10 hours of quiet after 2 weeks of running around!

It has been an exceedingly busy last couple of weeks and to be honest I’ve been struggling to get everything done that has needed to be done. … hence the lack of a blog recently.  I spent a lot of time getting all the work ready for my exhibition at “the gallery on the corner” in Edinburgh that opened on 7th August.  In the end I took 24 framed pieces along with 9 small unframed graphite sketches.  It’s amazing just how much time it takes getting everything into frames and wrapped.  Even making the labels is a very time consuming business although I was luckily able to sub contract this and other computer based jobs to my unpaid assistant and partner Nita.  Without her help with these projects, I don’t know how long it would take me to get everything done.  We got it all completed and on the morning of Saturday 1st August we packed it all into the car and headed across to Edinburgh.   It was such a relief when the work was in the gallery and I could pass on responsibility for the show to assistant gallery manager Paul Penrice and his assistants.  They did a wonderful job of hanging the work and the gallery looked great when we arrived for the preview the following Friday evening.  The exhibition continues until August 29th so you have plenty of time to get along there if you live in or are visiting the city.

Other jobs have included visiting the Isle of Arran Distillery, (I know, it’s a tough job but somebody has to do it!)….. in order to finalise arrangements for exhibiting the big Glen Rosa drawing there in September and October.  Everything appears to be on track with this project and I’m really looking forward to going over with the work on 1st September.   As this is the final part of the story about this drawing project, Dan Thornton and his assistant Cindy are returning to Scotland from Seattle at the end of the month in order to film the drawing going to Arran.  This will be the final part of the documentary Dan is making and then it all comes down to getting the hours and hours of film he has taken over the last two years, edited.  This is not just an important part of the process; it’s also quite an expensive one.  As such, Dan and his colleagues have been working on a promotional ‘Seed & Spark’ campaign to help promote awareness of the film and to raise some of the funds needed to complete it.  Details of this campaign along with a link to the short trailer Dan has made can be found on the homepage of this website.  I also had 500 flyers printed with the same information and Nita and I spent a day last week distributing them around venues in Ayrshire and Arran.  Anyway, please check it out and please spread the word!    Thank you.

Along with all this, Nita and I are spending quite a bit of time helping to organise this years Open studios Weekend at the Courtyard Studios.  It’s looking like it should be a good one this year with all 17 artists taking part.  There is a really excellent group of artists working here at present and there is a wide range of top quality work being produced here, including paintings, photography, drawings, ceramics, music, hand book-binding and jewellery.  The event takes place on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th October 2015 and will also include collaboration with the Harbour Arts Centre where we’ll be holding a group exhibition to celebrate 21 years of artistic practise at the Courtyard.  I’ll be posting full details of these events nearer the time ….but for now …just pencil in the dates!

There have been lots of other things happening recently, all taking up much needed painting time.  There is good news on two of the most important projects.  The Brazil commissions got bogged down somewhat since I completed the work at the end of February.  Difficulties arose with shipping the artwork to Brazil and over the last five and a half months Nita and I have spent hours it seems writing emails in order to resolve this.  It has been a bit tiring but I’m pleased to say things are starting to happen…..so then, watch this space!  The other project related to the big Glen Rosa drawing, was the planned production of a full size reproduction that was to be sited in the centre of Irvine.  Well, as you may have seen from my Facebook page….. the work is now finished and sited.  It was great going to see it the other evening and if you’re in Irvine or travelling on one of the many buses entering and exiting the town …do look out for it.  My thanks must go to Lesley Forsyth at North Ayrshire Council for first coming up with the idea and then bringing it to a successful conclusion.

As I say, it’s been a hectic time and on Thursday last week we were both feeling pretty worn out.   With a fine weather forecast we decided that we just had to get out into the wilds and have a day relaxing.  We went to Glen Coe and spent 10 hours wandering around some of these fabulous mountains.  We only saw two other walkers all day and although our legs were sore at the end, it was a very much needed rest.  No more words about it…. here are a few quiet and calming photos instead.

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On the north side of Glen Coe

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Towards Am Bodach from P.907m

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Am Bodach and Glen Coe from our lunch spot

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Towards sron Garbh …. our final top of the day

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Ben Nevis from the summit of Sron Garbh

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