November

This month has been mainly taken up with creating new work for next years exhibition as well as showing work at Torridon Community hall and Strathpeffer Art fair. I also have work in the An Talla Solais members show in Ullapool. This show is well worth a visit with so many talented artists/makers showing a diverse range of work.

I had the pleasure of taking part in a residency at Inverewe House organised by the Scottish Artists Union. I really enjoyed being in the company of fellow artists as well as learning how to constructively critique work by other artists in a positive way. Demonstrations were also given on how to make rope from grass by Caroline Dear as well as using natural plant dyes by Louise Barrington

Often feeling a bit isolated as an artist it was lovely to have the opportunity to chat with others about their work.

So as mentioned I am busy building up a body of work on the the theme of coastal waters for next year. I feel I should keep it under wraps at the moment.

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Rope made from grass.

September/October

Seem to have bypassed September altogether. I enjoyed meeting David Sandum Artist in residence at Inverewe Garden. He started off with empty gallery walls creating work every day to fill up the space, no mean feat. His brightly coloured images were fresh and appealing. It’s always good to see how other artists make work. What a nice genuine fellow who was happy to talk to everyone about his work as well as sharing his mental health issues which he has managed to virtually overcome through his art practice. I look forward to meeting him again in a couple of years when he returns to Inverewe.

The next exhibition, after David, at the Sawyer Gallery Inverewe is a collaboration between six former residency artists entitled Wise Women and The Earth. Although all  different in their art practices they managed to create a coherent exhibition using sculpture, words, song, storytelling, painting and research based material. For me the highlights  were the Work of Joanne B Kaar who after researching folklore associated with Inverewe created a bag of lost mail which was beginning to turn up with letters from all over the world addressed to Osgood MacKenzie, who established Inverewe in the late 1800s, bearing plant seeds and other garden related bits and pieces. I also enjoyed listening to Dorje Khandro Dawid, singing and telling stories. Also a first for Inverewe is the sound installation made up of three movements throughout the garden.

The artists taking part in this exhibition are:

Lynn Bennet-Mackenzie    Visual Artist

Ann Coomber    Sculptor

Dorje Khandro Dawid     Singer, Songwriter and storyteller

Mandy Haggith     Wordsmith

Joanne B Kaar    Research based artist

Kathy Sutherland    Painter

More info can be found at   Inverewe

Had a few days away last week and was able to visit the Linda McCartney exhibition of photographs at Kelvingrove Art Gallery. An interesting mix of family and celebrity photos all taken in a relaxed and intimate manner, Prior to this I visited the GOMA Glasgow but was yet again disappointed. I always find this gallery somewhat disjointed and difficult to follow the thread of the exhibitions. Maybe its just me.

Next day I went to the City Gallery Edinburgh and really enjoyed viewing the Victoria Crowe 50 Years of Painting exhibition. Could have done with a bit longer to really study her work and technique. Anyway I had really gone to Edinburgh to visit the Cut and Paste exhibition at the GOMA. This charted the history of early collage work up to the 20th century. I was delighted to be able to view an original Alberto Burri and enjoy his use of texture and subtle colour. Was a bit disappointed there was no work by Sandra Blow but there was plenty more  to feast the eye. It’s all a bit of a blur now and don’t know why I haven’t a catalogue to refresh my memory. So that was my cultural trip but just have to mention one more outing which has nothing to do with art but needs a mention. I went with my daughter to Oran Mor, Byres Road, Glasgow to see The Music of Cream concert. The original band was one of my favourites in the late 60s and funnily enough my daughter remembers me playing their music when she was little. So this band is made up of the late Ginger Baker’s son, the son of Jack Bruce and nephew of Eric Clapton, all the original line up and the music was phenomenal. I have to say I think my daughter was the youngest person there.

So I’m now getting new work together for an exhibition around Easter next year as well a putting work into some local shows before Christmas.

August

This has been a busy month what with visitors and getting work ready for exhibiting. The Inverewe exhibition came down on the 4th to make way for the next group of exhibitors then it was off to Cromarty on the 6th to hang my work at the Stables Gallery. This venue is a beautiful Georgian stable block and yard which has a fabulous gallery space as well as studio spaces in the large horse stalls for various artists. I mentioned before how pleased I was to be invited to exhibit with the Cromarty Group and I would just like to mention what a lovely group of people they are. They were so welcoming and helpful which made the whole experience enjoyable and relaxed as I was a tad nervous of how my work would fit in with theirs as they hadn’t really seen it before. Anyway they seemed happy enough to have it in their show. This whole experience has given me a real confidence boost. There has been a steady stream of visitors to the exhibition with several sales, two of which were mine I’m happy to say. See link: Cromarty Group

This exhibition ends on Sunday 18th August.

Earlier in the month I paid a visit to the WASPS open studios at Inverness Creative Academy. I enjoyed chatting to different artists and makers and loved the idea of this community being able to work and interact with each other under the same roof.

Having another go at making space in my studio, it does look a bit better now and feels more spacious but for how long?

Looking forward to going to Inverewe tomorrow to see what artist in residence David Sandum has been up to and how he is interpreting the garden.  See: https://www.galleriesatinverewe.org/

 

June

It’s actually July now, tempus fugit. Trying to recap on what happened in June. The exhibition at Inverewe has been extended until August due to the late start. I have been lucky so far that three of my paintings have gone to new homes. Likewise at  the Torridon Centre gallery more work has been sold. I have landscape paintings on show here which have been inspired by last years residency with David Tress at ,North West Highlands Art ,based at Achintraid, Loch Kishorn. I’ve always been interested in creating work with uneven edges and really enjoy the way  David Tress portrays the North West landscape encapsulating the power of the light and elements. I feel this course has helped free up my application of paint but still have a long way to go.

