Here’s Innes flat out on the couch after an afternoon flat out on his scooter chasing after big brother.
He finds it exhausting keeping up with his siblings, but it is, and always has been:
My sister Flora has put together a book on my great aunt Christina’s time on the Western Front in the first world war. It contains characterful portraits from my great uncle Barr’s sketch book. The portraits are of the men he fought alongside and the notes describe what happened to them.
It’s for sale in Waterstones, or here:
At the Scottish Property Awards with some people working on the dramatic transformation of Dundee Waterfront. It’s a project gathering momentum.As if to illustrate this, at the end of the listed awards it looked like they’d won nothing, but five minutes later there were two on the table. The transformation of the waterfront is particularly impressive as it’s only a part of the wholesale changes in the city. We often look abroad for good examples of this sort of urban renewal but there are lessons to learn closer to home. In Dundee they’ve got support for change from politicians, council officers and local investors and decades of work are coming to a conclusion.
Surprisingly radical for such a conservative looking bunch.
I was on the long list for the AJ sketching competition so went along to Saint Gobain’s innovation centre to see the work of the winners and talk about sketching. Felicity Steers won.Watching football in the pub after.Earlier in the week the kids dressed up to get into Deep Sea World for free and we visited the hospital (coincidentally).My long listed sketch was this one.
At the Planning Committee to speak in favour of the third phase of our regeneration project at Mill o’ Mains in Dundee, It’s for 70 homes, mostly replacing old and unpopular flats with new houses. I’ve been turning up at planning committees in Dundee since 1999, so some of the faces are familiar. Perhaps that’s why they didn’t let me speak. I watched our democracy in action: councillors standing up for another application for housing for folk with mild learning difficulties, in the face of considerable local opposition.
They approved our proposals too. It’s another step, but there’s still along way to go to complete the transformation that the Home Group are aiming for.
A Valentine’s Day scene: flowers, love hearts and tortuous poetry.
The close opposite, with the poppies, is where Adam Smith used to lived. Later, Lady Haig’s poppy factory was here. At the parliament across the road each MP gets an office with a space for one person to think alone.
Listening to the engaging Jackson telling us about this community of self build homes. It’s an inspiring story about what can be achieved when housing is designed by the people who’ll live in it.
We’d like to give people more choice over what they live in without having to overcome the obstacles that these guys did. We spent the afternoon discussing how to do this in the setting of our own Hanham Hall project. A very different approach, but significantly innovative.
These people are here for the cross party cancer group. I’m not, I just sat down to sketch this interesting lobby when they began turning up, so I am happy to draw them instead. The space could feel like a theatre lobby or an airport departure lounge, but it doesn’t, it has a different atmosphere. The architecture contributes to that, but it’s largely the fact that people are here for serious business. Up in the chamber (where sketching is not allowed) they are voting Yes to gay marriage.
Alexander Greek Thomson & Charles Rennie Mackintosh from a dry café on a soaked Saturday on Sauchiehall Street. Just how I remember it.I lived round here but never drew these. The art school inspires awe as much for the list of inspirational characters who’ve come out of the place as for the qualities of the extraordinary building. I spend my time drawing the Scottish Parliament now, a similarly extraordinary place, though it’s early days for it’s own list of characters.
This is Uncle Ed’s Chair. Uncle Ed was born in 1908, so he was probably sitting in it about a century ago.
He was my Gran’s little brother. As we’re the folk left in the family with kids who fit it, we’ve inherited it. I like how the seat’s all scratched and the arms are shiny, a reminder of all the abuse it’s taken in the last 100 years.Ours prefer sitting on tables or on the floor. Perhaps it’s unfamiliar.I like that it’s useful and practical, and gives a physical connection to the past. It’s not the only connection: the watercolours that the sketches are done with belonged to my Gran. It’s nice that they’ve lasted.
Most sketching opportunities are work related: there’s not much time otherwise. Here are a few that aren’t: