Thursday, 28 June 2012

Impending Sense Of Doom

You know that feeling when something you reaaaally don't want to happen is just going to go ahead and happen anyway? Yeah? That's how I feel right now. Tomorrow I have to haul myself out of bed at 7 in the morning, check my rucksack which probably weighs more than me, and drag it out the door in the pouring rain. This is because tomorrow is the start of my Duke of Edinburgh expedition, which basically means I will be spending three days somewhere in the highlands of Scotland. And the highlands of Scotland are compiled of a few lovely things, sheep, rain, mud, bogs and midges.

Yep, I have to endure three days of this starting tomorrow. Now you see the point of this post. So, if anyone with the kind of power to strike me down with the flu wants to do so any time now I would really appreciate it! 

Until monday readers!

Miss B xxxx

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Travel Journals

Since the Scottish summer holidays are coming up in two and a half days, and I am so excited I think I might burst, I have decided to post about something that I think will keep everyone occupied on their holiday travels. The travel journal is a thing most of us just don't get round to doing anything with. We don't see the point do we? Well, I am here to change your mind.

Travel journals are amazing. They keep you occupied, and can make the most boring holidays seem that little bit more interesting because you have something to do. They're a way to preserve memories and thoughts, and are much easier to commit to than diaries. Believe me I know. So what gives the travel journal an edge on the timeless classic the diary? For one, when you write in a travel journal you are more likely to be writing about an exciting time in your life instead of the everyday monotonous drone of work, school etc. Travel journals are things that you can leave until the next time you go on holiday, whether that might be for a month, year or a couple of years.

So, what travel journals are there in the big world wide market? Personally, I feel that Paperchase is one of the best shops for all things stationary and otherwise. I purchased my travel journal there and have just been itching to use it! But, you might not share the same view, so I'm putting up a list of places you could possibly acquire one from...
Of course you could also visit your local bookstore or copy shop and see if they have any travel journals in stock there, or you could simply buy an ordinary notebook. But, I prefer the already made journals, as they come with pockets and folders to put things in and different page layouts for graphs or writing or pictures. Anyway you look at it, buying a travel journal is a worth while investment. I hope with this post, I have changed the minds of the skeptics. If you're still not quite convinced, there's no harm in getting a travel journal and seeing for yourself!

Happy travels

Miss B xxxx

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Gannochy Trust 75th Anniversary Concert

Saturday 16th of June 2012 was the night of the Gannochy Trust 75 anniversary concert. I had the great privilege in being able to go and see it with my family because we were all going to support my brother Murray who is a member of the Perth Youth Orchestra. The concert was a collaboration between the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Perth Youth Orchestra. Personally, I think that the Royal Scottish, - you know what, I'll just abbreviate - RSNO were strategically positioned on stage specifically to block the members of the PYO from view. I could only see a few members of the PYO, and that was from the middle isle, a row from the front. But enough of my conspiracy theories, though I am pretty positive I'm onto something here!

Now, for some people who haven't a clue what the Gannochy Trust is, you'll be happy to know that I've googled it and come up with this information:

I quote from the Gannochy Trust website:

"The Gannochy Trust was founded in 1937 by Arthur Kinmond Bell, known as A K Bell, for charitable and public purposes as a direct result of his family’s successful distilling business. A K Bell’s first project built the Gannochy Housing Estate between 1925 and 1932 to provide rented accommodation for the people of Perth. His Estate included two small farms and the Doo’cot Park cricket grounds and pavilion which he also gave to the Trust."

Also, here's a link to the site

The trust has been supporting both the RSNO and PYO for a number of years now, so this concert was held in the honour of this charitable aid. The concert itself was nothing short of dramatic, with excerpts from the opera Carmen topped off with Sergei Rachmaninov's piano concerto No 2 in C minor Op. 18. Christian Kluxen conducted the orchestras, and the event presented by Jamie MacDougall, who also had a shot at advertising his radio program.

The concert began with the PYO and RSNO playing a piece called Arbos by Arvo Part, a short fanfare that was not only powerful but also somewhat mysterious, played at the high standard that was set for the rest of the evening. The next piece was Carnival Overture Op. 92 by Anotnin Dvorak, lively music for the whole orchestra, played at incredible speeds! I couldn't believe how fast the fingers of the violinists were moving, and I'm surprised my brother managed to keep up! There is a lull in tempo in the piece, which brings about a nice contrast, proving that both orchestras could not only play incredibly accurately at break neck speeds, but also show the sensitive, mellow side to the Overture. These pieces were led by 1st violinist Maya Iwabuchi, as were the rest played that night.

