Tag Archives: lighthouse

Just off the easel …

Dubh Artach Lighthouse

Dubh Artach Lighthouse
57x57cm
Acrylic on plywood

This newly finished painting is off to Frames Gallery in Perth soon for their winter show, which opens on 16th Nov.

Dubh Artach Lighthouse sits on an isolated basalt rock which protrudes just 35 meters above sea level at the head of a deep, 80 mile long submarine valley. The strong Atlantic currents rush in along the valley towards the Rhinns of Mull a few miles east before rising up and around the rock, causing a maelstrom of turbulence.

The lighthouse was begun in 1867 following the previous winter’s storms, which sunk 27 vessels in the area. It was built by David and Thomas Stevenson (Robert Louis’ father) to warn ships approaching Oban through the Firth of Lorne and stands 107 feet high above the rock base and is 37 feet in diameter. An incredible feet of engineering considering its extremely remote location 16 miles from land and the rock’s tiny size! It could only be worked on at low tide in calm weather over the 5 years it took to build. Many of the workers lived on the rock in a small hut built on stilts during that time. It was automated in 1971, but it must have been a dreaded posting for many Scottish lighthouse keepers during its 101 years of being occupied.

So here it is, flashing its first beam of the night on a relatively calm summer evening.

New media and new work for sale at St Columbus Hospice Art Friends Exhibition

Bass Rock (Blue)
Acrylic on plywood
66x38cm

It’s been a while since I last posted anything here but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping busy. In fact, it’s because I have been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to get near my website to update it.

During the past few months I’ve taken to painting with acrylics on wood panels primed with gesso and I have to say that, despite not being one for regrets, I wish I’d done so much earlier. I love it!

The above painting of the Bass Rock (always a favourite subject of mine) is my first painting using acrylics and below is the second. I’ll continue to paint with oils for certain things, but for the time being acrylics are the way forward! Painting with them is so much quicker and easier for me and I can’t tell the difference in the end result. I always struggled with the fumes involved with turpentine, not to mention the sometimes ridiculously long drying times, which often mean waiting days if not weeks before the next colours could be layered on top of previous ones. I’m quite an impatient and impulsive person at the best of times and I like to work with a certain immediacy backed by intuition and feel, then step back to assess the results before getting on with the next stage. And because I like to work in layers across the whole picture the fast-drying nature of acrylic paint suits both my temperament and working methods perfectly.

Bass Rock (Pink)
Acrylic on plywood
66x36cm

I imagine the reason it took me so long to give them a go was because of the significant expense I’d already laid out on oil paint and the sundry materials required to get the best from them. It also meant a large initial investment in all my usual colours of artist-quality paints in the new binding medium (the pigments are exactly the same and isn’t that what really counts?!).

I think there’s also a certain historical stigma or bias (even snobbery?) attached to various methods and painting media – within the artistic community and among collectors, the public at large etc – which has meant that oil paint is sometimes seen to be king and the other binding agents are classed somewhere lower down the pigment-carrying rankings. And while there’s an obvious difference in the look and feel of a pastel, an oil or a watercolour painting of the same subject, I don’t really see much difference in the quality between oils and acrylics. I never really understood why say watercolour is often seen as a very poor relation when some of the finest artworks ever created were done in that medium (Albrecht Dürer’s Young Hare, for example). But maybe I’ve been guilty myself of a little snobbery on that front too in the past. No more!

But the other big change for me has been using good quality plywood, which has a lovely grain and firm surface and is a pleasure to layer paint on, thick or thin. (I never had a great love for the ‘giving’ nature of canvas!) Adding gesso as a primer allows even more texture for creating interesting marks and runs of thin paint, which I also love to do.

So I’ve just primed a stack of plywood ready for painting a series of Bass Rocks of various colours and moods. The above ones are the first of many to come and they will be available for sale later this week at the 2018 Art Friends of St Columbus Hospice show, details of which can be found below.

http://www.stcolumbashospice.org.uk/the-art-friends-of-st-columbas-hospice/ 

Showing at ArTay 2018, Perth Festival of The Arts 17-20 May and now at The Green Gallery, Dollar

 

St Monans Harbour (Sunset) mixed media over etching (framed size 55x36cm)

ArTay 2018

Next week sees the return of ArTay, an exhibition featuring over 60 artists and more than 300 works of art curated and hosted by Frames Gallery, Perth. The event is part of The Perth Festival of The Arts and runs from 17th- 20th May in a marquee beside the Perth Concert Hall.

