MONDAY : Updating my website all day
TUESDAY : Flat skies and common lime fruits in the park; a walk to buy a very special 96-year-old a birthday gift
WEDNESDAY : Folding to make Christmas cards: tree shapes everywhere!
THURSDAY : Beginning to design the cards, and getting recipe inspiration for easy dinners to refresh our evening menus (ordinary life has to go on, too) - delicious food and photography by Taylor at Food Faith Fitness.
FRIDAY : It literally took all day to compose two short sentences describing my upcoming solo exhibition for a short press release - it's really difficult! (Brave Oleander is scheduled at he Open Eye Gallery 6 - 23 April next year)
SATURDAY : Two different designs for our Christmas cards 2017
SUNDAY : Cards design no.1 in full production - on a properly sparkly, frosty morning with classic Dickensian Jack Frost window framing in my room
MONDAY : a brand new week, and B gets new shoes! About time.
TUESDAY : Uh-oh. Drain troubles
WEDNESDAY : I assemble the Christmas tree!
THURSDAY : Business in Dunfermline Town, the walk back home across the park - view of the stunning new Forth bridge Queensferry Crossing, as the sun set
FRIDAY : Edinburgh, and the Christmas Market is in full swing! B and I went to the private view for David Cook's show Change, Ripeness and Decay. Lots of chums there and a jolly time! The show is well worth a visit: The Scottish Gallery
SATURDAY : Date night. We generally have to be pretty creative and invent date night on no money; but tonight it was the Artists' Christmas party at the Open Eye Gallery so it was another evening in Edinburgh. The Christmas Market was spectacular all lit up and crowded, and the gallery looked beautiful for the party, floors edged in fairy lights and a cocktail bar installed for the evening - everybody was so warm and welcoming.
What better way to wind up date night than with a Hot Swedish Meatballs wrap from the Pret a Manger at Waverley station on the train on the way home. Classs. Deeeeliciouussss.
SUNDAY : our Christmas tree now has lights, after a day of unravelling LEDs and wrapping them around and mounting little snowball globes (which keep falling off, I can predict how our Christmas is going to go!) It reminds me of Yayoi Kusama's Gleaming Lights of the Souls with all its reflections in the big bay windows. Well, kind of.
MONDAY : A foggy start to the week
TUESDAY : My work table, with the big magnifying glass; behind it as a string hanging system for small drawings I made this week
WEDNESDAY : My dad was a leading draughstman in Rosyth Dockyard, as well as running his own architectural business from home. I used to work in the office during school holidays as a teenager, drawing plans of North Sea oil-rig handrails (lots of cross-hatching!). I found a pile of unused old Dockyard issue notebooks in his study, and decided to use them.
The hydrangea around the corner, trooping its colours after the rain
THURSDAY : The first real deep frost of the year - ice pimps my ride!
FRIDAY: The car is feeling pretty fancy with its amazing frost patterns
SATURDAY : B. Affairs of state can be wearisome
SUNDAY : Meg. That dog is guilty as hell! (my slipper)
MONDAY : No photo today, had a boring day clearing out my wardrobe while B was in Edinburgh.
TUESDAY : The offending tooth is removed following last week's course of antibiotics. <<<RELIEF!!>>> That's a stock photo - but the exact tooth I had removed.
WEDNESDAY : I did a swift clear-up of wet, dead leaves iris leaves and dead stalks in the front garden
THURSDAY : My work space is really getting going now, I knew it wouldn't stay tidy for long. It should improve once our own furniture arrives in the New Year (it should, but probably won't)
B pressure-hosed thick moss off the stonework in the back garden, revealing lovely old stones
FRIDAY : Off to Edinburgh to deliver work to the Open Eye Gallery; I have loved the wooden cutout friezes in Dunfermline Town railway station since early childhood
The carousel in the Christmas Market in Edinburgh is set up and being decorated in readiness for opening - you know Christmas is here once it starts!
Four drawings delivered to the gallery for their On a Small Scale exhibition, running until 23 December
SATURDAY : Dunfermline Town railway station again: aliens wondering where to buy tickets
SUNDAY : My Sunday job today. Back to reality after drawings and gallery visits: the mundane housework still has to be done, as well as everything else.
MONDAY : Starting work in my new workspace - it's really comfortable, and I feel good in it
TUESDAY : Massive dental abcess, swollen face - dentist visit, antibiotics prescribed.
The dental practice is the most beautiful building to visit - period carved cornices and ceiling roses are lovely to look from the chair
WEDNESDAY : The bandstand in the park
THURSDAY : First real frosty morning: the car looks like a mince pie!
FRIDAY : On my work table in the new space - little drawings underway
SATURDAY : Colours after the rain (Dunfermline, Scotland)
SUNDAY : Clearing all the leaf fall to preserve the grass (photo middle right - sorry it's out of order, it just looked better here in the collage).
