August 10th, 2014 – Old 90s Treasures

In the last couple of weeks, my folks have decided to move house so it’s come that time that I sort through all my stuff that’s been packed away for the last 16 odd years. A trove of old 90s treasures.
A number of paintings have appeared, a couple that are for my parents to keep and no one else will probably get to see, and a couple that just ended up in folders and cupboards lost to time.
It’s interesting looking at old work because I can see ideas that have come back around many years later.
The first picture is of an imaginary Loch, it was one of my first marker pen drawings as I can tell by the marks I was trying things out to get different effects.
loch drawing peter gillies
When I was about 16 I started drawing with these Pentel N60 permanent markers, I loved the way as they ran out you got all these different shades and I would have around 20 pens on the go during a picture all at various stages of, well, fresh or dead.
This is definitely one of the first experiments and over the next 1/2 yrs, I made a fair number of these marker drawings.
I managed to get hold of some of the original metal body N60’s off the internet recently, you can no longer buy them on the high street as they have been replaced by rubbish plastic body pens and the classic potent ink smell has been masked by an Almond scent! That’s no good to me, I want the real deal. And I’m sure if they are adding something to the ink to mask the smell this element is surely going to change the consistency of the ink in some way. I didn’t think they were as good so I am very glad the originals are still available. Anyway if you follow my blog you will of had my Pentel rant before…

What I liked about this is I can see a lot of ideas that have reappeared in more recent work. Little ideas that have brewed away quietly and represented themselves. It’s one of the things I most enjoy about art. Although I make the pictures and conduct the ideas there is a great element of… how would I say… I do feel a lot of the time almost like a passenger in the car enjoying the ride as these images appear.

Forgotten picture number two is of a mountain called “Dun Dearduil” located on the Southside of Loch Ness at Inverfarigaig where I grew up. You can read more about this interesting hill here. On the top of the hill was a fort built by the Celts around 700bc. There is a lot of history in that area, and a lot of magic. I drew this around the age of 15 perhaps.
dun deardail lochness
This drawing was made up of lots of various-sized circles in biro overlaid with coloring pencil shading. I have included a close-up to show the technique.

There are a few more still to come, but the light is rubbish and I wanted a better photo of them so more to come!

Aside from all the pictures it’s been strange dealing with old photographs and books and belongings. I struggle with stuff and things, and things and stuff. (funkadelic reference points there)
On the one hand, if you live an extremely minimal life, well at the end of the day when you pop your clogs and they go into your room and there is nothing to find… well is that a bad thing? No history, no keepsakes… Just a collection of functional items, drawing equipment, tools, and maybe some reference books.
Or you collect this growing lifetime of things that have some kind of memory or sentimental attachment. What good is this stuff? Would our lives be lighter without it? Or do we need it?

Here is another drawing from 98/99 done with the Pentel Markers on A2 paper, I do love the jazz band located at the lower corners of the scene. The drum kit is a personal fav, that wee dot shadow on the skin from the stick is perfect.

cafe scene drawing gillies
Anyways as I process these thoughts here are some images I found in a book from nearly 10yrs ago. All shot on film, I took these photos of the photos on my camera phone so a little is lost in that but you get the idea. I really like some of the scenes. I usually take photos more as reference ideas, or there is something I am thinking about at the time that is the reason for the shot but obviously, I have forgotten the original intent by the time they are developed. But I like that. I can process new ideas from these and if the original idea plan was a good one it is probably still processing in the idea command center of my brain so I’ll pick it up later.


Autumn Beech Leaves

Snow Against Birch Treesfarm-gate-field-photograpg-gillies

Broken Farm Gate, Nairn Scotlandforest-light-photograph-gillies




I do love open fields, and telegraph poles/phone lines. Something calming or relaxing about the sight of cables & lines….nairn-forest-woods-gillies





This makes me think of Simon & Garfunkel’s album Sounds Of Silence, its in fact nothing like the scene but that’s what it makes me think of……






I was in the art shop the other day and they had this massive canvas, it was huge! I was sorely tempted but I figured there would be no way the Subway folk would let me on with it, or indeed would it of fitted in the doors…. so I left it but I did check online and I can get a pack of 3 of them for about 20 quid extra, delivered… I do like the option of having an art shop to go to if I need something in a hurry or more often than not just want to be inspired by product options. That’s usually what gives me ideas, having a snoop around and buying some odd items to experiment with. This time I didn’t get the big canvas, but I got a pot of black acrylic and a selection of spray can nozzles. Might make this a wee pre-tester for the big three……..

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