A trip to Dunkeld –Atholl Gallery

It’s been a decidedly busy few weeks, not least with getting everything ready for going to Speyer on May 11th. But the work at the studio has still been going on and on Tuesday after one small disaster (more of this in a minute) we took seven pieces of work up to the Atholl Gallery in Dunkeld for their forthcoming Spring Exhibition starting this Saturday 17th April.

161 'Rannoch Moor, sketch', Pastel on gesso, 2010,

'Rannoch Moor, sketch'

I’d selected the pieces I’d use for the show a while back and this included four very new works, just completed. One of these is a small new drawing….’Rannoch Moor –sketch’ and this is one of a number of very simple pastel line drawings I’ve been doing. These are worked from the fast pen sketches I do out on the hill but they are done in a mid grey oil pastel on a gesso board. I leave the surface of the gesso quite rough and this gives the pastel line a slightly broken appearance that I particularly like. The finished drawing is then varnished with a matt varnish and the final piece has an interesting appearance….something slightly akin to the pastel mono-prints I used to do many years ago. As I said, the piece included in this show is only small but is I think quite a strong little image. I’ve started working on a couple of bigger drawings done in the same way and am quite excited by the potential …..possibly using this way of drawing (but on a really big scale) when over in Speyer. Watch this space as they say!

I also included a larger upright piece in the selection. This painting, ‘Moon and frozen crag, Beinn an Dothaidh’ has never been properly framed before although I completed it a number of years ago. I’ve had it in my studio though and it has received a lot of attention. It’s tall thin shape also attracted me to it for this show as it would allow me to show a larger piece without it taking up too much space – this painting is currently the ‘Artwork of the week’ on my website.

'Late winter afternoon, west Highlands', Acrylic & Pastel, 2009, 30 x 30 cm

'Late winter afternoon, west Highlands'

The other paintings I planned to take included two of my new long thin 76 x 23 cm pieces, two of the 30 x 30 cm pieces and a small 12.5 x 12.5 cm painting. The selection seemed to work well …then disaster struck! On Monday evening as I was wrapping the paintings for the journey to the gallery, I managed to knock one of the 76 x 23 cm pieces. As anyone who has seen my work in galleries will know, I tend to use a simple distressed ‘York’ silver frame with most of my paintings. These look good and work well with the rather scratchy, scribbled nature of my work – but, these frames are almost impossible to repair if damaged. So, there I was with a frame with a dint in it and no replacement frame of the right size….aaah! At this point I’m pleased to say, I remained calm although it was probably good that no-one was in the studio at the time. I usually keep a number of framed works at the studio and so had to choose a different piece now. I went for another upright piece, ‘Where sky and moor-land meet’. This is a more abstract piece as it is based on the bands of colour you sometimes experience when on the hill. I think that this piece will work well with the others but as it was such a late substitution, I’ll only know when I see the work on the wall.

163 'On Beinn a' Ghlo, autumn', Acrylic & Pastel, 2010, 30 x 30cm

'On Beinn a' Ghlo, autumn'

The gallery holds an informal preview on Saturday morning / afternoon, so Anita and I are planning to go along. We’ve decided to make a day of it and take the train rather than do the two and a half hour drive up there and back again. From the station, it’s about a mile walk into the village, crossing the wide and very majestic River Tay by a beautiful bridge. After seeing the show, I think it’ll be time for a late lunch and a pint of real ale at a pub overlooking the river…..I think we’ll both deserve that!

The exhibition runs from April 17th – June 7th 2010

Atholl Gallery
6 Atholl Street
Dunkeld
Perthshire
PH8 0AR
SCOTLAND
Tel:01350 728855
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