And then there was Carmen! O mon Dieu! O mon Dieu! I never realised opera could be so interesting! Rowan Hellier, a mezzo-soprano, played Carmen. Adrian Dwyer, a tenor played Don Jose and Laurence Meikle, baritone. played Escamillo (I think).

The excerpts were played in the following order:

· Les Toresdors

· Prelude

· Habanera

· Toreador Song

· Intermezzo

· Aragonaise

· Duet

· Danse Bohme

May I just say, Rowan Hellier could have out-feisted the real Carmen herself! The acting from all singers was just captivating, and of course the orchestra played pitch perfectly! I couldn't take my eyes off the stage, in fear of missing a glance between Carmen and Don Jose, or mishearing a note from a song. It was just perfect.

And finally, came the piano concerto, played by Alasdair Beatson, backed by the RSNO, but not the PYO. Beatson's playing was enigmatic, and enthralling to watch. And I also loved the piano he was playing, a beautiful black and gold steinmen and sons grand piano. I want one! Back to the concerto; strangely, while listening, I found myself wanting to fall asleep, not in a bad way though. The concerto, although not all quite and calming, had a very relaxing effect on me. Great music to listen to if you want to get to sleep, none of that dolphin malarkey.

All in all, a spectacular 75th anniversary concert the Gannochy Trust should be proud of! And a big thumbs up to PYO - you guys much as you can rock while playing classical music that is.

Miss B xxxx

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Glasgow School Of Art Degree Show 2012

Yesterday I went to the GSofA degree show, visiting the Skypark Campus and the Mackintosh Building. I previously emailed GSofA, enquiring about the painting and printmaking undergraduate course, which was a course I was positive I wanted to do. They got back to me straight away, suggesting for more ideas I visit the degree show that runs from Thursday 7th to Saturday 16th of June. Taking their advice I went along, first to the Skypark Campus.
It started off pretty badly, as the weather came in, bringing heavy rain, and my mother, grandmother and I couldn't find the right entrance! Eventually we managed to get in, after following a crowd of like-minded people, eager to try and get inside.

The first exhibition we went to see was the interior design unit, located in an odd series of rooms, complete with a disco ball and random sheets of see through material draped over the room. I'm sure the whole idea was to give the room some kind of vibe, but I just found it reaaally strange! In the centre of the room were two tables, lit by overhead lamps. On them were rows of project folders to look through. And although I'm sure the designs were all very innovative, I didn't find it at all interesting. Call me boring, but that disco ball was beyond distracting!

Next (still in the Skypark Campus) we trundled through to the jewellery and silversmithing displays. They were all...very kooky. But, thankfully, I found the displays more interesting than that of the interior design section. And, as a plus, no disco ball! Going round, my mum decided to fill my bag with contact cards from the student’s displays, and I thought that I would mention a few names, and favourites. are the details, if you want to get a bit more information about the displays.

Scarlett Cohen-French's display featured an intriguing display of rings, which if you want to check out, I believe can be found at www.cargocollective.come/scarlettfrench. Another student's card I picked up was that of Bao Rui (nice name) who had made necklaces of oxidised white metal, copper and cold enamel ( Another student, Dong Shutong, had a main feature piece of a silver and steel tea leaves brooch. And just a heads up here, is written either in Japanese or Chinese (since I don't speak either, I can't tell which one is which).

Then we were on to the textiles section, where I found a crazy gem of a display, by Chao Liu. The display was one of the best there; it was bright and fun, mikano based - something Lady Gaga would have been proud of. Go to if you want to find out more. Israil Parra-Zanabria's display was another eye-catching piece. It was made up of brightly coloured, boldly patterned fabrics, which I think were silk?