As well as the painting above, I will be showing the 3 pictures included below, all of which are for sale.

Bass Rock Light, oil on canvas (framed size 92x92cm)

St Monans, mixed media over etching (framed size 36x30cm)

The Old Pier, Aberdour, etching & aquatint (framed size 45x37cm)

Green Gallery, Dollar

I also currently have work for sale at Green Gallery in the lovely Clackmannashire village of Dollar, including the paintings shown below. It’s a lovely place and Dollar and Castle Campbell on the hill above it are well worth a visit on a sunny day.

The Old Town, Morning Sunshine, mixed media over etching (framed size 90x74cm)

South Queensferry, mixed media over etching (framed size 49x39cm)

Pictures From My Solo Show

I wanted to share some photos from my recent solo show in Edinburgh for those who weren’t able to see it in person. There were 45 pieces hanging in total and it was the biggest collection on my work to be shown in one place to date. 

Three Studies of The Bass Rock

A wall of East Neuk paintings

It was hugely beneficial for me in a creative sense to hang the show myself (well, with a lot of help from my friend Celie) as it gave me the opportunity to put the pieces together into groups that worked as mini collections on each wall.  Every picture being part of a wider context. It took 2 solid days to hang the exhibition and I was glad to see that my combined output over the past 2 years or so also worked as a whole. This is something I have often wondered about (and I’m sure that’s the case for many other artists who work across a variety of media in relative isolation as I do). But the visitor feedback was also very positive in this sense, which helped to make the whole experience an absolute pleasure for me.

Three versions of the full Moon

Of course, selling several pieces and meeting lots of lovely people and hearing their thoughts was also wonderful. As a result, I’m really looking forward to putting together my next solo show in the coming year.

A wall of landscape oil paintings

In the meantime, I have lots more work out there in 6 different galleries this Christmas. A full list and links to those current exhibitions can be found here

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Exhibitions and Other News

Museum on The Mound, 65x25cm, mixed media over line etching

Here’s a quick update on a few things that have happened recently and will be happening over the next few weeks.

Grand Art

Grand Art Exhibition opens tomorrow at Strathearn Gallery, Crieff

I have a few pieces in this show at the lovely Strathearn Gallery including these 2 above and below. It’s on until 21st May, so do drop in tomorrow for the opening or before the show closes in a month.

Tobermory, 65x25cm, mixed media over line etching

Quay Gallery

I also have new work on show at The Quay Gallery, Aberdour, including this large oil of The Bass Rock (a favourite subject!).

The Bass Rock (Sunset) 80x80cm, oil on canvas

The Bass Rock (Sunset) 80x80cm, oil on canvas

Studio Move

The other news is that I have left Fire Station Creative and will no longer be taking part in exhibitions or open studios at there. I will, however, be opening my new studio doors (in Edinburgh) to the public at some point in the future, so keep an eye out for news on that front.

And Finally …

Many thanks to those who visited the recent show at Gallery at Fifty Five in Stonehaven. The feedback was fantastic and I look forward to exhibiting there again in 2018.

Until then, I’ll be working on new pieces including more versions of the 2 hand-painted etchings above and those I’ve done of Edinburgh and the East Neuk, along with more oils based on my recent travels to Yorkshire, Cornwall and Northumberland. There will no doubt be a few more lighthouse paintings and new etchings in the pipeline too.

There’s more to report as far as exhibitions coming up are concerned and an exciting piece of news (for me at east!) about my work featuring in a new glossy magazine … but I’ll leave that for next time.

You can always find more updates and pictures of my latest works in progress etc by following me on:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cliveramageartist/?hl=en

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/clive.ramageart.9?ref=bookmarks

 

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Busy Month Behind and a Busier Month Ahead

Bass Rock Lighthouse

Bass Rock Lighthouse (SOLD at Maggies Cancer Care charity event)

The past few weeks have been extremely busy what with deadlines for various exhibitions, including those organised by the RSA, the SSA, the National Original Print Exhibition and the International Print Biennial. On top of that, my work has been included in 2 exhibitions in support of Maggies Cancer Care and the St Columbas Hospice in Edinburgh. I was delighted to have sold 4 large works in these, raising over £1500 in the process to share between these two deserving causes.

