Tag Archives: Scottish Parliament

A Human Touch at the Scottish Parliament

This morning I was at The Scottish Parliament for the unveiling of ‘A Human Touch’ – an outdoor photography exhibition showcasing the impact human activity has had on the planet.

As part of The Edinburgh Science Festival this free open air gallery of stunning artwork will be on show until 20th May.

Amazing to see and beautiful in their own right each image tells a story that will make you think about your own impact on the earth. A must see.

Edinburgh Science Festival link

Scottish Parliament website

Climate Change demonstration sees thousands of postcards delivered to Nicola Sturgeon

ClimateChangeYesterday environmental campaigners gathered at the Scottish Parliament to give Nicola Sturgeon thousands of postcards asking for action against climate change.

The postcards, delivered by Stop Climate Chaos Scotland (SCCS), contain personal messages from members of the public, detailing the way things they care about are being threatened by climate change. I wish I could of sketched the above drawing on a postcard to pass on too!


I was passing by the Scottish Parliament yesterday when I noticed the large crowd who had gathered to demonstrate on Climate Change. Musicians were playing, kids running about and there was a happy vibe to proceedings, as representatives from various organisations all campaigning together stood up and said a few words to the crowd.


I like the idea of writing personal postcards from members of the public, rather than just a signature on a petition. I just hope Nicola has the time to read a few of them.


My drawing above is from the other side of the road looking on to the parliament. I liked the reverse showing of the ‘Climate Justice Now!’ banner. Sketched in pen with a watercolour wash. For more information from Stop Climate Chaos Scotland see the link below.


Stop Climate Chaos Scotland website

Holyrood Magazine




Equal rights in Scotland

RainbowFlagCelebrations in Edinburgh and throughout Scotland as the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood passed laws to legalise marriage between same sex couples.


Scotland became only the 17th country in the world to adopt the change and MSPs voted overwhelmingly in favour; 150 for, 18 against. The debate was bitterly fought by supporters and non-supporters, but for those celebrating today I feel the result stands for equality and a freedom of choice that many take for granted.

Five trees at the Scottish Parliament

ScottishParliament_TreesI walk through this park outside the Scottish Parliament most days, but today the colours of these five trees stopped me in my tracks.


I have tried to capture their beauty in the strong November sunshine with a touch of watercolour, on top of a black ink sketch drawn on location. The concrete seats in the foreground and angled pond to the right make up a beautifully landscaped garden, which today was full of the worlds media waiting on the SNP’s White Paper for Scottish Independence. I was looking the other way 🙂



  • The Scottish Parliament


A chilling reminder

GhostbikeToday’s sketch is a sombre scene from the Scottish Parliament. The mist falls on Arthur’s Seat behind two bicycles chained to railings. Both bikes are painted completely, tyres included, white.


The ‘Ghost bikes’ were positioned in front of the Scottish Parliament on Monday morning by a group of cyclists campaigning to make Scotland a safer place to cycle for everyone.

Ghost bikes have been used around the world to mark places where a fatal accident occurred, acting as both a memorial and a warning. The two bikes at Holyrood represent not just the nine people killed already this year on Scotland’s roads, but also the other 28 casualties since 2009.


I love cycling in Edinburgh and one day hope to encourage my young children to do the same. We all need to work together to make it safer to do so.


For more information visit the PedalonParliament website HERE.

A standing sketch

StandingStoneswebA little early for work on the bike provided an excuse for some pre-office sketching earlier this week, and a wander around the grounds of Dynamic Earth.

‘Our Dynamic Earth’ is an interactive and educational attraction which promises to take you on a journey through the planet’s past, present and future. Situated in between the Scottish Parliament and Arthur’s Seat the buildings landscaped grounds include exhibits of their own, including these standing stones.

Several towers of stones line the path up to ODE’s front door, I captured these ones in ink and watercolour with the parliament in the background.

Look out for the Giants…

GiantswebTake a look in the trees around the Scottish Parliament just now and you might think you are seeing things. Giant faces constructed out of wicker, tree branches and plants are likely to be looking down at you.


Part of the Year of Natural Scotland 2013, The City of Edinburgh Council and Historic Scotland have come together to bring these unique pieces of nature into Edinburgh, where they will hang, growing and changing with the seasons.

This afternoon I was there to sketch as the 6ft sculptures were raised into the trees just by the Park Ranger’s Cottage outside the Parliament.

Created by independent arts company Vision Mechanics, the giants in Holyrood Park are just part of the project, there are more in Yellowcraigs Forest  Falkland Palace and elsewhere in Scotland.

Vision Mechanics didn’t do it all themselves, children were there from local schools Abbeyhill and Royal Mile to add the finishing touches and most importantly; name the giants. This one I sketched is called ‘TreeRex’.


The heads will change as the seasons do as they have living and flowering plants amongst the branches so make sure you head down to the bottom of the Royal Mile, just past the Scottish Parliament and look up, or you’ll miss them.


For more information visit the Giants in the Forest website HERE.

A breath of fresh air

I escaped the office for 30 minutes today and found a wee haven of peace and tranquility in the Scottish Parliament’s sculptured gardens. Wild flowers have been planted along each raised bank. I could sketch from the variety of flowers, thistles and spiky leaved plants for hours. Especially in the sunshine which we had today, albeit with a scattering of showers which had me taking cover under the trees by Dynamic Earth.

If you fancy a break from the crowds of the Royal Mile and the fringe then just head down hill, to the Parliament.

Chilly courtyard

It was a bit nippy out yesterday, a strong sun shone on Edinburgh though so I hunted for a bench in the sunshine from which to sketch from. And I found one in the courtyard at the entrance to Palace of HolyroodHouse. You can see through the narrow passage over the road and onto the Scottish Parliament.

I had a quick look inside the parliament too, you can climb high to a public gallery and look down on the debating chamber. No time yesterday but a great place to sketch from.