Robbie Orr and his wife came in for a visit this afternoon. I hadn’t seen him since I painted his portrait as part of the Well Kent exhibition. Still going strong at 86 y.o.
Here is one of the poems from the project below:-
The Spider at Portencross Castle
Hay big man, watch whaur yir goin—
Ah’ve lived here langer than you.
I mebbe hairy, some say ah’m scary—
Ye widny say that if ye’d seen ma view.
Ma webs are everywhaur, never tae be clean.
Ah’ve even slept above the queen.
Pure magic here it’s daurk an creepy
But goan outside jist makes me weepy—
Even fur ma furry legs
And the watter’s nae gid
Fur the eggs
That haud ma weans.
Have you ever been to Portencross Castle?
I hadn’t until a few weeks ago I am afraid to say. Despite being only a few miles away and considering , in fitter and lazier times, I cycled the length and breadth of Ayrshire and beyond at least thrice weekly, I missed that one.
Built dramatically on the rocks at the sea front, it has been battered and bruised by storm and tide since the 14th century. These days it is on the verge of being reopened to the public after a long campaign by The Friends of Portencross.
I have been working in West Kilbride primary school with Scottish poet Gerry Cambridge on a project to produce a poetry booklet on the theme of the castle. All the work is by pupils and their parents. It was quite an intense few days but it produced some amazing work from those who volunteered. Here are some of the illustrations. The theme being the castle, I thought it would be an idea to set the scene with some wildlife paintings as well as picturing the castle itself.