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Winter/Spring 2022: Art & Life update |

Winter/Spring 2022: Art & Life update

I’ve just read through my last blog, Autumn / Winter update 2021 and I notice that I ended it by saying that with the latest variant of Covid appearing, ……who knew what would be happening in 2022. Well then, I’m currently sat at home self-isolating after testing positive for Covid last Sunday 5th March. Thankfully I haven’t felt too rough and so am now using the time to catch up with the many urgently needed jobs on this computer ……writing a new blog being one of them. With a bit of luck I should be back at my studio next week having completed my ten days isolation.

New acrylic and pastel paintings

‘A December morning, Glen Sannox, Isle of Arran’

I’ve managed to get quite a lot of new work done since the start of January. I want to get some new pieces completed ready for the Barony exhibition in the autumn. So far, I’ve completed two new 76 x 23 cm acrylic and pastel paintings and have just started two other new pieces, (one quite abstract 80 x 30cm and the other, a quite representational piece, 80 x 50cm),

Scottish Art

‘Evening light, evening colours. Badcall Bay, Sutherland’

 

Walks in January and February

We have started to get back out walking again, ……desperately trying to get a little hill fitness back after a fairly lean 2021. Our first foray into the hills was a fairly minor affair but proved very enjoyable and not too tiring. We didn’t go too high but made our way up to around 450m on Beinn Dubh in the Luss Hills ……one of our favourite little jaunts. The ground is in places steep enough to test unfit legs, but the views from the hill are superb, regardless of how far you walk.

A lunch spot with a view ….on the slopes of Beinn Dubh, the Luss Hills

Our second trip saw us over in the Ochil Hills near Stirling and this time we made our way up to the summit of Ben Ever at a little over 600m. The weather and light were beautiful and so we weren’t the only folk out enjoying it. Indeed, the main paths were busier than I think we have ever seen on our previous visits to these hills. That said however, a quick detour off-piste and we soon had the hill to ourselves and we were able to enjoy a very peaceful lunch looking out towards The Nebbit and the flat low plain of the Forth river showing brightly in the low sun beyond.

The next week we were back on Beinn Dubh and this time we made it to the summit at around 640m. The light and colours were once again beautiful and as we walked I made plans to get back to the two 80 x 80 cm canvases I had started last year, based on these fabulous little hills.

The Luss Hill paintings, now completed

There are three of these paintings. The first, completed last year, was based on the kind of view I had with my pal Guy as we were descending from Mid Hill on a wintry spring day.

‘On the slopes of Mid Hill, spring’

The second painting, just completed, is more about the view looking into Glen Luss from the lower bracken shrouded slopes of Beinn Dubh…….also on a winter day with snow up on the higher slopes.

‘An early winter view, Glen Luss’

The third and final painting in this group, is about being up on the rough grassy tops of Beinn Dubh and Mid Hill with the snow lying in the grass. All three of these pieces are done in traditional oil colour put down with broad coarse brushes and built up into choppy rough surfaces. I haven’t as yet photographed them properly but these images taken on my phone will give you a good idea.

‘A winter day near the summit of Beinn Dubh’

Three other paintings now completed

As you know, I don’t just work on one painting at a time. I usually have quite a few pieces on the go at any one time and some of these, once started, will get put aside for several years before I finally feel ready and able to finish them. These three paintings were all started several years ago, but for one reason or another, I never quite got my head around them. I went back to them recently and spent a lot of time finally working them out …..and so here they are ……finally finished and waiting to be framed.

‘Towards Ben Lawers, winter’

 

‘A winter scene, the Blackmount’

 

‘Below the east ridge of Ben Lui, snow shower’

As I said, I hope to be back in my studio next week. Visitors are, as usual, still very welcome, but, regardless of the UK governments scrapping of restrictions, I would still ask everyone entering the studio to please wear a face covering, use the hand sanitiser provided before touching anything and not to enter if they have any symptoms of cold, flu or Covid. I’m afraid I’m still quite wary and, health risks apart, can’t really afford to take ten days off work to isolate.
You can see and hear some more of the paintings and sound in this video exhibition: Follow the link below: