Monday, 31 December 2012

What is... January

Happy New Year everyone!

If you have bought (or received) a copy of my 2013 wall calendar, I hope you enjoy it over the next 12 months. And if you are now wondering what each of the monthly images are, you've come to the right place! At the end of every month, I'll post on this site what the image for the following month is, and (if relevant) any story behind the image.

So without further ado, what is January?

...January's image is a wintery scene from Strathclyde Country Park of Hamilton Mausoleum.

My gran sent me the source photo, and this artwork was a warm-up sketch using a ballpoint pen & watercolour paint.
I was always fascinated by the strange looking building, which is easily visible from the M74 (near Motherwell/Hamilton/Glasgow), but only within the past few years have I become aware of what it actually is.
Hopefully news of what this image is hasn't given you the heebie-jeebies: But if so, sorry! On the plus side, there's only 31 days to go until you get a new image.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everybody!

A few hours ago, I (with a little "help" from the cat) made this quick painting, of a scene from what is possibly my favourite festive film: Elf (2003).

It's a pretty lousy effort, but the best I could do with limited time & all the cat's "help": While working on this, the wet cat decided to try making himself comfortable directly on my workspace, tried nicking several paintbrushes from my hand, and even pushed my tub of water away (almost spilling it over both the painting in progress & over a live extension cord on the floor below!)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

2013 wall calendars

I plan to release a new wall calendar for 2013, featuring prints of a variety of my artworks as seen on the Art of Andy R Macpherson facebook page.
The calendar will cost £8 each (excluding delivery), and be with you in time for Christmas.

If you are interested in placing an order, please contact me by Saturday, using either the facebook message button (on the above facebook page) or by e-mailing me at:

All orders will be submitted to the printers on Sunday, and then sent on to you as soon as I get them back (within a week or two).


Sunday, 18 November 2012

New curling portrait

My first watercolour painting in 4 months, based upon the same visual style of my only previous curling portrait (Eve Muirhead, completed very nearly 2 years ago).

I'm not completely happy with the finished outcome here, but thought I'd share it anyway, saying as I've done so little real painting this year.
I like the graphic style, and the colour scheme works okay (certainly better than it was half-way through), but the portraiture of the face is just too graphic/simple for my liking.
I think a bit more realism in the face is all that it needs to greatly enhance the overall image: But considering how little portraiture I've done recently, I can't complain.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Stirling Summer Skins 2012

Mario Brothers & Gang: AKA Cammy Smith, Robert Fawns, Duncan Menzies.

On Friday 3 August I visited The Peak, at Stirling Sports Village, for the annual Summer Skins curling competition - a very colourful out-of-season event that attracts curlers from both Scotland and abroad, of all ages & abilities: Beginners, club curlers, national champions, European champions, World Junior champions, etc!

Reigning European Women's Champions: Anna Sloan & Vicki Adams.

This was my second year at the event.
In 2011 I had finished my first season as an Ice Technician at Kinross Curling Rink, and so went along to the Summer Skins to see curling in a different format, and to film it for promotional purposes.
Having enjoyed it so much last year, I returned this summer to both film & photograph the event. It perhaps wasn't quite as colourful, but there were a fair few crazy characters: The Mario Brothers, Baywatch cast, Indiana Jones, Shaun The Sheep, Little Bo Peep, and a whole lot more, all made appearances on the ice!

Sheep & Bo Peeps: Chay Telfer, Mhairi Anderson, Claire Sloan, Graham Sheddon.

My photos have been online for just over 3 weeks now, and attracted a good number of new likes to my facebook page, which is greatly appreciated.

Not sure if that's Hammy McMillan Jr or Pamela Anderson.

Last night I finished editing the video footage, which is embedded below. It's double the duration of the previous video, but takes a completely different format, which I feel warrants the extra time. For example all of the "best-dressed" characters/teams each get their own segment, with related theme songs, which equates to roughly half the video; with the second half of the video being a compilation of everyone else, much like the 2011 video.

