It’s a strange old world out there right now, and at times focus has been difficult. Even things like the lockdown quiet outside enabling bird-song to be heard uninterrupted, the total absence of cars from a normally busy street and lack of aircraft sound are fascinating. I find myself standing at the window far more often these days, taking it all in.
I am really into yellow and black at the moment, and layering semi-opaque papers over the drawings. I had a lovely busy weekend, my godson Theo (B's son) and his friend Dan drove up from MK in their drift cars. On Saturday B and the boys went out west to the mountains and made a very impressive convoy, B in the Lotus and the boys in their crazy cars - lots of colour, stickers, low-down chassis and throaty growly engines. They turned a few heads as they pulled away. I stayed at home with the dog, did some drawing and housework, watched Gavin and Stacey on iPlayer, and cleaned the windows - glamour and grit indeed. It was so nice to have the distraction from the world news for a couple of days.
I took a trip to Edinburgh to deliver 4 Confused Flags for the Open Eye Gallery Christmas exhibition On a Small Scale, during which the walls of one gallery are banked with A5 works. The new flags are a lot larger than the miniatures I made for the Artobotic vending machines, although still small at A5. The beauty of delivering small works is that I can carry them on the train, and the train journey to Edinburgh has been one of my favourite things to do since I was a little girl, so here are 7 great Edinburgh-themed things I saw this week:
1. I never get tired of the views from the Forth Rail Bridge. On one side there is the expanse of the river with twin drilling rigs in the distance towards the estuary and the North Sea, and on the other the two road bridges and views to Grangemouth, the Ochil Hills and Ben Ledi towards the west.
2. The new Queensferry Crossing is splendid. There are great views from the rail bridge, and the sight of all three bridges is stirring. I was at the opening of the Forth Road Bridge in 1964, aged 5, and remember the days of the old ferry when there was only the rail bridge - what a time to be alive this is! Visit Scotland has some great images of the three bridges here.
3. Edinburgh has begun to celebrate Christmas vibrantly, with the market and plenty of other events and attractions. See what’s on at Edinburgh’s Christmas.
4. The massive St James project is going to be so exciting and impressive when it is done. It has a brilliant website here.
5. Edinburgh Trams. Their presence graces the city with a most international atmosphere; they even have their own Wikipedia page.
6. Edinburgh Castle. The train passes at its foot with amazing views upwards over its towering rock to the mass of its walls, turrets, and windows. It makes me think of Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast.
7. The Ingleby Gallery has acquired a beautiful building in Barony St, not far from the Open Eye.
NB: For a more enjoyable way to find information, I only link to sites which do not carry pop-up or video advertising.
Thanks for visiting, see you next week!
An exciting creative time! I have always found autumn to be a time of high mental energy and fresh starts, possibly because of the association with the new academic term. It’s a time of year I loved all through years of school and as a student, and still each year as it approaches I get the thrill. It brings double excitement for me right now: firstly, the Brexit Art Machines being installed in London for the month - and my Confused Flags are in the stacks to vend! I really am so excited! I am making more at the moment. Wobbly borders, misfit motifs, double-sided issues, foggy substrates and crossed meaning are my favourite themes, along with very some confused stars and stripes. Here is one of a star nudging boundaries:
The second excitement is the start of Folktale Week 2019 on Instagram, which I will be joining as Binky McKee. I have written about it on The Weekly at my Binky's site, please take a look if you would like to know more!
Thanks for visiting, see you next week!
I delivered my first six Confused Flags for Artobotic’s Brexit Art Machine this week. The idea of art vending machines selling random works of art is new and exciting! I know many of my friends and colleagues contribute regularly to the art machines, and I am delighted to be taking part alongside them.
Flag no.2 has a fold-out which the owner can play with, creating a new flag by opening it out over the other half of the support:
I am delighted to have been invited to contribute to Artobotic's Brexit Art Machine!
Artobotic place repurposed vending machines filled with small brown boxes containing original art at selected venues.
On Wednesday, one of my greatest fears was realised when I was out driving and suddenly became immersed in a terrific thunderstorm. A small, twisting country road I take became a sea of mud as the fields on either side emptied into its hollows, making driving hazardous. I ran into trouble on the M90 underpass at Inverkeithing when torrential rain and flash floods caused a torrent of rain-water to cascade down the slip-roads and pool, feet deep, submerging the roundabout. A large Mercedes saloon car was pushed up against the concrete supports, trapped in the water. A white van was actually floating. Fire engines and pumps were hastening to the site. I tried to ignore zig-zags of lightning above my wind-screen and was lucky to reach my destination safely. I ran from the car as fast as I could - through a foot of water, with the sky directly above exploding into sparks.
My world is normally peaceful and serene, but it was transformed in a matter of seconds into a realm of chaos and fear - by nature. I emptied out my shoes, wrung out my socks, changed into dry clothing and was grateful to be indoors. My neighbour wasn't so lucky; also driving in the area, her car was carried by the flood and the engine died. She reported that she floated in the car, and was delayed for hours in the storm while the fire brigade pumped flood water from houses before clearing the road and her car could be recovered. Very frightening.
More thunderstorms and floods followed over the next few days, making travel difficult and terrifying the poor dog. In the light of this, I don’t find it surprising that natural events insert themselves into my drawings. They are usually more peaceful, in the form of clouds tumbling down a mountain-side, or mists drifting inland from the coast with perhaps the sighting of a comet.
Amongst the stormy weather, I read this week in the Old Farmers Almanac that peridot, one of my favourite stones, has been found on the relics of ancient meteors which crashed to Earth; the drama of that event sparked my imagination, and will no doubt fuel a drawing or two. It seems to me that weather events and creativity walk hand in hand to permeate my work, and that is why irises puffing Ming Dynasty clouds into the atmosphere, space-age tubers, and cloud-catching comets are populating my drawings at the moment.
Thanks for visiting, see you next week!
Bernard M and his DIY modular synthesiser
Cupar Arts Eden started last Saturday and finished today, showcasing a hotbed of talent throughout Fife with a relaxed and friendly vibe.
Flashback to 2015: working on wood veneers.
Reading left to right from the top:
Africa. Heat, stillness, earth colours and textiles.
France. Parisian elegance and music,
America. A sense of distance between east and west seaboards.
Canada. The bright pale northern territories.
Brazil. Coffee beans
England. The architecture of bridges and the age of engineering.
Too many questions? Is the great Oracle Google leading us astray?
Photo: Book Cover of the novel One None and a Hundred Thousand (aka One, No-one and a Hundred Thousand), Luigi Pirandello, 1926:
“Vitangelo Moscarda discovers by way of a completely irrelevant question that his wife poses to him that everyone he knows, everyone he has ever met, has constructed a 'Vitangelo' persona ...” Wikipedia
I work a LOT in sketchbooks and always have several on the go. My dad was an architect and naval draughtsman, and after he died in 2017 I found heaps of old templates while clearing out his study. Always having been an avid collector of shapes, at the beginning of this year I bought a WHSmith A5 diary to use as a sketchbook specifically for work based on them.
As well as the work you see here, I illustrate under the name of Binky McKee (my mother's maiden name was McKee, Binky was every single one of my great grandmother's many cats!)
If you would like to visit my Binky website, please click the picture above.
Mug design from a sketchbook from c2003 when I was studying ceramics at Barnet College
(Sorry the archives don't nest!)
A 2013 work book, still very much in use
Please note all images on this website are ©Heather Eliza Walker 2013 - 2020, and may not be used or reproduced without prior consent.