Monday, 2 May 2016

What is the Salary?

Yesterday I was walking with a good friend. We were remembering when we left school and got our first ever jobs. My first job started the day after I left school. There thing for us no such  thing as a gap year wages had to be earned.

I had no interview for my first job. I went and met with the boss, he told me what was expected of me the hours I would be expected to work and so on.

Then as if almost a last thought he told me what my starting wage would be.

Now there is an expectation that the employee might have some input into the agreed salary and the interview might even include a section at the end for input by the prospective employee. This is a great step forward and good.

This reminded me of a true story I heard.

The interview had gone well and was nearing its end.

The Human Resources person asked the young engineer fresh out of university, she asked  "And what starting salary were you looking for?"
The Engineer said, "In the neighborhood of £45,000 a year, depending on the benefits package."
The interviewer said, "Well, what would you say to a package of five-weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays, full medical and dental, company matching retirement fund to 50 percent of salary, and a company car leased every two years, say, a nice Land Rover?"
The Engineer sat up straight and said, "Wow! Are you kidding?"
And the interviewer replied, "Yeah, but you started it."

Have a great day.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015


I have painted a few of these dog paintings never two looking the same. I have enjoyed using the many different colours to paint them,

It all began when my son bought a wonderful little dog with a great big personality. This made me think of him in terms of colours and not the all black dog he is. They have been very popular and have sold well for me. So grateful for this I did another one just two weeks ago and donated it to the Coniston mountain Rescue team. They put it on their website and asked for bids. it looks as if it will make them some much needed money. I hope the person who in the end gets it gets as much pleasure from it as I did painting it. 

Somebody got in touch saying could I not paint a happy dog. So this is my next dog challenge.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


I am sure everybody knows this painting, it is so very well known. Hands are very difficult to paint so I thought I would have a try at painting my version of Durer's hands. There is nothing wrong with learning from the masters, either in art or in thinking. I spend some time each day listening to the words of the greats of thought.

Back in the fifteenth century, in a tiny village near Nuremberg, lived a family with eighteen children. Eighteen! In order merely to keep food on the table for this mob, the father and head of the household, a goldsmith by profession, worked almost eighteen hours a day at his trade and any other paying chore he could find in the neighborhood. Despite their seemingly hopeless condition, two of Albrecht Durer the Elder's children had a dream. They both wanted to pursue their talent for art, but they knew full well that their father would never be financially able to send either of them to Nuremberg to study at the Academy.

After many long discussions at night in their crowded bed, the two boys finally worked out a pact. They would toss a coin. The loser would go down into the nearby mines and, with his earnings, support his brother while he attended the academy. Then, when that brother who won the toss completed his studies, in four years, he would support the other brother at the academy, either with sales of his artwork or, if necessary, also by laboring in the mines. They tossed a coin on a Sunday morning after church. Albrecht Durer won the toss and went off to Nuremberg.

Albert went down into the dangerous mines and, for the next four years, financed his brother, whose work at the academy was almost an immediate sensation. Albrecht's etchings, his woodcuts, and his oils were far better than those of most of his professors, and by the time he graduated, he was beginning to earn considerable fees for his commissioned works.

When the young artist returned to his village, the Durer family held a festive dinner on their lawn to celebrate Albrecht's triumphant homecoming. After a long and memorable meal, punctuated with music and laughter, Albrecht rose from his honored position at the head of the table to drink a toast to his beloved brother for the years of sacrifice that had enabled Albrecht to fulfill his ambition. His closing words were, "And now, Albert, blessed brother of mine, now it is your turn. Now you can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream, and I will support you."

All heads turned in eager expectation to the far end of the table where Albert sat, tears streaming down his pale face, shaking his lowered head from side to side while he sobbed and repeated over and over, "No ... no ... no ... no."

Finally, Albert rose and wiped the tears from his cheeks. He glanced down the long table at the faces he loved, and then, holding his hands close to his right cheek, he said softly, "No, brother. I cannot go to Nuremberg. It is too late for me. Look ... look what four years in the mines have done to my hands! The bones in every finger have been smashed at least once, and lately I have been suffering from arthritis so badly in my right hand that I cannot even hold a glass to return your toast, much less make delicate lines on parchment or canvas with a pen or a brush. No, brother ... for me it is too late."

More than 450 years have passed. By now, Albrecht Durer's hundreds of masterful portraits, pen and silver-point sketches, watercolors, charcoals, woodcuts, and copper engravings hang in every great museum in the world, but the odds are great that you, like most people, are familiar with only one of Albrecht Durer's works. More than merely being familiar with it, you very well may have a reproduction hanging in your home or office.

One day, long ago, to pay homage to Albert for all that he had sacrificed, Albrecht Durer painstakingly drew his brother's abused hands with palms together and thin fingers stretched skyward. He called his powerful drawing simply "Hands," but the entire world almost immediately opened their hearts to his great masterpiece and renamed his tribute of love "The Praying Hands."

There are some things that others do for you that no words can ever express your thankfulness. Artists are so fortunate that they can express there inner feelings in what they produce with their hands.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Crail Harbour

Crail Harbour 

It is some time since I posted a blog which is very remiss of me. My only excuse is that I have been in considerable pain in my foot and nothing would give me any comfort, even sitting at the computer I found painful. At last I am now having some relief thanks to my doctor whom is determined to keep me running. I am now back running regularly and walking almost daily.

My art has been ongoing though much more slowly than previously. Standing at my easel became impossible. I have been trying some work using pen and ink. The wonder of this medium is how easily it can be left and returned to with little problems about keeping paint wet or matching the colour.

Amazingly those have become fairly popular and I have been able to sell more than a few.

I have been looking at most of the blogs that I follow and if possible have made a comment or two.

I am very very fortunate to live in the part of the world that I do. In about a mile from my home I am out in the country and can walk the coastal path. In the County of Fife where I live there are many very beautiful Coastal Villages. I so enjoy walking through these and watching the fisherman at work with creels and nets. Most of the villages have been maintained and unchanged over the years. Where changes have been made, building made to look "Better?" by being painted white, I have done some little research and found the original colours of the roofs and buildings.

THis little village remains unchanged. I found that walking through the harbour took me back to my youth. I am aware that this is a sign of ageing but what the heck I enjoy those memories.

I took about three days to complete this one. I drew it first in pencil then took up the pens and painted it again with Chinese Ink. To finish it I added just a little colour on the tiles of the roofs and sky and sea. No too much I hope but just enough to take the viewer into it.

This harbour is painted frequently but usually from a different angle.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Edinburgh Castle from Castle Street.

Edinburgh Castle from Castle Street.

Some time ago I shared with you a painting of Edinburgh Castle. That painting sold very quickly, for which I am always pleased to know that others get some joy from my work.

One of my good friends and fellow blogger made comment that although he liked the painting he felt that it did not convey the total majesty of such a building. So, Jerry, here is another attempt at that majestic building in the heart of Edinburgh the Capital City of Scotland.

Painted almost from the same angle but of course not taking in the complete castle, rather just an aspect of it as it towers above the main shopping street of Edinburgh.

At the New Year Celebrations some 75,000 people gather below this castle and from its ramparts the fireworks display is tremendous.

Painted in Pen and Chinese Ink it is 16" x 20" and framed in a light oak frame.

Will it sell like the earlier version of the castle? We shall see.

This blog is linked to my other.Finding a Heart.

It is my intention to no longer publish this blog but to incorporate it into my other blog. I will leave this one here for some time just in case anybody comes across it and may wish to join the other blogMy Other Blog Is Here