Over the weekend I was doing a spot of home improvements.
I took Friday off work so I could get an extra day under my belt as I knew it was going to take a couple of days graft to do what I needed to do. I also had to put my car into the garage to get a problem fixed.
I got up nice and early, went and bought the paint and other bits and pieces I needed for the day, then dropped them at the flat and drove down to the garage to drop the motor off at 9.30am.
It was a nice morning, the sun was shining and it was warm with a bit of a breeze coming in off the Firth of Forth. I had about three miles to walk back to begin painting but I was quite enjoying the stroll. I took a route I'd never taken before down a small track that runs behind the sewage works alongside the railway tracks that go to the docks.
There was some kind of freight train pulling out and it had a bunch of New York subway style graff work and tags on it. Here's a photo I managed to take on my phone. I tried to send it in a text message to Big Duncs who's into this kind of thing but for some reason it wasn't working out.
I was well chuffed to see that this scene is still alive and well today, it makes stuff a bit more interesting to look at than having everything uniformly dull.
Some may call it vandalism but I think it's as valid an art form as anything else.
I'm hoping to get up to Aberfeldy this weekend or next to see the Urban Art in the Highlands exhibition featuring work by the likes of Banksy and my good friend Elph.
Elph recently taught a graffiti workshop to complement the exhibition; photos here.
I am also happy to say he has agreed to do some live painting at Headspin on the 8th August. He has been the man who has designed our flyers for a long time, and this is something we have talked about for a while, so I'm delighted he is going to get a bit of the limelight that he deserves for his years of service to the cause.
We're going to make it a full-on multimedia extravaganza. The soundtrack will be a mash-up of soul, funk, hip-hop, disco, electro and house, with percussive backing from Bongo Dave. Meanwhile, Elph will be painting a new piece live in the club and this will be filmed and projected onto a screen by video artist Foundlight with visual effects, film clips, live footage and animations mixed in.
So after that sublime subway moment on the last train to trancendental, I got back and started my own painting. Not quite as visually interesting, but after almost three days work I got it finished and am quite happy with the job I did on it, with a lot of help from my bird I must add.
After working on it all weekend I was almost glad to get back to work on Monday for a rest.
I do kind of think that I should really be doing something a bit more physical for a job, where I need to exercise my body as well as my mind. I come home tired after a day at work but it's a different kind of tired when you've been working your muscles than when your brain has been taking the strain.
There's something honest and rewarding about some good, hard yakka as they say in Australia. (Not sure of the spelling so apologies to any Aussies if that's wrong.)
I also want to take a moment to mention my current favourite album, which is by a Glasgow group called The Phantom Band and is entitled Checkmate Savage. It's a great mix of indie, electronica, krautrock and blues influences. The album is out on Chemikal Underground and you can see them live at T in the Park amongst other festivals. I can't remember how I came across these guys but I'm glad I did. Check 'em out.