Eventually, we all drove off to the Mackintosh Building, which is a piece of art in itself really. I found myself; again, slightly distracted from the art, by the AMAZING library, which due to its age is only open to students once a week, no browsing allowed. Anyhow, before I go all misty eyed over the genius of Mackintosh, I should tell you about some of the things I saw displayed in the building. A picture that really caught my eye, mainly because of its weirdness, a shark flying through a dark green forest. This odd painting was the creation of Karen Grant, This, however, did not stay in my mind for long, because I found myself gazing at a couple of gigantuous paintings by Robin Everett, depicting lakes and mountains. Unsurprisingly, he was painting them both on and off over the course of the year. I don't think I could ever be brave enough to tackle canvases triple my size! Check them out at

And you know, the distressing thing is, I came away from it all completely and utterly confused. I thought I would go there and realise what it is I wanted to study, but all I know now is that I don't have a clue!

Miss B xxxx    

Monday, 4 June 2012

You Guessed It....More Art!

This is the final in the Apple Art series, which sadly is lacking the complete piece. Since I the only complete drawing with all my ideas in it was done during my art exam, I haven't got a photo and I doubt I'll ever see it again. I really wish I could have taken it home, because I was soooo thrilled with what I'd done. Just being able to draw all my ideas into one piece made me so happy (and ever so slightly relieved). Now all I have to do is wait until I get my results back to see if the SQA felt the same way.

Onto the pictures! The second one is a sketch I did about two days before the exam. I was trying to draw a crow from memory, but it turned out looking more like an owl or some sort of bird of prey. Rather than being annoyed with my lack of crow drawing skills, the failed crow gave me an idea. I spent the night before my art exam surfing the net for pictures of owls and finally settled for a dramatic shot of this massive owl swooping down to land on something in the snow. So, I printed the picture off, went upstairs and started drawing. The result is the first picture, which is actually a lot smaller than it looks. Pleased with the results I packed up and went to sleep.

On the day of my exam, I took my last minute idea and put it into action. I drew the usual arm with the mouldy apple, except facing in a way so that if you looked at the picture you would be looking up the arm towards the hand. Then, swooping in behind the hand, as if to snatch away the apple, I drew this massive owl.

All I need to do now is to wait for the results :P

Miss B xxxx

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Yet More Art

In these paintings/drawings, I was fiddling with the idea of adding something more to my final piece. Something that would be more attention grabbing than just a plain old hand holding a plain old mouldy apple. I wasn't exactly sure what to go on, but eventually I came up with the idea of crows, because they scavenge for decaying dead things. Uber cheerful!

The first painting was me testing out what position to draw the crow in. I wasn't sure weather I should have it sitting pecking at the apple, so that it was a main feature, or have it in the background as a silhouette. At first, I really liked the idea of having the crow side on, because it would be much easier to draw; I even laid down another idea linking to that theme as you can see from the second picture. Then, at the last minute, I decided I didn't really like that idea and came up with something that was a little bit more dramatic...

Miss B xxxx

Saturday, 2 June 2012

More Art

Now I present to you my Achilles heel. Hands. Well, my hands in particular. I had a fine old time trying to get these two right. The second is a sketch/rough idea, so it's allowed to look rubbishy. In the first one, my hand turned out looking fairly hand like (just sticking an imaginary gold star to my top) and I think the watercolour gives it a bit of depth. At first I thought I'd ruined it with the watercolours, but then I realised all I had to do was keep on building up layers of colour and eventually I got the perfect skin tone.

 The apple, however, went wrong. I was so focussed on making it look mouldy and shiz, that I forgot to make it look round. But thankfully I managed to perfect everything for my art exam. By the way, the reason I was drawing mouldy apples is because we had to have a theme for our drawings, so I, being the cheery sort chose decay!

Hope you enjoy these two as much as I enjoyed creating them...which after a few frustrated attempts, was quite a lot.

Miss B xxxx

Friday, 1 June 2012

I Actually Keep A Promise!

Okay, what is with the insults, may I just ask? Memory like a goldfish? Puleaaaaase! I remembered to finally put these up didn't I? Also, everyone else at the gig was wearing jeans, what's wrong with that? And nobody can out sly me! Ummm, okay, so I didn't get an autograph from Kassidy. I did actually see them outside of the gig, and was going to get an autograph, but yeah...well my chauffeur (dad) wanted to drive us home so he could sleep. Yeah, I missed out on an autograph because of my dad...ummm chauffeur. 

Anyhow, rambling aside, here is the second in the series of apple drawings I promised to you readers so long ago...
Sorry about the blurry picture! And by the way, it may not look it, but this is my attempt at drawing a mouldy and bruised apple. It ended up just looking wrinkly and dented and somewhat pumpkin like. Sorry about that
Miss B xxxx