August to October 2021
In Leiria with Eva and her family.
Making paper by hand in a mill refurbished by Alvaro Siza.
Jose, from the Leiria urban sketchers.
In Lisbon, and on the beach in Estoril. The water is three degrees cooler than off the Hebrides.
Our flat, and a lady on a train. she came and sat next to me so I hid the drawing.
Isla on the train.
Fraser on the train.
Dunfallandy House in Pitlochry, with the family.
Andreas on the piano stool.
Steven building a rocket, Gran doing the crossword.
Pitlochry dam. It’s the fifth time we use get power from the same water and the least effective, but it’s impressive to look at.
In London, in Caroline’s garden.
In Edinburgh, in Matt & Mina’s garden.
On the train
Ronni & Lewis at the Edinburgh Festival
Sketching St Philip’s Church, recovering from the office summer social
That’s a sketchbook, minus a bunch of drawings of what we might do the house, and I’m not putting them up here.
The sketches are (pretty much) all on Instagram now at @sandysdrawingroom so I’m not posting them here so much. I like the immediacy of Instagram: draw them, photograph them post them. Quick. Here are some of the drawings from my 54th concertina sketchbook. Music at a fundraising dinner in the Grange Cricket Club.
Members of the Royal High Pipe Band.
Discussing design with partners and staff at HTA. We review our projects in every Monday afternoon. Over the course of a few weeks we try to get round them all.The other guy is on a train. I love drawing people on trains now.
Drawings of people I know and people I don’t.
The London Underground is a pretty unpleasant place: too busy and too hot from from April to October. I avoid it when I can but you can’t use a Boris bike for every trip so to pass the time I’ve plucked up the courage to draw people i don’t know who’re sitting four feet away.
At Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop, a really beautiful place.
Back in February: at the beautiful (and somewhat hidden) Ardclach Bell Tower. We stayed in Nairn. I loved running on the beach in the dark and the snow, then retreating back to this cosy flat to warm up.
Culloden Battlefield. The line of the Red Coats and the line of the Jacobites, in the snow. The bothy on the left was a field hospital, the battle was over in an hour. There’s not much in the sketch, but standing here and looking gave me the time to consider what had happened.
The aftermath: the impressive Fort George. The Victorian splendour of Nairn.
Back amongst the sculptural shapes of the city.Chatting to the architects of EH4 and listening to a theory about how the spaces we make and the patterns of ownership contributes to the loneliness that afflicts society.
At the Devil’s Cut to celebrate Craig Jone’s Rowley’s 50th. Craig is trying out fifty a wee bit before me. I’ll check how he gets on, if he doesn’t like it maybe I’ll not bother.
Some folk on the tube. I used to be shy about drawing people on the tube but now I realise we are so close together that everyone is pretending there is nobody else here.
Sketching the three beautiful bridges while listening to three good speeches. Family weddings are so much easier than when I last turned up at them twenty five years ago. This is mostly because I’ve decided how many cheeks to kiss and nobody asks me if it will be my turn next.
At the lovely ceremony in Dalmeny Church. The four guys in front of me are Andreas, Ruari, Marc and Douglas: three boys and their dad. As the register was signed they played a brass medley that ranged from Wild Mountain Thyme to Star Wars. It was amusing for everyone and moving for some of us, a memory of my dad. A very special event.
That was undoubtedly the main event of the last wee while, but here are a few other sketches of recent events. Above is Fraser at World of Wings. We learnt about how the vulture is really a good thing, despite the reputation. He cleans up after animals have already died and gets disease out of the eco system. I liked the red tailed buzzard as he was happy to pose for a sketch.
Watching a film about the housing crisis: dispossession. We need more subsidised housing, across the country.
At a talk about the excellent work of architects Reiach & Hall.
Staying at the Culpeper. A London pub with five bedrooms.
A small businesses being creative and making the most of every inch of space in our cities. The opposite of bland hotels with long corridors and a smell concocted by an expert in user experience. Loved it.
The last drawing of the year, at Hugh & Murray’s house