Gosh it’s hot isn’t it? So hot. It’s summer! Look, it’s summer! I feel rather underwhelmed in these situations because I can’t really cope with things like sweating, and when I describe Scotland as a “beautiful country to live in”, I actually mean it’s a country that is quite pleasant when wearing a scarf and a long coat. Anyway, I’ve been sweating plenty lately and making lots of drawings up and down the length of the country.
My excursions actually begin in England, which is like Scotland but bigger and possibly slightly warmer. This is a drawing of some chinless young men loitering outside a pub in Yorkshire. I think they were waiting for a wedding to start. They looked like they were torn between loving the hot weather so that they could pose in their sunglasses, and hating it because they were buttoned right up to the folds of sweaty fat around their necks.
At the moment I’m spending the weeks in Aberdeenshire, doing a lot of work in the Woodend Barn, where I have an EXHIBITION, and I’m making an ongoing series of drawings which are being exhibited there. It has these tremendous gardens and allotments and things which means I’m spending plenty of time outside in the burning sun, drawing and being blinded by the light reflecting of my pages. This is the greenhouse behind the restaurant in the venue (a restaurant where I used to work, actually) where the chef grows her secret stash of chives and things.
Unsurprisingly, there are many people sitting on the terrace outside the restaurant, looking pensive while slowly turning the colour of lobsters.
In fact, it was sitting out there that I was told off by the woman on the right in this picture. Apparently I talk too loudly. It was a strange thing to complain about because she lectured me about speaking too loudly around her friend, who was deaf, but surely you can talk as loudly as you like around deaf people? Or perhaps I speak so loudly that I was making her friend deaf. Anyway, she complained that she was having to bellow because I was right next to her, but I’m quite certain that she wasn’t bellowing- I know because I was standing right next to her.
Enough complaining! For completely unrelated reasons, the following weekend I found myself in Yorkshire again. Here’s a lovely Chinese restaurant:
They’re difficult to draw because they’re so damn detailed! But what good food.
This here is a pub in York station. Nice, eh?
Actually I made a strange discovery in this pub: We all know that the East Coast line is pretty hellish at the best of times, being full of the screaming children and the screaming hen parties that endlessly ebb and flow in an out of Newcastle. With that in mind, you’ve really got to find something to take the edge off . The pub have recognised this market niche, and will give you what is essentially a two pint orange juice carton and fill it with the local draft beer of your choice to take with you on the train. Not only can you get gently pissed on board, but you can do with with an old-fashioned ale with an unpronounceable name feel superior to the neds because you’re not drinking Stella.
After this relatively pleasant train journey (two pints of Schiehallion, two screaming children, zero hen parties), I was back in the beloved woodend Barn. Here is a drawing of a cello recital I went to there. I’m drawing from the back because I arrived late and had to loiter behind everyone during the first suite:
She’s called Alice Neary and she’s terribly good.
This pretty much brings me up to date with what I’ve done so far, so if you want to see more drawings like this (this is really only the tip of the iceberg, there are hundreds) come along to my gosh darn exhibition in the Woodend Barn, Banchory. We’re having a closing party on August 8th so there’ll be lots of free wine just for you.
I’ll leave you with this drawing of a greenhouse with no glass, because I like it and I can’t explain why: