Snowdrops, lager cans, a birds wing, an old marble on the road to the farm. Tracks in the mud record the comings and goings of geese, tractors, boots. A lorry arrives with the steel for the new sheds. The driver says they’ll outlive him and tells me about the galvanising tanks that measure 15 metres in length and 4 metres deep, full to the brim with liquid zinc. I suggest it might not be nice to fall in. He asks who owns the giraffe sheep down the road. Looking puzzled he qualifies this with ‘I think they’re alpacas. What do we do with them ? Eat them ?’ he asks, to which I say I think not, that we keep them for their wool .He reckons they might end up in a burger yet…. I record the sound of the turbines. The crops in the surrounding fields are sprouting. Grey, damp, drumlie skies.
For Joe who left for China this morning.
The path crosses a small bridge to the backside of the kirk. Butter burr, bramble, nettle. Islands of tarmac raised high and dry from the rain that scours this track. Tottie pebbles roll, slip underfoot while Rheumy gravestones lean, shuffling slowly away across the fields to the sea. Dust lifts, blooms, unsettles a two shilling coin. I pick it up, turn it over and over in my fingers. 1951. Then and now.
Sheep. They are difficult animals . I think that it why I like them. They are beligerent, stubborn, and show no fear. It seems to me then to draw a sheep it must be looking straight at you as if it’s saying – ‘…yeah, so …., what…. ?’
I will be running a workshop at the Falkland estate in Fife on the 13th April. It will be a day of walking, drawing, bookmaking, and story telling. The event can be booked by going to Eventbrite and registering.
Look forward to seeing you there !
Oil paint and oil pastel on paper – 38 x 28 cm.
Oil on wood – detail.