July will hopefully prove to be just as busy. But that’s over a week away and there’s lots of painting to be done now. I’m currently working on a series of small hand-painted etchings that have been sat in my drawers for the past couple of years gathering dust. The most recent of which has since been dusted with gold leaf and can be seen along with some of the others in the Watercolours & Etchings gallery. Some of these will be distributed to galleries in the next week or so. But if you like anything you see on my website do feel free to get in touch with me at cliveramage@gmail.com

I’ll also be working on the latest Dean Village hand-painted etching this week, which will be a blue and gold night time version (similar colours to that East Neuk etching mentioned above). This will be the 4th one of the 10 of these I have planned. I’m excited to see how this one and the 6 others will turn out. Watch this space as I’ll post updates here of how they are progressing.

Paintings, Etchings and Galleries Galore!

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 16.06.17

Though I may not look it in this photo, I am pretty happy right now! Mainly because it has been a fantastic and very busy few weeks!

First of all there was my solo show during November at the Fire Station Creative in Dunfermline. There was a great turnout at the preview night, with over 100 people coming along in total. It was great to sell some paintings and also to have a chance to get some feedback on my most recent work, which I’m glad to say was very positive.

Then there was the Edinburgh Art Fair, where I was showing some of my etchings and demonstrating printmaking techniques alongside my Fife Dunfermline Printmaking Workshop colleagues. Once again, the place was heaving for 3 days and it was wonderful to be part of such a hugely popular event.

And just this past weekend we threw our Fire Station Creative studio doors open to the public (over 1500 of them in all) and let them see where we do our stuff and how we do it. Again, it was fantastic to get to speak to lots of lovely and very interested people about my work in general, my recent lighthouse project and travels in particular and also to share some of my techniques and ideas. I also got lots of encouraging feedback about my work, which is always more than welcome! I’m really looking forward to the next open studios event when it comes.

The Bass Rock Lighthouse

The Bass Rock Lighthouse

This afternoon I delivered 4 of my recent paintings of lighthouses to Morningside Gallery in Edinburgh, including this one above of the Bass Rock Lighthouse (80x80cm, oil on canvas). They also have a selection of my etchings and some other paintings for sale too.

I’ll be taking some more paintings and prints to Marchmont Gallery this weekend, including my Super Moon etching (48x58cm) which features below. Despite being rather large, this has proved to be my most popular etching to date and I’ll be busy over the next week or so pulling several more prints from the large etched copper plate in order to meet the orders I’ve taken in the past couple of weeks.

There’s still time to order a Super Moon print or any of my others and have it ready before Christmas if you’re quick by the way! Drop me an email if you are interested. Also, see and ‘like’ my Facebook page Clive Ramage Artist for regular updates on my work, pictures and exhibition info.

Super Moon

Super Moon

 

Northern Lights – An Artistic Odyssey Around Scotland’s Coastline

Only 2 weeks to go until my solo exhibition at Fire Station Creative. Here are some words and pictures to help shed some light on what will be hanging on the walls there. The preview will be held between 7.30-10pm on Friday 6th November and the show runs until Sunday 22 November. I hope to see there.

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The Bass Rock Light (oil on canvas, 80x80cm)

I grew up in Arbroath, so have always been drawn to the sea. Each night, like clockwork, the Bell Rock, the Isle of May and the Fife Ness lights would intermittently flash their beams out across the cold, dark sea miles and I would watch – mesmerised at my bedroom window. I’d follow the fishing boats as they puttered out into the firth from the harbour, eventually becoming little more than red and green dots that slowly edged beyond the moonlit horizon. The twinkling orange lamps of St Andrews and Kingsbarns would beckon to me from far away across the Firth of Tay and illuminate my dreams. Those mysterious, exotic lights across the sea have continued to tantalise and inspire me and I have always wanted to capture something of that magic and atmosphere in pictorial form. So my campervan travels around Scotland’s coast this year have provided me with a wealth of inspiration for new paintings and etchings; I feel I have barely begun to scratch the surface with the work for this exhibition.

