I knew I hadn’t written anything for a while but didn’t realise how long. With public places opening up again I had hoped to be able to show my work, from the previously cancelled exhibition last year, at NTS Inverewe but everything in the arts there seem to still be on hold. Maybe next year? Due to lack of storage I have started to put some of this work out elsewhere at the Torridon Centre to be precise and was happily surprised by a sale not long after delivery. https://www.lochtorridoncentre.co.uk/gallery-exhibitions
As a member of An Talla Solais ( Ullapool) I have submitted two pieces to the members show which is live this year. It was lovely to go in and see all the other artworks first hand again. This is a lovely exhibition space run by a dedicated group of people but sadly the lease for the premises runs out in the Autumn but contingency plans are afoot. The members exhibition can also be viewed on line here: https://www.antallasolais.org/members-2021-introduction
Not long to go until I’m off to Ullapool to do a course at BridgeHouse Art. I’m really looking forward to being in the company of like minded people and hope to learn a thing or two in the process. Hope the weather behaves and the midges keep at bay. https://www.bridgehouseart.co.uk/
It’s lovely to see a bit of colour from the spring flowers as well as the extended daylight hours. I was disappointed but not surprised that my exhibition at Gairloch Museum could not be shown (March-April) due to the ongoing restrictions. However it has been rescheduled for beginning September, here’s hoping all being well.
I am now working on a large (100 x 130 cm.) canvas which is a commission and the largest surface I have painted on to date. The brief is : abstract,sea, rocks, west coast blues and browns. I am finding it quite a challenge but after a week of painting, re painting and changing the composition I feel I am getting somewhere. However I feel it is more expressionist than true abstract. As it is for one of my daughters I hope she will be sympathetic.
It’s great to hear of businesses getting ready to open up again which includes the galleries, museums etc. An Talla Solais in Ullapool are hoping to have a live members show this year so will be sending some work into this soon.
So have missed January out, not much to report really. I don’t really like January as it always seems to be a bit of an in limbo situation. The expectations of starting a new year but nothing really seems to change. It’s dark and cold, not very inspiring. This year was already blighted by the covid situation, and on it goes. February is beginning to look better especially daylight lengthening and the prospect of the vaccine paving the way to more normal times although think it’s a long way off yet.
We have been lucky ,this month, with some stunning weather in our corner of NW Scotland which is heartening.
I have been making new work for my next exhibition at Gairloch Museum which should be starting at the beginning of March but will have to see what happens re covid lockdown possibly being extended. So much uncertainty but need to be prepared.
Not much to report really, like everyone else. Just painting and going out for walks to pass the time.
Well nearly at the end of the year and what a year it has been but there does seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel with the roll out of the vaccine but we are not out of the woods yet.
At the beginning of the lock down earlier this year I found it easy to make work and felt more freedom to experiment with my abstract work but as time has gone on the impetus has lessened. I feel this is partly due to not being able to get inspiration from visiting live exhibitions. I really appreciate the efforts that have been put into creating on line exhibitions which I have avidly followed but its just not the same as seeing work in the flesh.
I am currently making work for an exhibition at the Gairloch Museum early next year. Hopefully it will go ahead. I still have all my work for a previously cancelled show earlier this year which should have been at the Sawyer Gallery at Inverewe Garden. There is talk of trying to get this fitted in next year but we’ll just have to wait and see.The upshot is I am amassing lots of work and running out of storage space. I realise I am not the only artist in this predicament.
I have been enjoying watching The Portrait Artist of the Year on Sky Arts and really admire the the winning artist,Curtis Holder’s beautiful mark making technique. A worthy winner.
I also enjoyed Grayson Perry’s Art Club and subsequent exhibition as seen on t.v. Oh and not to forget a great programme featuring Maggie Hambling a true artist.
I hope next year will be a bit more inspiring and wish everyone good health and happiness as well as lots of creativity. Best wishes for 2021.
Another lapse in time since my last blog. I’ve never known time to pass so quickly. I’ve been thinking about writing this for ages but like most people I know, I don’t feel I’ve got much to tell.
I read about a collaborative exhibition being staged by the current intern at Circus Artspace in Inverness so submitted two works in the form of post cards for their Liminal exhibition(on line). https://www.circus.scot/liminal-lives-showcase
Other than that have been painting, making collages and generally experimenting. Oh yes nearly forgot we took a run over to Shieldaig to visit Lisa Fenton’s open studio. It was great to have a face to face, well facemask to fasemask chat with a fellow artist and enjoyed viewing her work as well as her lovely studio. https://www.lisafenton.co.uk/blue-roof-studio
An Talla Solais gallery, Ullapool is now open again along with The Cabinet, a small retail area in the gallery so have been able to drop some cards and a couple of paintings for sale in the shop bit. https://www.antallasolais.org/
This year the members show is going to be on line so have submitted a couple of paintings for this too. See An Talla link for info.
We’ve been having some great weather which led to an abundance of sweetpeas in the garden We managed to give away about twenty bunches to passers by .
Also a good opportunity to do some flower painting.
I have just been out rescuing the last bunch, although they look good from the distance the overnight frost has spoiled them a bit.
Really looking forward to being able to socialize again and meet up with other creatives, whenever that will be.
What happened to June? In spite of still being in lock down it has flown by. What have I done? Created some more artwork for my ever expanding collection, wish the walls of my studio would expand to hold it all! Have had a mega clear out of linen and clothes but still have them in black bags waiting for when the charity shop can collect. Have tried a bit of dressmaking (shirt actually) inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee. That was a bit of a disaster as the pattern was a tad complicated for someone who hasn’t sewn anything for years.
I’ve had a go at some of the Hospitalfield Free Drawing classes on Monday mornngs as well as the Weekly Word Challenge which is now called Talk and Task https://www.bridgehouseart.co.uk/ This is free and worth having a look at if you need to get a kick start creatively.