And while I'm talking about curling...
The new curling season will be getting under way soon. It is a very inclusive sport, suitable for everyone - yes, EVERYONE - and as well as being great for your general fitness, can be as fun or as serious as you want it to be. 
So if you are interested in taking-up curling as a new hobby, or just fancy having a little shot, now is your chance!
Ice rinks across Scotland will be hosting free Try Curling sessions, which are designed to give non-curlers a perfect introduction to the sport with qualified coaches, and none of the pressures that you may face by jumping-in at the deep end with experienced club curlers straight away.

Sorry for the wee sales pitch there! But as I've been posting a lot of curling-related artworks over the past year or two, I thought I'd mention it just incase I've sparked your interest in the sport.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Alex Salmond & Andy Murray cartoon: Olympic-special

Last night, ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Men's Singles Tennis Final that is just about to get underway (Andy Murray vs Roger Federer), I decided to give my previous Wimbledon cartoon a special make-over.
Instead of wearing his Wimbledon whites, I've painted Murray into his blue Team GB Olympic tennis outfit, and altered Salmond's caption.

Just 28 days ago, Andy Murray had the hopes of an entire nation on his shoulders, when he attempted to become Britain's first Wimbledon male singles champion in over 70 years by defeating none other than Roger Federer.
On that occasion it ended in heartbreak, but the emotions shown on court had won-over the admiration of many sceptic British tennis fans.

This afternoon is a near-identical rematch of that Wimbledon final: Same venue, same players, same hopes... The only difference being the awards to pick up at the end of the match.

Today, Andy Murray is already guaranteed at least an Olympic Silver medal (in both the Men's Singles & the Mixed Doubles with Laura Robson), but he will definitely be aiming for Gold in order to add to the impressive number of London 2012 gold medals already won by Scottish stars!

C'mon Andy!!!

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Wimbledon 2012 cartoon

Here's a wee cartoon I drew yesterday, in response to the outcome of the 2012 Wimbledon Men's Singles final between Andy Murray and Roger Federer.

Andy Murray, from Dunblane (Scotland), was playing in his fourth Grand Slam final; and the first Wimbledon final to feature a British man for 74 years.
His opponent, Roger Federer, from Basel (Switzerland), was aiming for a record-equaling seventh Wimbledon title, and his 17th Grand Slam title overall.

In reaching this stage of the tournament, Murray ensured himself, temporarily at least, a legion of new fans from across the United Kingdom - no easy achievement considering previous misunderstandings between the Scot and some British tennis fans south of the border.
But his outpouring of emotion during the prize-giving ceremony may just have endeared some of those ambivalent fans to him on a more permanent basis.

It was this situation that inspired the cartoon: Britain has been waiting several generations for a new home-grown Wimbledon champion, and in the build-up to Sunday's final, it seemed we were on the verge of finally getting him.
But having just collected his fourth Grand Slam runners-up trophy, British tennis fans will be waiting until the summer of 2013 before they can hope to see Murray go all the way again, and if he fails, the wait will go on until 2014.

With Alex Salmond and the Scottish National Party (SNP) desperate for Scotland to gain its independence from the rest of Great Britain (a referendum is likely to take place in 2014); and with Britain having no other male tennis players ready to make a strong challenge for the Wimbledon singles title any time soon: Britain is running out of time to end its championship-winning draught.

If Murray doesn't win the Wimbledon title as a British player within the next two or three years, there is a chance that he could win it further down the line - when Scotland is an independent nation and Murray is no longer considered a British player.

With that possibility, how easily would Scotland be granted its independence?

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Women's football painting: Glasgow City VS Spartans

Feeling inspired by my stint as a football photographer, I've just completed my first watercolour painting in 13 months... And it "only" took an entire month!!!

It's faaar from my best, but what should I have expected after not painting for so long!?

Until now, I had never really understood why they say that artists should draw/paint everyday: But now it is painfully clear - without regular practice the whole painting process becomes much slower, more frustrating, and generally difficult.

I recall the days of my 12fps Film-inspired Painting Series [late 2009], when I was painting almost every day, and could easily complete a new "masterpiece" (relatively speaking) after only a few hours.

...As they say "Oh how the mighty have fallen". So let this be a lesson to any other creative types reading!

I'll certainly be trying to paint more regularly now.