Stromness Nocturne

Sromness Nocturne (oil on canvas with gold leaf, 60x60cm)

I quickly discovered that it wasn’t so much the lights themselves that were interesting me pictorially, but their situations within the surrounding landscape and the wild spaces between them. Lighthouses proved to be a wonderful general theme for the trip and also a great focal point for some of the paintings, but the ‘interesting’ Scottish weather and the colours and atmosphere of each location probably became the more important feature of the work.

The Bell Rock, High Seas

The Bell Rock, High Seas (oil on canvas, 60x60cm)

I was very fortunate to be awarded a grant by Fife Contemporary Arts and Crafts to help fund my travels, which took me from The Mull of Galloway at the south western tip of Scotland to Stromness in Orkney. I have yet to reach Muckle Flugga, Scotland’s most northernly lighthouse, but I will get there one of these days!
Fife Council grant acknowledgement pic

The Lights That Never Go Out – Ayrshire to The Mull of Galloway

Mull of Galloway lighthouse

Mull of Galloway, Scotland’s southernmost lighthouse

Last week I spent a fantastic 4 days travelling down to The Mull of Galloway via every lighthouse I could find en route. The sun was blazing and the sunsets were magnificent all the way! I also visited the towns of Girvan, Turnberry and lovely Portpatrick, and had a wander round Culzean Castle too.

In a snug wee Portpatrick pub last Friday evening, I had the very good fortune to find myself sitting next to a chap called Rab and his wife Kate. Rab just so happens to be the son of a lighthouse keeper, so we spent the whole evening getting acquainted over beer and whiskey and chatting about the various lighthouses he’d grown up in, including Corsewall Head which I’d spent that very afternoon visiting; as well as Tod Head and Kinnaird Head which I’d been at only the week before. His father also spent 5 years 12 miles out in the North Sea off Arbroath on one of the most famous and notorious reefs on the planet (and my own home lighthouse) The Bell Rock. It turned out to be one of those very serendipitous evenings. Rab now runs an engineering company that is contracted by the Northern Lighthouse Board to maintain some of Scotland’s more remote lighthouses, and he kindly offered me the chance some day to go along with him for the ride on one of his jobs. I will have to earn my keep though, maybe even getting a chance to fling some paint at a ‘real’ lighthouse instead of just at a painting of one!

So here are a few of the best photos from the many hundreds I took. It’s not all about lighthouses though. I got some shots of boats, harbours and birds too.

I will be attempting to translate some of these and the many others I’ve been taking into artworks for an exhibition at the end of this year. But, unfortunately, I won’t be doing any of that this week since I sprained my painting hand whilst attempting to show my daughter how not to use her new skateboard!

So today I’ll be heading north again to get my campervan’s gearbox fixed in Stonehaven. I might even have time to visit Scurdie Ness lighthouse near Ferryden, which just so happens to be up for sale (if you happen to have a spare £360K in your back pocket and always dreamed of owning your own lighthouse!).

If you’re interested, check it out here: Scurdie Ness Lighthouse

 

Ailsa Craig and Dredger

Sunset, Ailsa Craig

Turnberry Lighthouse and Arran from The Hotel

Turnberry Lighthouse and The Isle of Arran

Portpatrick Lighthouse at dusk

Portpatrick Harbour at Dusk

Killintringan Lighthouse 7

The Sun Sets beyond Killintringan Lighthouse and Northern Ireland

 

Corsewall Lighthouse 4 (b)

Corsewall Head Lighthouse

This beach ain't big enough for the 2 of us!

This beach ain’t big enough for the both of us!

Dazzling Cormorant

Dazzling Cormorant

Fife Council grant acknowledgement pic

 

 

 

 

The Lights That Never Go Out

Here are the first photos from my journey around Scotland’s amazing coastline (Ardnamurchan, Mull and part of the East Coast). I will be using some of these as the inspiration for new paintings and prints. Plenty more to come, so keep watching this space!

photocrati gallery

Fife Council grant acknowledgement pic