21 July 2018

Glenrothes town art

Glenrothes is famous for its town art. There have been a couple of different town artists, and through them we’ve ended up with hippos, mushrooms, standing stones, a dinosaur, and much more! There have also been more recent artworks, with a lot of underpasses and shop fronts being painted in the past few years.
My drawing at the top of this post is a high resolution, so you can download it and print it out to use as a colouring page! Some of the pupils at the school where I work used it for this, as you can see below.

There's a new leaflet just been released, which you can get from the library in the Rothes Halls, and it has various different walking routes for exploring the town art.

19 July 2018

Travel memories: San Giovanni dell'Autostrada

I became fascinated with this church on the outskirts of Florence when I passed it a number of times on the bus when I was there in 2015. It was just so much in contrast to all the other architecture I'd seen in Italy.

I didn't know anything about the church, other than that it was modernist in style, so it took a bit of online detective work to find out more about it.
I discovered that it goes by different names, its official name being San Giovanni Battista, but also being known as San Giovanni dell'Autostrada del Sole - John the Baptist of the Highway of the Sun - after the motorway it sits alongside.

I found out that it was designed by Giovanni Michelucci, and was built between 1960 and 1963. It commemorates the workers who died building the road, and it also acts as a parish for those travelling along the road.

The floor plan is actually traditional in style, in a cross shape, but the overall shape of the building is very modern. I found it really interesting to compare this church to the two Glenrothes churches I visited on the architecture walk recently, which were built around the same time. They were both seen as revolutionary in some ways, but this church looks even more so to my eyes.

I didn't manage to get any photos of the church when I passed it, so I took to Google Street View so I could draw it. I chose views of it from the road, so that it would be the same angles I'd seen it from in real life.

17 July 2018

Glenrothes display

I was looking through some Glenrothes memorabilia in the run-up to the 70th birthday of the town, but it wasn’t until I hung my new Glenrothes 70 tote bag in the hall that I had the idea of creating a Glenrothes display. 
I kept a couple of the Moomins from my previous display out, because I thought they looked a bit like the hippos that are a symbol of Glenrothes (because of the concrete hippos found around town). I also found a wooden mushroom I’d painted which represent the concrete mushrooms also scattered about the town.
I added some books, postcards, leaflets, and some of the items that I got at the 70th birthday celebrations. I also included a brooch and a piece of pottery that remind me of some of the town art.

14 July 2018


I recently visited the exhibition Shonky at Dundee Contemporary Arts. Although there was work by a number of artists on display, I was particularly drawn to the pieces by Niki de Saint Phalle, which had flowing shapes and bright colours. I enjoyed drawing these artworks, and they were really easy to draw because it didn't matter if my drawing was a bit wonky!

12 July 2018

Glenrothes shop window art

Glasgow based Recoat Design were in town as part of the Reimagination Festival that was marking 70 years of Glenrothes. They were running a workshop in an empty shop to create some artwork based on the town.
I was the first member of the public to go in and join them in drawing on the shop windows. When I got there the hippo was already being drawn, so I added the large iris and the mushrooms below it. They later coloured in the spots of the mushrooms white which I think makes them look even better.
It was quite challenging to draw accurately at such a large scale, and quite physical too! And because it was so sunny it was hard to get good photos of the window.

11 July 2018


I have never before seen such abundant, tall dandelion seed heads, forming such perfect orbs, as I did at the start of last month. Was it something to do with the weather, or the way the roadside verges had been cared for this year? I don't know, but they were all over town, and one of the most impressive patches was at the end of my street, so I just had to get out and take some photos.

10 July 2018

Moray House

With my current interest in brutalist architecture, I decided to go and seek out this sculptural mural on Moray House in Edinburgh. These panels are on Charteris Land, which was built in the 1960s, and are designed by David Miller who was a member of staff at Moray House. There is a fourth panel that I didn't see, so I'll have to seek that out! I hadn't realised it was there just to the left of the others but at a right angle.
When I'd seen photos of these before I'd assumed they were small and maybe above a door, but they are actually much larger in scale, and are taller than a person.
The three panels here symbolise mazes used in memory retention experiments, the shape of life being determined by external influences, and units of knowledge being assimilated, and the fourth one is about the interdependence of man, woman and child.
I love the style of these, and I think they'd make great jewellery designs!

09 July 2018

St Ninian's Charity Shop jumble sale

I joined the board of trustees of my local charity shop earlier this year, and we decided that we would hold a jumble sale at around the time of the 70th birthday of the town. Since Glenrothes was founded in 1948 I got myself dressed in 1940s style, which got me the job of going round handing out leaflets to passers by! Luckily it was a lovely day.
The jumble sale was a huge success, with a massive queue stretching through the shopping centre when it was about to open. And for a while after opening it was almost impossible to move inside!
I had a great time, and got some good bargains. I really hope we can do something like this again!


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