A week in the life of …

'From Beinn Inverveigh, October', Acrylic & Pastel, 2010, 60 x 60 cm

'From Beinn Inverveigh, October'

Saturday 23rd January

The main aim of the day was to try and get a painting finished.  I’ve been working on two pieces that I plan to exhibit at the Strathearn Gallery in Creiff as part of the Jolomo Awards 2009 Finalists exhibition.  This opens on Saturday 13th February and the work has to be delivered a week before.  So not long!  I’d completed the first piece the week before but this second piece was causing me a few problems.  However, before I could start painting there was the small matter of meeting the Pest control man who we’d contacted the day before after hearing some ominous scratching and movement in the studio walls and loft spaces.  It appears that while we were away from the building due to the frozen pipes, some furry friends have moved in.  Great!  By the end of the day the painting still wasn’t completed.

Sunday 24th January

So back to it again.  The painting in question is based on the view I had over to the hills of the Blackmount from the relative warmth of Rannoch Moor.  I’d been watching the bad weather through the monocular and it seemed an excellent subject for a painting.  Easier said than done sometimes but by the end of the evening I had the piece finally finished.  In the end, although it had caused me problems, I’m quite pleased with it and am looking forward to seeing it in a frame and on the wall.  Mind you, I was working on this picture for almost ten days!

'Winter, Blackmount', Acrylic & Pastel, 2010, 76 x 23 cm

'Winter, Blackmount', Acrylic & Pastel, 2010, 76 x 23 cm

Monday 25th January

Of course as I’ve said before, being a painter isn’t just about doing paintings …oh if that were only  the case.  We’ve been in the process of up-grading this website … as hopefully you’ve noticed.  Well, that of course means someone else doing the actual work on the site, but I’ve had to do quite a bit of work on the computer for this too.  The new works on the website are now shown much better with larger clearer images and more information about each painting.  So then, Monday morning started with a session on the computer, sorting images and writing details etc.  As anyone who’s visually impaired will know, using a PC can be quite time consuming and frustrating.  I use a screen magnifier mostly but of course I have to have the magnification so high I can only see a very small portion of the screen at any one time.  Suffice to say, I started work at 07.30 and by 11.00 I’d got some things done …but not much.  Added to this, my computer crashed in the middle of everything and I can honestly say it wasn’t the best starts to the day!

It did improve once down the studio and  as well as getting some interesting small drawings done I also got the painting I’d finished the day before, into it’s frame….and it looks great …he said modestly!

Tuesday 26th January

A slightly different day ….I’ve been asked by the Edinburgh based charity Autism Initiatives Scotland to become one of their patrons for a new project they’re starting in the city.   I had arranged to meet three of the people responsible for setting up and running the project, and to learn more of it and about my role as a patron.  More in detail in another blog but suffice to say that the project involves creating a working gallery through which people affected by autism can undertake apprenticeships in both the creative business sides of the gallery.  The meeting went very well and later we were taken to see the building that is to be the gallery.  It’s a wonderful building in a superb location in the heart of the gallery district on the edge of the city centre.  I’m very excited and delighted to have been asked to be involved in it.  Back in Irvine by 17.30 …and back on the computer for several more hours.

Wednesday 27th January

After another lengthy session on the computer, this time working on information requested by the Scottish Arts Circle, I then received an email from Germany informing me that I’d been selected for the 2010 Speyer Artists Scholarship.  Wow!  I’d applied back in January last year and didn’t really hold out much hope …but there you go ..if you don’t apply …etc etc.  More details in another blog …but basically it means I’ll be living and working in a purpose built house and studio in the centre of the historic and beautiful city of Speyer for the four months May – August.  What a great opportunity and chance to export a little bit of contemporary Scottish landscape painting into Europe.   Despite the elation at hearing this news, it was back to the studio and work through to 20.00.

Thursday 28th January

A whole day on the computer …getting images ready and sent to the Strathearn Gallery for their website.  Also a CV and statement. Emails to read, emails to answer.  We’ve just set up a link with Facebook and already have 20 plus fans (are you one?).  I finished my marathon session on the computer (about 10 hours and boggled eyes) by trying to learn my way around the Facebook website … I’m feeling a bit old!

Friday 29th ..today

Well, it’s 09.30 and I’ve been working at this keyboard for the last two hours.  Almost finished here so I plan to get a full days painting in.  Nita will pick me up when she finishes work at 20.00 …and then I think we’ll both deserve a pint!  Signing off … a rather frazzled artist!

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