I spotted this Female Banded Demoiselle hunting ants on the top of our flowering Acanthus Mollis. Not where I would have expected it to be as we don't live near a water course, that would be its more natural habitat. Being a warm day and in the sun it stayed for fairly still for quite a while, so I was able to watch and take some interesting photographs
Travelling around the Outer Hebrides you come across these old abandoned tractors, left to nature to re-claim them. Some see them as an eyesore, others as part of a working life now ended and left to rest.
Travelling from Craignure to Tobermory on Mull you cannot pass by these iconic fishing boats lying derelict and neglected since the mid 1970's, just of the A848 in Salen Bay. Built in the 1950's they are not old by modern standards, but no doubt have been the victims of progressive EU fishing policies.
As a frequent visitor to the island, like thousands of others, I have been photographing and watching their deterioration as time and weather take their toll. The first images are from my visit in 2009. Wheelhouse, masts are clearly visible, although even then the decay is fairly obvious.
As the years pass by the decay continues and the next to go is the mast and wheelhouses. A visit in 2016 and all but one had gone, destroyed by wind rain and inclement weather, no doubt assisted by the hand of man. Some of the decking is now also showing signs of rotting.
I prefer to visit Mull in the winter months and leave the summer to the hoards. The peace and quiet of the island is delightful with the locals a more relaxed. Summer must be quite an an intense period as they rely heavily on tourism for an income.
Some say they have become a hazard and should be removed. Visitors crawling over the structures seem oblivious to the danger they pose. In the meantime I shall continue to record their decay. I only wish I had planned doing this at my first visit. Hindsight is wonderful. Before leaving I often sit and think about those men who worked the boats, the perils they faced at sea to bring food to our tables. It is not a romantic view I have but a deep sense of their history and final abandonment.
The wildlife, which Mull is well known for is in abundance along the shores and inlets and over the moors. Time and solitude quiet to just sit, watch and enjoy nature at its best.
The lock down has given me time to browse my picture library. Like many I have a vast collection taken over the years but few have been edited and even less printed.
"Our cover image is a photograph taken by Ian Bailey (listing 293) who is exhibiting with thirteen other artists at a new venue, a sailboat marquee at Luxury in The Cotswolds in Great Tew. With a passion for the outdoors, and an endless appreciation for fine art, Ian enjoys photographing the world around him. After a long-term focus on the landscape, and particularly that of the west of Scotland, he has recently become fascinated by the amazing and complex beauty and structure of flowers. His exhibition captures and enriches the intimate details that embody the fabric of even the most common varieties. Spring is on its way " Oxford Artweeks
As you can imagine I was delighted that Oxford Artweeks have chosen my image for the front page of the 2020 festival guide. Oxford Artweeks is a long running annual event where artists throughout Oxfordshire exhibit their work in many different and exciting locations, from groups such as ours to individuals in their home or studio.
We are a group of 14 artists with a huge range of talent between us. We have Painters using various mixed media techniques, a Potter, Jeweller, Photographer, Journal Maker, Textile Artists, Woodturner, Metal Sculptor, Illustrator and Print Maker. We will be bringing a superb range of beautiful Art to this wonderful venue exhibiting during Oxfordshire Artweeks 2020 at Luxury in the Cotswolds in Great Tew, Oxfordshire from 8th to 17th May 2020.
To learn more about us visit our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/artsinthecotswolds/about and information about Oxford Artweeks: https://www.artweeks.org/
“A friend of mine told me a story about a fantastic tantrum his daughter had had where she was inconsolable whilst at the same time watching herself and the effect she was having in the mirror" Laura Ford
This was the inspiration for Laura Ford to create 5 sculptures of young girls set in the quiet melancholic atmospheric part of the woodland at Jupiter Artland , an award-winning contemporary sculpture garden located just outside Edinburgh and set in over 100 acres of meadow and woodland.
For anyone who has had or lived with young children in the family can relate to these tantrums and all part of the process of growing up, finding the boundaries with adults, seeking attention or simply expressing their frustrations.
Coming across these sculptures was, for me, quite an emotional experience. At first glance they look almost life like, yet you know they are not. There are no faces, no identity, do we stand by until the tantrum is over or try one of the 19 different tactics every child rearing books tells us to try, yet you somehow know this child and want to engage with them.
Reflecting on the sculptures I spent some time wandering around, getting to know the posture of each. I could pre-visualise them in a circle of light, wanting to be noticed, the centre of attention and in monochrome without the distractions of colour.
The long journey from Glasgow to Oban, a ferry across to Castlebay on Barra followed by a short drive to the Isle of Barra Beach Hotel. As evening settled on the Island the beautiful red glow of sunset fell on Tangasdale Beach leaving us with a feeling of calm and serenity to end the day
Camera Club judges frequently deride pictures of sunsets in the belief that every photographer has done it to death. What they fail to recognise is the very emotion that a beautiful sunset evokes within us, that inspires us to take it before being lost in the twilight. Sunsets are not only beautiful and sensual, but they also give meaning that suggests an ending, a change from day to night and transformation from light to dark.
Sunrise brings hope for a new day, the sunset brings a sense of harmony that all is well, a time for reflection. As darkness settles around us we can question whether we have done what we set out to do that day. Have we been the person we wanted; have we left things undone
We should take every opportunity to watch a sunset. Sunset gazing may also have a number of benefits, to slow down, to reflect to begin a mental rest after the activities of the day.
Mist, those tiny droplets of water that hang in the air, formed as warm air cools rapidly on hitting a much cooler surface changing its state from invisible to visible. I just love those early mornings when this happens. A low sun rising on the horizon, warming the air and steam laying over a pond or stream. It turns quite and ordinary landscape into a kaleidoscope. It is a time to just sit an ponder the wonders of nature.
As we come to the end of the year we think back on the highs and lows and as 12 o’clock approaches our thoughts turn to the New Year. We wait, eagerly anticipating the first strike of the bell ringing and a New Year is born. What better way is there than to celebrate the end of one year and the start of a new one than with friends and family gathering together.
The television cameras focus on the big city celebrations and those fantastic firework displays. Huge crowds gather to watch and wonder as city after city tries hard to be the best. It may not be the biggest and media wise goes unnoticed, but the celebration in Main Street, Tobermory around the clock tower designed by architect Charles Whymper, is one of the best. The whole community contributes, music plays into the night sky and the sound of people talking and laughing fills the air while across the harbour fireworks reach up into the night sky.
Herborn is a historic town on the river Dill, district of Hesse Germany. A quiet town with many half timbered houses in the old part of the town. With around 20,000 inhabitants it has that sleepy appearance that most of us would like to reside in. With pedestrianised street people congregate to discuss whatever is on their mind at that time
Image sitting drinking a stein of bier watching the world go by when all of a sudden the peace is shattered by the throaty roar of sports cars. The day I was there just happened to be the same day chosen by the owners club descending on the sleepy town for a get together. One by one Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsche and the odd Maclaren paraded themselves winding through the cobbled streets eventually parking in two large groups in amongst the lookers on and shoppers who could only stop and stare.
I have no desire to own one of these machines, I will leave it to the old men trying to recapture their youth and the young petrol heads for now.