Scottish Women's Football 2012

Glasgow City (orange) VS Murieston Utd (blue/red). 10 June 2012.
Last summer I took my first foray into football photography, by covering a few league matches & an international friendly on behalf of Scottish Women's Football (SWF).
This summer I've been pitch-side again to photograph some relatively high-profile women's matches: The Premier League Cup Final, Second Division League Cup Final, (both games at Recreation Park, Alloa), and a Henson's Scottish Cup 2nd Round match in Livingston.
It has been a really enjoyable experience, and the developments that I've witnessed within the sport over the past year are very promising for its future growth within Scotland.

Hearts (maroon) VS Aberdeen Reserves (white). 20 June 2012. 
For example, many clubs are heavily promoting themselves on social networking sites; there are now a number of quality websites & reporters dedicated to the women's game in Scotland (see related links at bottom); and the mainstream media is slowly but surely getting around to featuring the sport on a bigger scale.
All this combined means that the sport has vastly grown; with bigger audiences, more commercial sponsorship, and a better standard of play on the pitch. But there is a very good reason for this rapid growth.

Glasgow City VS Murieston Utd. 10 June 2012.
Last summer, the Women's World Cup Final in Germany broke the record for most tweeted-about event, and worldwide interest in the sport has since soared.
In Scotland this rising interest was capitalised upon by SWF, which took to Twitter to engage the captive audience with a call-to-action, and soon enough a number of clubs, players, photographers, and reporters, were marketing the game to an ever-growing audience.
This was followed by Glasgow City FC, Scotland's leading women's club, progressing from the Women's Champions League qualifying round, and making it all the way to the last 16, where they were eventually knocked-out by 2x former champions, Turbine Potsdam.
Making this achievement all the more remarkable, is the fact that City (like all Scottish teams) are still an amateur club, with the squad playing around full-time jobs or university studies - whereas many of the Champions League teams were full-time professionals.

Glasgow City VS Spartans. 30 May 2012.
On an international scale too, while the Scotland men's team continue to stumble their way through matches and major qualifying campaigns (now ranked 49th in the world); the women's team are soaring from strength to strength (ranked 21st in the world).
The Scotland women currently sit second in their Euro 2013 qualifying group, behind undefeated leaders France (ranked 6th in the world), and need just one point from their two remaining games to be guaranteed a play-off spot!
If you have any interest at all in Scottish football, I'd really recommend getting yourself along to Tynecastle (Edinburgh) on 19th September to support the Scotland Women in their final Euro 2013 qualifying match against France. It should be a cracking game, and with tickets at only £5/adult (cheaper for kids), it's a real bargain!

Hearts celebrate winning the 2nd Division Cup Final. 20 June 2012.
Further proof of the impact Scottish women are having on the game at international level, include the fact that several players are now playing semi-pro football in the English FA Women's Super League. Meanwhile, Glasgow City's Jane Ross is one of only 3 non-English players selected for the Great Britain Women's Olympic team: And her former teammate, Lisa Evans, has just completed a transfer to Germany's Turbine Potsdam, where she will live her dream as a professional footballer!

Jane Ross (on ball) was recently selected for GB Olympic squad.
Lisa Evans (orange) in one of her last games before turning pro.
Scottish Women's Football is played on a summer season (unlike the men who play the traditional winter season), and has two national leagues (Premier & First Division), along with four regional Second Divisions.
If you need a footballing fix while the men are on holiday, why not give the women's game a shot? You may be pleasantly surprised...

Related links:
Scottish Women's Football (governing body).
SFA: Women's international fixtures.
The Away End

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Trick photography

I made these trick photos quite a while ago, but never got around to posting them on here, until now.
The images are inspired by the stunning work of Thomas Allen, whose working process & images were featured on my blog a few years ago.

"Injury talk gets [Andy] Murray's back up" (from Scotland on Sunday, May 27, 2012). 

"Leader Luke Donald straddles a dried-up ditch after hitting a water hazard" (from Scotland on Sunday, May 27, 2012).

"Bankfoot" (from Scotland on Sunday, May 27, 2012).

I had almost forgotten about his work until recently, but once I had re-discovered it, I was keen to make some new pictures based upon his style (albeit within a different context).

