Discovering paintings from the past.

As I travel around the world, I come across sketches and watercolours I painted in the late 70’s, and 80’s. I used to paint and draw on location. It is not art with a capital ‘A’, but I thoroughly enjoyed the creative process and the opportunity it provided to linger and ‘take in’ more of the locality I was visiting. It allowed me to intuitively connect with the subject matter before me. As a result I still remember where every sketch or watercolour was made, which is not the case with photos.

 

This watercolour, at my sister’s house is of a wonky old farm near Delft, Netherlands. This area lies below sea level and its soils are soft, causing buildings to sag and sink. The brick area on the right are the living quarters. The left is the barn area of the farmhouse. Most likely the house part was build with better foundations or on firmer soils. 

 

I am still planning to get back to painting and sketching as I travel, but at the moment producing Sitdancing programmes take priority this year. So for now I will stick to photography till I can afford to slow down, sit still, and once again more intensely absorb the places I visit..

Filming “My Bonnie lies over the Ocean”.

Take one:

I found a beautiful location to film the tutorial for “My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean”. There are many cute little harbours on the Isle of Man, but Port St. Mary proofed to be the right location with great scenery, the sun at the right angle, and very little chance of people getting in the way, or so I thought.

I was halfway through the first take when a woman decided to take photos of the boats on the water behind me. Oblivious to the film shoot in progress she wandered right on to the set. There was little I could do but wait patiently till she was gone.

Take two:

I cued the music, prepped the camera, ready for action. Nobody to be seen. I press the buttons and set on the folding chair. Just as I was about to start the pebbles supporting one leg of the folding chair gave way and I sank backwards. My arms tried to stop me from falling with the most peculiar balancing moves in all sort of directions. Luckily I did not keel over. I stopped the camera,  found some flat stones to support the leg, levelled the chair, and started all over again.

Take three:

Off with a good start I became hopeful that this would be the final take till, almost at the end, a few infamous midges (very tiny flies that inhabit this part of the world) arrived and started biting me. I managed to keep a straight face and finished the recording before the sun moved into a blinding position. Phew! I was a few bites richer, but also a tutorial. Job done!

Depending on the time of year there are two times lots each day that are suitable for filming. One a few hours after sunrise and one a few hours before sunset. Being able to figure out where the sun will be at the time of filming is essential. By now I am pretty good at making an estimated guess, but it is a guess nevertheless until I return the next day for the shoot. A short little video can sometimes take a few days to film and that does not include the editing. So it is very satisfying when in the end the music, the footage and the voice-overs all come together in a tutorial that works.

 

 

 

 

It is just a stunning day on the Isle of Man. I am here to film new Sitdance tutorials for the ‘Sitdance with the Celts’ programme. Any place looks good on a stunning day of course, but the the combination of unspoiled landscapes, both natural and man-made, buildings that seem to grow out of the landscape, or have been part of it for centuries, is just a fantastic recipe for soul nurturing beauty. It is wonderful to be in this part of there world. This almost abstract view is of the ruins ofPeel Castle, on the west side of the island.