We had a weeks visit to Gibraltar which for me was like going home in a way as I spent four years there as a child and it has always been in my heart. I loved seeing the old part of the town, places I remembered but not so sure about all the new multi story buildings on reclaimed land but people need housing and the Rock is very small. We managed to view some art by local artists from the past and present. The gallery for contemporary art is a fantastic space for exhibiting in. Situated in a large concrete bastion it has an interesting layout of small side rooms as well as the main space lending itself to a variety of installation possibilities.

Visiting the  Mario Finlayson National Art Gallery I particularly liked the work of Gibraltarian artist Leni Misfud (1906 -1989). Largely self taught she created vibrant  impressionist style paintings.

Came home full of ideas the biggest one was getting a larger studio but this has not been successful so just have to knuckle down and have a good clear out to make more room. How many ‘useful’ bits of paper does one need to keep for potential collages anyway?! The studio is looking bigger already, just need to tackle the sink area and possibly get rid of some books. Tried this already and they all ended back on the shelves….need more shelves.

The Cromarty exhibition is getting closer so am busy framing work for this, looking forward to it. 10 Aug – 18th Aug at the Stables gallery in Cromarty on the Black Isle.

May

The exhibition is now up at the newly refurbished visitor centre at Inverewe Garden in Poolewe. It is a really nice space for exhibiting and I have some work on show with various other artists including another painter, two sculptors a poet and an author.

Other exhibiting artists:

Kathy Sutherland

Leon Patchett

Ann Coomber

Ian Stephen

  Joanne B Kaar

  Jill Holmes

Channy Awbe

Exhibition InvereweP1040901
Inverewe exhibition. 15 April – 28 June 2019

I recently attended an event at An Talla Solais to hear the two current exhibitors discussing their work and comparing the process of making. The exhibition Stillness and Flow  features watercolours relating to the landscape of Shetland  by Peter Davis and Orkney by Susan MacIntosh.

Davis’s work evokes a feeling of place through his manipulation of water tinted with sometimes the merest hint of pigment and allowed to run over the wet surface. I was intrigued to hear that he actually freezes  pigmented water and allows it to melt gradually over the surface. Living in Shetland, an often wet,rainy island Davis has really summoned up the spirit of the land, sea and weather using water which, after all is a major  contributing factor to the changing  light and essence of space.

MacIntosh interprets the landscape differently but also using copious amounts of water but stronger colour and texture. She seems to be more bound to the physicality of her surroundings and the historical, sometimes mystical bond between early civilizations with the earth. In comparison to Davis’s work hers is on a much bigger scale, made on large sheets of paper and presented without frames or boundaries.

See current exhibition  Stillness and Flow 

Talking of exhibitions I am very pleased to have been invited to exhibit with the Cromarty Group in August so am busy preparing work for this.

 

April

April seems to have slipped by quickly, perhaps due to the lovely weather we’ve been having. I delivered some work to the Torridon Centre for the new exhibition starting this month , The Living Land Sea and Sky  14th May – 31 Aug.  As it was a lovely day we went via Lochcarron to visit   Aileen Grant’s  Open Studio where we enjoyed looking at her collection of landscape paintings and prints as well as her lovely new studio.

I spent an enjoyable day last Saturday in Ullapool at An Talla Solais doing a painting workshop tutored by Eleanor White, experimenting with ways of painting plants and flowers in conjunction with the current exhibition, BOTANICAL, at An Talla Solais Gallery

Have been out and about sketching, a couple of days at Poolewe by the riverside and Inverewe Garden then over to Laide looking out from the old cemetery. Have managed to get a couple of small paintings from these sketches.

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Sketchbook Birchtrees
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Silver Birches, River Ewe 20 x 20 cm. approx. Mixed media on paper

 

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Sketchbook View from Laide
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Towards Priest Island from Laide 23 x 27 cm approx. Mixed media on paper

We recently had a huge wild fire not far from my house ,whilst fascinating to watch I couldn’t help thinking about the poor little creatures caught up in the mayhem. I sat in the dark watching the flames fluctuating against the smokey sky and decided the next day to paint the experience, trying to describe the intense glow of the fire reflecting in the milky smoke.

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Muirburn, Nightime

 

I was most surprised to receive an e mail from Sky Arts Landscape Artist of The Year 2019  saying that after seeing some of my work via the the Society of Scottish Artists website would I be interested in applying. I did give it some thought but don’t think its for me really. Even if successful enough to get into the main competition the thought of being filmed painting would be quite stressful although being part of the wildcard artists would be more enjoyable. So if anyone is interested you have until May 11th to apply to:

Sky Arts

Now busy getting work ready for exhibiting at NTS Inverewe Garden to be delivered next week.

See new work here Paintings  

and sketchbooks   Sketchbooks

 

 

 

 

March

Looking back I don’t seem to have achieved much this month. We finally got our raku efforts finished off, well what survived the first firing and indeed the final firing. It was interesting to see how the glazes reacted to he various elements with unexpected results. I now have a flotilla of three boats on the front door step and two dodgy looking bowls. Wouldn’t mind giving it another go though.

Been busy sorting work out to show at Inverewe as well as getting some new cards printed.

Don’t know if it’s just me, I suspect it’s not, but as an artist I get quite despondent about my work. Anyway had a boost last week when one of the Black Isle Abstract artists phoned up to say he had been looking at my work on line and really liked it. Hope this might lead to greater things but if not it certainly raised my spirits.

http://www.black-isle-abstract.co.uk/

As well as painting I am building up a collection of small collages which at some point I would like to show as a body of work. Using torn and cut paper or whatever else I find to make interesting abstract colour and textural images. These sometimes also work as studies for larger paintings .

For new work click on link below.

Paintings