~ Experiences, Projects & Jottings of Painter Jan Clizer, Specialist Painter of Scottish & Celtic Music Subject Matter ~

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Accessing Scottish Blogs

Ran across a fanTASTIC site for Scotophiles this week.....Scottish Roundup.......a site dedicated to "the best of Scottish blogging each week".......it's all there in rather random order - politics, culture, travel, philosophy, pub wisdom.....you name it - dead brilliant!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Glasgow Real

The infamous Glasgow Reel, or Tam Lin's as it's often called (should be called Fiddler's Paralyzed Bow Arm from my perspective!), is stuck in my heed after last nite's crackin' session at O'Shay's with members of CDA's Deep Roots and Turning Tide....and the playing of a member of the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers put me right back in Scotland...mentally, at least!  Havn't yet taken the time to sit in on any sessions in Glasgow - there's just so much to DO in this busy city!!   Multiple stays in the West End have been in an entertaining multi-storey hostel up a hill just off Great Western Road.  In the heart of student quarters, it's not always been the quietest of lodgings, but clean and pleasant.  A simple overnite stay at a hostel is seldom dull.....even the best-run and most secure ones:  the first time at this particular one (and my son's first hostelling experience) we shared a room with two young affluent American women whom we learned considered 'lifting' jewellry for later return and cash back a lark.  I recall spending an extended period of time discussing the pros and cons of foreign jails and the concept of 'consequences,' both immediate and extended, with the young lasses, with at least temporary constructive results.....all in a day's experience in the world of travel, never mind doing my bit to attempt to maintain positive Scottish-American relations!

Here is a watercolour I did reflecting the view from the hostel room's window.....the warm tones of the sandstone building blocks, some relatively clean, some rimed with soot....all appealing to me, and an interesting puzzle of lines, shapes and shadows to assemble as I worked it up!  The original is currently available, as well as a giclee, image approx. 14"x18," along with mini-giclees and blank cards.  Any of these can be ordered by clicking here.     

Monday, February 1, 2010

Yet Another Book Title.....

If I had the time, I'd sit down and write a book - not on the things that fascinate, or even amuse myself and others about Scotland....it would be titled "101 Reasons Why NOT to Attempt Living with Your Elderly Parents."  And there would be a definite lack of humour in it.  That said, I return to things more rewarding.....

.....Like choosing and preparing a baker's dozen Scottish photos from the Painting Scotland archives for hanging in daughter Jessica and partner Jon's pizza shop, Young Guns Pizza of Libby, Montana..... Scottish decor and pizza....hmmm....shouldn't take too much of a stretch of the imagination when you stop and think of what an incredible conglomerate of foreign cultures one finds in at least the big 3 seaport cities!   

.....Like completing the framing of  'Gateway to the Cuillins' and 'Memento Mori' today....

.....Like visioneering the next chunk of time spent in Scotland (I think an absolute minimum of four months....a good deal of it spent doing a "sketching crawl" if you will, of some of the hot (and not so hot!) wee spots on the west coast....).   Sketching being a relative term here.  The perennially moist atmosphere of Scotland leads one to leave the pencils and paper in a drawer, and utilize oils and canvas...at least the oils are less likely to run, and the canvas can be air-dried and responds better to flattening beneath heavy weights far better than does even quality sketch paper!  I do not yet know what the long-term effects of seabird guano are to an oil sketch, tho....have had two instances so far of trying to extricate samples of just such mixed media additions to my fresh, wet, earnest creative efforts....I'm sure the remainder that had to be incorporated into the paintings gave them extra preservation qualities yet to be explored by museum archivists.