Edinburgh Escapism


I recently moved to Edinburgh and am still configuring its layout and exploring the city almost a month later. I feel this sense of exploration will be constant the whole time I am here. Edinburgh is one of those cities where you are never stuck for things to do, or places to see, or areas to explore. For someone who enjoys long head clearing walks as much as me, it is the perfect place. Yes, during tourist and Fringe Festival season the streets were packed; people crammed against each other on the pavement unable to overtake or cut through the crowd to cross the road. It was heaving. Now that the Festival is over, it has quietened down somewhat. Much to my relief, as I am not a huge crowd fan. I am however, an architecture lover and here in Edinburgh, everywhere you look there are beautiful buildings! There’s the Castle on the hill, there is the quaint area of Stockbridge which was so picturesque I didn’t mind getting lost! There are streets filled with older buildings, the  Scottish National Galleries boasting proud pillars at their entrance, the train station even sits nestled opposite Princes Street Gardens. I feel like I am having an affair behind the back of all the other cities I have visited given Edinburgh is all so breathtaking!


It is a truly beautiful place and having visited Berlin this summer and been so consumed by its incredible culture, I can’t help feeling that a bubbling city like this is the creative starting point for me. It’s the energy, it’s the atmosphere; both of which are infectious. I’ve visited Edinburgh for countless day trips in the past, so it’s strange having to remind myself I am now a resident needing to commit an Edinburgh postcode to memory! Although it’s going to take some adjustment and I am still settling in, I am of course very excited by it all. Who isn’t with a city move?I feel as if the city has been waiting for me. As if this was the place I was meant to come back to. It’s funny how humans can have such an affinity with a place, but I feel with the countless art exhibitions and the constant creativity, this city could not be more perfect for someone like me. It’s picturesque and it’s peaceful. I have recently spent a lot of time sat reading in the Gardens, just people watching and absorbing the city and it’s occupants.


I think contemplation is incredibly important during times of change and transition. Fortunately I have had the time for that this summer. Usually life is so busy and consuming that we forget to stop and think. We forget to put our phones down and not check them constantly. We forget to look out the window instead of choosing a playlist. We forget to be dreamers and instead glue ourselves to screens. People in airports, people on trains, they are all frantically typing away, scrolling down their tablets. I often feel saddened by this, because with all the days in our diaries crammed full of meetings and appointments, it’s difficult to slow down and tear yourself off the rollercoaster of life. Which is why I think this move has been so good for me. I am guilty of being consumed by the pressures of modern life; of forgetting to eat lunch and running from one meeting to the next. Yet I feel Edinburgh is a place where I can still balance a crazy, wild schedule, yet also make time for myself within the city.


I feel that the amount of greenery everywhere in Edinbrugh provides a refreshing escapism from the rooms we occupy. Glancing round, there isn’t just granite and infrastructure, but vast expanses of nature serving a reminder that our busy lives are just a tiny microcosm in the universe. Little streams that gush and flow, the roses in the Gardens, the bees humming through the trees and the squirrels tamely venturing out all exist quite happily alongside the dull thrum of traffic and trams. All of the natural elements provide a reminder that we can stop and look. We can breathe in and think. We can sit down and we can start again.

Life Drawing Inspiration

michaelangelo copy

Yes it worked! I’ve got your attention with this muscly naked man! Woo, what I would do to have abs like that…Right, enough swooning. This is a direct copy of a Michelangelo sketch (and if you don’t know who that is please go and hide under a rock). Below is the original:


I know I said I don’t copy art much, well I lied. I did it quite a lot when I was younger. I just found it soothing. I got to draw without actually having to think anything up. I guess it’s kind of the lazy way of making art. There’s been a lot of debate about this actually. Yes still life work looks lovely and you can hang it on your wall etc etc, but how much skill does it really take? Conceptual art is far more challenging as you’re actually having to think things up and create something from nothing. All very interesting and a debate that I’m sure would get very heated with a lot of people. So for now I’m just going to avoid the controversy.

schiele copy      egooonnn

Left: my copy of Egon Schiele’s sketch, Right: Egon Schiele’s sketch.

I think it is safe to say Egon Schiele is one of my ALL TIME favourite artists! His work is just so stylised and expressive. Gruesome in a sense even. I don’t know what the majority of people think about it, they probably think it’s a bit creepy or there are far too many vaginas going on. But personally, I love it all! It’s all just so scratchy and scrawly. Schiele is one artist who definately understands mark-making! You can see where he’s put pressure on his pencil, you can see how successful his limited colour palettes are with yellows and reds often featuring. He’s got a very interesting history to accompany his art as well. He was an art school drop out. He was also mentored by Gustav Klimt (lucky sod!) He was jailed at one point and a lot of his work that was deemed ‘pornographic’ was confiscated. I always think the personality of the artist goes hand in hand with the art work and in Schiele’s case this is definately evident. He was a notorious womaniser and his work truly reveals his raw sexuality. I love imitating his bony, almost anorexic-looking creations.


Life Drawing

Life Drawing

I remember my first Life Drawing class. I was sixteen. The model walked in and removed her dressing gown. I felt ridiculously uncomfortable. There were three boys in my class and they were smirking and trying not to giggle. The room was unbearably hot to stop the model getting cold. My teacher walked over and directed the model into a pose. I prayed I got the back of her so I didn’t have to look at any intimate parts. Just my luck, I got the view with everything! I didn’t know where to look! But once we started drawing I wondered what the hell I was worried about. It was just a naked body after all. And this naked female body felt like the most interesting thing I had ever drawn! The curves and shadows, the folds of skin and the wrinkle creases, the muscle tone. I was hooked. Life Drawing became one of the highlights of my week. Looking and studying the human body as it moved, as it maintained a position over a set amount of time, at the shadows falling across it. This was where my love of studying the human form truly set in and I have never looked back since.