I have been trying a different approach to landscape painting using brighter colour and experimenting with texture.
Still all in lock down due to the pandemic but time is fleeting by. In spite of not being able to go out and about as much as we would like I can honestly say that apart from not being able to meet up with my friends and the family not being able to visit I haven’t really minded, However I am lucky to live in a quiet rural area with plenty of walks on my doorstep and have my studio located in the house where time just doesn’t really have any boundaries.
Have been trying to keep up with various on line arty things but find I’m lagging behind due to making work in my studio. I did have a go at the live life drawing class on BBC 4 (I think) last week and was absolutely exhausted after two hours of drawing. Really enjoyed it though but obviously need to do it on a regular basis to get the creative flow going. I also bought a short on line course from Bridge House Art
They have several to choose from as well as some free options. I have a course booked there in July doing Experimental Drawing but not sure if it will go ahead or not.
I entered and had two artworks accepted for an on line exhibition on the island of Lewis. This can be viewed at Hulabhaig , Uig Open. Re-Imagined on line. Hulabhaig
Talking of exhibitions I have the honour of being asked to be one of the judges for an art competition for Scottish members being run by the University of the Third Age. (U3A)
Apart from all the creative stuff, I have been doing a bit of gardening, going for walks and a modicum of housework. As well as baking and eating too many biscuits.
Well with everything grinding to a halt and unable to get out and socialise as before there has been a huge surge of on line art related videos and tutorials so no excuse. However I did find it quite difficult to get motivated for a while but I don’t think I’m alone. The Society of Scottish Artists have created a facebook page for members to exhibit work priced £50 or under to help ease the lack of selling opportunities due to cancelled exhibitions. Look at SSA
Ian Mckay editor of Art North has also offered to show some of this work in a virtual gallery he has set up in order to allow artists to continue to exhibit and sell their work. See projectroom2020
I’ve been trying to keep up with a daily sketchbook challenge on facebook but have had a bit of a lapse. It is interesting to see how other people use their sketchbooks though. In a time of crisis it is amazing how generous artists are in sharing their knowledge for free through on line tutorials.
I have managed to do some painting, getting back to playing with colour and abstraction. I love the initial spontaneity of working like this then the more thoughtful observation and pulling together to create a well balanced and interesting composition.
Latest work on paper using mixed media. 120 x 80 cm
Another wet and windy month and to top it all the dreaded virus which has had a global impact on how we live. Circumstances are changing daily with many businesses being hit which could cause financial ruin for many. The immediate future is looking bleak for our community on the West coast which relies heavily on seasonal tourism. I myself have spent the last six or seven months building up a collection of work for an exhibition opening at the end of the month at the National Trust for Scotland, Inverewe garden . Understandably the preview evening has been cancelled but the show is to go on along with other exhibitions in different parts of the property. I can’t help feeling that this may also change. Inverewe Garden attracts thousands of visitors every year but can’t see this happening this year. So we’ll just have to wait and see. Obviously the most important thing is the health and safety of the public.
The past few weeks have been spent framing and tidying up work and in some cases totally repainting a couple. Just have to think of prices now which I never find easy.
We did have a lovely sunny day last Saturday which was spent outside as much as possible. My partner set to work cutting back the willows and I’ve managed to plant another double row for windbreaks. It’s amazing the difference a bit of sunshine makes, hope there’s more to come…SOON!
It’s a bit of a mixed collection but felt I was really beginning to loosen up towards the end. It really is beneficial to paint everyday if possible. The picture below is my favourite out of all the work.
Getting behind with my posts again. Well January is past, a month of wind and rain, depressing to say the least. There were probably odd days of fair weather but I can’t remember any. February is turning out to be the same, hopefully it will come to an end sometime soon. At least the days are beginning to lengthen which is always welcome.
I have been busy making work for my up and coming exhibition at Inverewe in the Sawyer Gallery at the end of March. Must admit I’m ready to start something different now. The theme for the exhibition is coasts and water and at this point I’m ready to go all out spontaneous. lyrical abstraction or figurative still life. Anyway it’s all taking shape.
Have just found some notes I made in January whilst sitting watching cloud formations moving across the sky. Admiring the heavy greys and pinks of the clouds against blue patches of sky and wondering what would be the best way to portray this. As the weather started to close in concealing the blue bits I started to think about using the elements themselves to create art. Possibly water based colour washed strong paper put out to be battered by hail or snow leaving a residue of marks. Or maybe tinted paper left at the edge of the sea to get a reading of the tidal action. Then of course the ever abundant wind could play its part in blowing, sticks, feathers , rope or whatever (tied to something) to create marks. It’s probably all been done before but so has applying paint by hand, brush or knife and indeed pouring and throwing. No harm in experimenting, in fact it is the way to move forward. Needless to say I haven’t actually ventured out into the tempest yet but definitely thinking about it.
Enjoyed a visit to Inverness to see Scottish Ballet perform The Snow Queen. A welcome cultural fix then onto Inverness Museum and Art Gallery to view an exhibition of large abstract paintings by Jim Mooney
This exhibition is on until 7 March. I could have done with a bit longer to study the work so don’t feel I can justifiably discuss it but what hit me right away was the size, which I loved and the vibrant colour. Think I need to try some large scale work now.
Whilst in town I took the opportunity to visit The Upstairs Gallery where I will be exhibiting next year. This is a small space situated in the offices ofHRI/Munro architects
I wanted to get a look at the space as well as meet Jayne who is the curator so my thoughts are now working on this future exhibition which will be largely made up of colla
Here is a preview of some work for the Inverewe exhibition.
Moon over Gruinard Island Acrylic on canvas 40 x 40 cm.