Me feeling better after the antibiotics - mouth still crooked, though!
• Perthshire autumn, an ash tree burns with colour
• Hallowe'en!! I carved two pumpkins and put them in the window with ceramic pumpkin lanterns I made a few years ago. We had lots of trick-or-treaters call by!
• The new workspace is shaping up nicely
• Ditto (remember the peeling wallpaper?)
• Hairslide goals - vintage joy at apronmemories.com
• Austin Kleon shared his notebooks in this week's newsletter - great stuff! Please visit
• Fireworks night, and date night: we are privileged to have a great view of the annual public display in the Glen in Dunfermline - from my workspace window. B and I had a lovely date perched on my work table, B drinking a Scotch or two and I sipping bubbly.
• Oh no, sore paw: at the vet - an anxious Meg (rescued retired greyhound from Ireland) whines the place down
• On the scales at the vet. Like every other girl, she hates being weighed - but she is the perfect weight
• House clearance: farewell, cat tea-cosy of the '70s
• Previous work, asemic writing. I am going to start incorporating this work into my drawings.
• Old shoes (and flower drawing)
• New shoes - beautiful Irregular Choice
• Detail of Zara dress (yes, a very special family occasion is approaching)
• House clearance: charity shop boxes
• Uh-oh. Plumbing problems: B standing on the kitchen table attending the underside of the bath above
• Just an idea ...
• Revisiting old work: in 2009 and I made a series of 9 photoshopped insect photographs I took in our old porch - some themes never seem to disappear from my work. They would make great photogravure etchings.
Left to right, starting top left:
• Drawing in progress: I have decided on the title Brave Oleander for this one
• A unicorn on a tapestry
• Notebook page, revisiting tree drawing
• House clearance: spooky weird doll, broken
• Sweet pea leftovers
• This is going to be my new workspace: B repairing sash windows (dated 1931)
• Also in my workspace, house clearance ongoing and the dignity of old peeling wallpaper
• A 1970s Christmas biscuit tin (I'm keeping this!)
• Oh, hello! At the window
Big changes are underway; B and I are moving house. My parents passed away (peacefully, in their 80s) over the past year, leaving the old family home of 47 years to my brother and me. My brother is happy to stay in the north of Scotland, so the plan is to buy my brother's half from him and to move back into the old childhood home and be within the orbit of Edinburgh once more. We will hopefully complete the move in the early part of 2018.
In the mean time, we are travelling between two homes and life is upside-down. Any regularity has gone out of the window (literally - B had to take most of the windows out of the house and repair them before putting them back in!)
It made sense for to me to document the days in pictures and to assemble the ones which tell the story each week, so here it is.
Left to right, starting top left:
• 10.30pm, close to the summer solstice, Dunfermline, Scotland
• Detail of drawing in progress
• Liquitex Ink! trials - staining
• Work top with Liquitex Ink! pipettes
• Washing sheets of kozu shi Japanese tissue in coffee
• Detail of coffee staining
• House clearance: a million coat-hangers (feels like a million, anyway!)
• The dog (also inherited) jumped straight through the window glass - she is fine, just cost a lot of money in vet's bills!
• Light shining through cut-work fabric
“The rightful place for an artist, his real world, is a pot of black ink. I believe it contains all the magic, all the forms, everything that human beings can imagine and render…” says Mithila artist Santosh Kumar Das. In this poetic memoir of his growth into art, he pays a poignant tribute to the muses that transformed him into an artist — the greatest of them being his mother, along with the other women of the household who practised this originally female tradition of art. - Tara Books
When I read this it resonated so much with my own feelings that, naturally, I wanted the book, but I also went on a journey of discovery via Google to discover more about Santosh Kumar Das. The rewards were rich. His drawings and paintings combine his own philosophy, Hindu mythology, ‘those signals inside my own heart’, contemporary politics in India, and down-to-earth anecdotes from his everyday life. Santosh Kumar Das has accordingly created a body of work of amazing intensity, layered with these intricately executed elements.
Memories of Childhood Santosh Kumar Das 1999
Image Syracuse University Art Galleries Exhibition: Mithila Painting: The Evolution of an Art Form, Jan 30 - Mar 16 2014
There is a lovely video on YouTube (link below) where I discovered the man himself talking engagingly about his life and work, his big soul shining through every word. He talks of his experience of being ‘taken over’ when painting and drawing: “the thing exists outside me … drawn in a state of emptiness, very calm, a wonderful experience”. I came away from watching the video with an inner glow, feeling relaxed and inspired - almost as though I had just emerged from a very successful meditation.
The book Black: An Artist’s Tribute is hand silkscreen-printed, available here at Tara Books for a very modest £27.00; and you can watch the YouTube video here on Kathryn Myers channel.
Thank you for reading,
A big cheery wave and best wishes to you all!
THE WEEKLY : BLOG
Heather Eliza Walker
Artist in Edinburgh, Scotland