“Annunciation” oil on canvas 60″x42″

I recently started back at the studio, hoping to get back into some daily practice. We, at the Courtyard, can’t yet welcome visitors or classes which makes for a quiet day. The first thing I saw was this painting clearly unfinished. It takes a break to see what could be done to tidy up the figure. I repainted the face, hands and the lace part of the top. Interesting I posted the two ages of Kate in the last post. Here is Kate again a bit older as Mary.

Growing Up

A post from 2010. It’s hard to think time goes at such a dizzying rate!

David Reid

Painted an oil version of Blue Mask for a demo in the HAC for the Wednesday and Thursday classes.

We tried a paintalong on the thursday which surprisingly went well. (I imagined chaos).

Good fun and pretty intense at the same time.

Interesting to see the two paintings of K at different ages. Four and fourteen.

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Maili Reading

aili Reading fin

A portrait I reworked recently. It was shown last year in the Harbour Arts Centre in Irvine but it really was in an unfinished state.

It now has more depth and 3 dimensional qualities. It’s lost the cartoonishness it had.

I also removed the reading lamp behind to create a more peaceful air.

1m x1m Acrylic on canvas

Portrait of a Girl

Portrait of a girl

This is portrait #4 of this family, and the youngest. A great wee face. Getting her picture taken was good fun until she got teased by her big brother then she got a bit overwhelmed. I cant remember if this image is from a pic before or after the tears. All the same, I think you can detect a stoic, resilient gaze into the viewers eyes!

Digital Doodle #8

kate37 2000pix

This is not so much a doodle as it took me three days to paint!

It is amazing how like real paint can be achieved now with a screen. I was able to forget almost that this was digital. I layered , I pushed and pulled, I scratched in, much in the same way. I feel ready now to go back to the oily stuff. My experiments have done what was needed to do to pass the days of the last few weeks in lockdown.

Digital Sargent


First pass on a digital portrait of Sargent’s “Vernon Lee”

I’d like to get into this more since looking at David Hockney’s use of Ipad painting. A tool to encourage drawing more, if I can develop a habit. Since screen addiction is a thing and such a hindrance to productivity, it might provide a solution to both those issues.

(Inner voice) : “Aye, right!”


annunciation hac photo

A contemporary take on the Annunciation. Mary is visited by the Archangel Gabriel and given news that she would conceive and become the Mother of Jesus.

I was commissioned to paint Mary for St Peter in Chains Church in Ardrossan some years back. I staged a few versions of Mary and this one was put to the side at the time. I liked this one, so vowed to paint it one day. I had an opportunity to prepare for a group show and felt the time was right to tackle this again.

There are a few things in the picture which add to the telling of the tale of the commission. Discarded ideas on the floor, the canvas at the back which the painting now exists on.

Mary is historically depicted at her studies when Gabriel appears, so she is seen here holding a book.

The studio is meant to be analogous to Josephs workshop.

We, the viewer, are seeing the scene from the point of view of Gabriel. (A ploy to not have to paint wings and feathers!)

The painting is currently hanging in the Harbour Arts Centre in our annual Courtyard Studios Exhibition.