Here’s a map of all the Scottish lighthouses that I found at Ardnamurchan Point. There’s a lot of them! Almost 100 and pretty much all built by the Stevenson family within 100 years from the first (the Bell Rock) which was finished in 1810. I hope to get to as many as possible over the next few months as part of my project, The Lights That Never Go Out, An Artistic Odyssey From Muckle Flugga To The Mull of Galloway.
So after a day spent washing clothes and repacking the campervan after the Easter trip to the west coast, I’m off again to spend the next few days and nights sketching and photographing the lighthouses between Montrose and Fraserburgh. Tonight I’m hoping for a clear and starry sky (ie. no fog horn!) spent at the foot of Rattray Head.
If there’s one thing I know I’ve always been good at, it’s procrastinating! So my New Year’s resolution is to try to get to my studio (or at least start working from home or wherever I happen to be) before 9am Monday through to Friday … from now on and for ever more!
Ok, I know we’re only half way through the first full working week of the year, but I have managed to keep to my new regime and – I have to say – I’m pretty impressed with myself!
So here’s my output so far for the week; 4 small paintings based on previous etchings and larger paintings, all finished and delivered for the latest mini works exhibition at Morningside Gallery in Edinburgh (which begins in a couple of week’s time).
Hope your New Year has gotten off to a good start!
I wish it wasn’t just my paintings and prints that will be attending tonight’s wonderful looking banquet at the Abbot House. They’ll be adorning these fine medieval walls for the coming weeks, so drop by and have a gander if you’re in the vicinity. All are for sale just in case you’re still on the hunt for something with a very personal touch and created by my own not-so-fair hands!
I’ve decided to throw open my medieval studio door again this weekend, but it’ll be on Sunday instead of Saturday. Hopefully that means a few more folk who couldn’t make it last time can do so this time round. So please come along between 11am and 4pm for a final chance to pick up a great bargain limited edition etching or painting before Christmas!!
Yesterday’s open studio day turned out to be fantastic in many ways. I met some lovely new people who made the extra effort to climb all those stairs to my studio and, thankfully, their thoughts and impressions of my work were very positive – always good to hear! It was also great to catch up with a few old friends too.
As well as being an opportunity to sell and show my work to new clients, the viewing also provided me with a chance to see a lot of the work I’ve been doing over the last couple of years framed and hung together as a collection, instead of being shipped off to various galleries, where there is often little opportunity to see that or to get a feel for how it’s all going or any feedback from clients. That was very useful, as sometimes it’s difficult for me to see the cohesion that exists between the individual pieces I’m working on at any given time. This is particularly the case with the etchings, as it can take a pretty long time to complete the whole process of making them and I usually like to work on just the one or two at a time. I think it all worked well together as a whole though, and seeing it all together gave me a few ideas for new pieces to add to my series of etchings and paintings.
I enjoyed the whole experience so much I will be doing it all again this coming Sunday. So if you couldn’t make it this time, please come along between 11-4pm at the Abbot House!
So after a very long but productive week and a successful day yesterday, I decided to crack open the gluhwein and sample the Christmas festivities on offer at Edinburgh’s Winter Wonderland. I feel very lucky to have what I think is probably the most beautiful city in the world – especially at Christmas – right on my doorstep. And what artist could fail to be inspired by scenes such is this!
The past week or so I have travelled the length and breadth of the country sorting out frames and delivering my work to various galleries in time for their Christmas shows. It’s all been a bit exhausting, though it’s always great to get the studio and my flat back to being a home and not something that resembels Edinburgh Arts back storeroom! So come the end of the week, all I had to get through before getting away in my campervan for a much needed holiday in Wales was a long day of demonstrating printing techniques to the Art Fair visitors. The fact that wine was literally flowing freely the evening before at the preview meant I had to get throuogh the day with a raging hangover, while keeping my spirits high and smiling like a Blue Peter presenter! I needn’t have worried though. I was having so much fun that the time just flew by! Our Fife/Dunfermline Printmakers stand seemed to be a big hit with the punters, and at one point we had quite a cue waiting to take a turn at printmaking. I had lots of time too to wander around and chat to many of the gallery owners showing there, and I ended up making quite a lot of connections and possible future gallery partners.
What turned out to be a wonderful day finished with another free bar and a casino night as we celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Edinburgh Art Fair with all the other exhibitors. I have to admit that my fellow printmakers Jai, Gordon, and I made the most of that!
So I’m heading off to Wales now, nursing yet another hangover, but with a warm possibly whiskey-induced glow inside. All the major pre-Christmas work is done so it’s time to get back to doing what I love most, travelling and finding lots of new places to inspire the next batch of paintings and prints.
This weekend I was finally able to move all my art stuff out of my flat & into my new studio (I’m calling it “The Garret”). It’s a beautiful, airy room on the top floor of a 500 year old building in the heart of Dunfermline’s historic quarter. The building is called the Abbot House, it’s pink on the outside and very medieval on the inside (interconnected rooms with neuks and crannies here, there and everywhere! I’ve already been lost several times in the building). And, knowing my luck, it’s probably haunted! There are 3 windows in the studio, 2 of which look out over the Abbey and it’s ancient graveyard. I absolutely love it and it’s way beyond what I could have hoped for in a studio. I have 24 hour access (not sure how I feel about being in there on my own after midnight mind!) and there’s even a cafe downstairs!
In the above photo, you can see the front facing window of my studio at the top of the tower, the highest part of the house. I’m kind of excited about painting in a building which has been around since the The Renaissance.
Here’s some cool things from ye olden days which me and my lovely assistant, Victoria, found in the yet-to-be emptied out cupboard! Yes, we had a lot of fun with those helmets!
I’ll post more photos of the studio and work in progress once I get up and running.