yes, I just thought the planet is worth saving and paintings? Important, yes, but pail before the opportunity to slow down the consumption of non renewables.
 
On  a lighter note, a watercolour finished a few weeks ago which I have titled 'The colour of summer'. It is inspired by the landscape of the Isle of Tiree and the very distinctive architecture of the Islands.


Watercolour on Paper 'The Colour of Summer' by Glen Craig



Wednesday, 9 December 2015

New watercolour paintings to show.
It's been a while, but I have discovered that I am not very good at the old technology thing. For starters... you need to remember passwords and stuff. Then you need to have something to say! When I am on the computer, I spend days doing nothing... checking emails, writing emails, digitizing images and paintings, formatting images, etc, etc, etc... So when do I get time for my blog? It is obvious from my blog... the answer is... I don't! That is, I don't make time. There is always something more important. Well, It's time for changes. I am going to get into the discipline of writing a blog about my art and it starts now. Oh, sorry.... the Forth Road bridge is closed for repairs and I need to go collect my special from the train station....NOW! I will post some watercolours tomorrow. Promise.

Friday, 25 January 2013

ART AT THE LIBRARY

Interesting proposition... to show art at your local library! My Library has just undergone a transformation from Council control to 'Trust'. In those days of changing ways.... they need to seek new avenues for sustainability. Showing, and selling, local arts and crafts is a new venture. I have had a range of my cards in the Library for a few weeks and have now hung 12 watercolours. Sale of work will assist the library and local art is seen by local people. I'm sure many libraries across the country have similar challenges and I think this is a great way of meshing arts and crafts with the more traditional role of community libraries.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Glen craig, watercolour artist

Glen craig, watercolour artist
This is my page. I try and keep facebook ticking along with current work and events , shows or exhibitions. The art is more related to cards and prints, but also includes original work. I hope you will have a look and let me know if you 'like' it. Thank You.