A change of scene

New Look Courtyard

New Look Courtyard

When I left Irvine for Speyer on May 11th, big changes were afoot at the courtyard studios. WASPS had decided to refurbish the studios and while doing so, were taking the opportunity to create several new spaces in the roof space. The work was planned to last until around the start of July and in a way, it was perfect timing for me as I would miss much of the disruption. As it turned out, I heard tell of the disruption every few days as Anita was ‘studio sitting’. My space is in the old part of the building. I’m not quite sure how old, but a chap came in the other year and told me that my studio used to be his office back in the 1950s…when he was a customs officer. Since then it had fallen into disrepair….understatement. When the builders moved in, they found that a section of the floor joists had rotted through and it was only the patchwork of pink and yellow carpet that was holding the floor up! The rear wall, covered by a chipboard outer, was completely crumbling away and Gordon, one of the other artists, described it as being like a waterfall when it rained…explains the dampness I think.

Anyway, I flew back to Scotland last Thursday evening and went down to my studio on Friday…and what a difference. For starters, the dreadful pink outer walls are now a slightly better, if somewhat strange, green colour….but it does look a lot better and people have started to notice us. As for my own studio, they have done a great job…a new floor, the waterworks completely repaired and a new door that actually fits the frame…and a heater! With a bit of luck, it will be a much more pleasant experience during the winter months and I’ll not need to dress up like the Michelin man.

New Look for the WASP Courtyard Studios, Irvine, Ayrshire

The WASP Courtyard Studios, Irvine, Ayrshire

So then, it has been straight back to work, as I have to get 6 pieces ready for a group show at Scotlandart.com which opens in late October. It’s great to be back in Scotland but although there’s lots of work to do, I am going to make sure there’s time to relax too. Today Anita and I have been to see the magnificent exhibition of the Lewis chessmen at the National Museum of Scotland and the Impressionist Gardens exhibition at the RSA, both in Edinburgh. We’re heading up for a walk near the Cairngorms on Sunday and have already organised a day on the hill with our very good friend Guy…I can’t wait. Well and truly back in business I think.

*** Please note that WASP Courtyard Studios will be having its traditional Open Weekend from the 2nd and 3rd of October. So why not come along and see the changes. Everyone is very welcome!  ***

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