September is at a close and it has been another busy month. Term has started at LSA with my new hours meaning I get two full days in the middle of the week studio time which is fantastic. So I’ve been in the studio and at the printmakers a bit more than the previous few months.
I’m working on a number of pieces for a number of exhibitions and galleries at the moment – chaffinches, coots and, of course, more gannets!
British Birds is on display at Marchmont Gallery and some of my pieces have found their way to a restaurant in Musselburgh.
A young moorhen on the Water of Leith immediately outside my studio has taken my interest in the last couple of weeks. Carefully attended to by both parents it has managed to survive so far despite some wild September weather – it seems a bit late in the season to have such a small chick and it is very exposed on the Water of Leith so fingers crossed it survives.
Leo du Feu and I had a great day out just north east of the Forth Rail Bridge walking along the coast to Aberdour. We ended up on a deserted promontory covered with World War Two look out stations. We settled there for the afternoon while four seals lazed in the water in front of us, noses in the air. It is the beginning of the seal breeding season at the moment and seals are gathering in the Forth ready to give birth and breed on islands such as the Isle of May. The blog for the Isle of May is fascinating, documenting the migrant birds that drop on and off the island alongside other aspects of island life and now regularly updating on the progress of the seal season. Its interesting to read it alongside the Farne Islands blog as there are many parallels (for example the first seal was born on the Isle of May at almost exactly the same time as on the Farne Islands).
I’ve started reading The Peregrine, a classic of British nature writing. The writer, J.A Baker, an enigmatic figure about whom little is known, decided to track the movements of the peregrine falcons that lived in his local area in Essex. The result is an incredibly poetic and visceral account written over the course of six months where Baker has ‘tried to preserve a unity, binding together the bird, the watcher and the place that holds them both’. I would recommend it.
I love this fantastic painting by Charles Tunnicliffe.
A couple more pictures of recent work and work in progress and I’ll be off…