The images shown above are just a small sample of my recent trick photography work (you can find the others on my facebook page); and while some of them worked really well, I'm not sure that any worked as well as I had originally hoped for - but they were fun to make anyway!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Charles, Prince of Weather

On Thursday, 10 May 2012, Charles, Prince of Wales, became my new favourite weather presenter after giving a very entertaining one-off forecast to the nation on BBC Reporting Scotland: And soon after, he turned into the subject of my latest artwork.

Prince Charles hijacking the Reporting Scotland weather studio.

The special forecast came about during a visit to the BBC Scotland Pacific Quay studios in Glasgow as part of a week-long visit to the country; and soon enough was a viral hit all around the world.
If you were unlucky enough to have missed this TV gold, you can watch it on the BBC website by clicking here, or search for it on YouTube - either way, I doubt you will regret it!

Prince Charles was such a natural in front of the map, that I am pretty sure the regular weather presenters were getting concerned for their job security.
As a result, my wee caricature/cartoon, shows weather regular Stav Danaos trying to wrestle back the clicker thingy from Prince Charles, with Gillian Smart & Christopher Blanchett huddled in the corner bound in ropes, while former weather girl Cat Cubie makes a triumphant return by utilising her circus skills and a hoop in the rafters to come to the rescue.

It was drawn with pencil on A5 paper, and coloured with Photoshop, using a style reminiscent of many classic animations from my time at Edinburgh College of Art.

One week after Prince Charles made his weather debut, I posted the finished picture to my facebook page & profile, where it has proven surprisingly popular, and even received a comment from the one and only Cat Cubie!
As if that wasn't enough, I later discovered that she had shared the picture (and my website) with her near 4000 followers on Twitter, which made my day!

A screenshot of what Cat said on Twitter about my cartoon

Saturday, 12 May 2012

Some new work (at long last!)

Hello everybody, sorry for my long absence and lack of updates.

But here's the good news: I've recently re-ignited my creative spark, and occupied myself with a number of new caricature drawings over the past week!

Only a couple of them are completely coloured so far, but you will soon be able to find them all (including "work in progress" images) on my facebook page - please "like" it if you haven't already.

My favourite caricature so far, of 2012 World Snooker Championship finalists Ronnie O'Sullivan & Ali Carter, is embedded below.

I'll add a whole load of in-progress images to the facebook page tomorrow, and hopefully have a load more work posted soon.

Stay tuned, (I promise it won't be as long a wait as last time)!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Kinross Christmas Cue Curling Championships video

Here's an amusing sport highlights video that I made over the festive period, but forgot to post on here (until now).

It was filmed one afternoon at my place of work, Kinross Curling Rink, while two of my colleagues played in the Grand Final of our little one-day tournament (following a long pre-Christmas maintenance week).

The full video required about 2 weeks for all the voice recording, graphic designing, editing etc, which is a lot more time than I originally planned to spend on it, but I think the end result was well worth it.

If you don't follow the sport of curling, you will likely have no idea what is going on! So here's a little guide to help:
- There are two players, who will both use a cue (stick thing) to propel heavy rocks down a sheet of ice towards a target at the far end of the ice (similar to shuffleboard, or vaguely like golf).
- Alternating after every stone, both players will throw a total of 8 stones each, before any points are scored.
- Points can only be scored by having stones in the round target (AKA: the House) at the far end of the ice.
- Only one player can score at a time, and they will get one point for each of their stones that sit closer to the centre of the House than their opponent's stones (therefore a player could potentially score anything between 0-8 at a time).
- In this competition, the Grand Final is being played to a distance of 2 Ends, meaning that they will throw all the stones down the ice once and count the score from that End; then they will throw all the stones back up to a House at the side of ice they started from, and count the score again for that second End: Whichever player has scored the most points will win the overall game.
- In the case of a tie, both players will do a Draw Shot Challenge to decide the winner, whereby each player will throw only 1 stone (down the ice to the far House), while aiming for it stop as close to the centre of the House as possible. The smallest distance from the centre wins.

This guide is specific for our tournament only - regular curling is played for about 2 hours (about 8 ends of play), and the cue/stick is only used as an aid for players with knee or back problems... For an idea of what regular/professional curling looks like, watch this short video clip (don't let the amazing shot fool you into thinking it's an easy game!):