Around this time last year I took the decision not to go looking for exhibitions in 2012 but instead use my time trying to move my work on. It was a great couple of years after winning the Jolomo Award back in 2009 and as a result I had a good number of solo exhibitions, but this did mean that I had very little time to develop my work. I paint very slowly, especially so when I’m trying to tackle something very new and between 2009 and the end of 2011 I just didn’t have time to risk work going seriously wrong.
For me, developing work means taking a few risks…..risks that what I’m doing might not work and might after a month of hard graft simply end up stacked behind the bench. This year, as I don’t have any shows to work towards, the pressure is off and I’ve been able to try out some new things. As you’ve seen, I’ve gone back to working with oil paint for the first time in a little over eight years. It’s amazing just how different it is from using acrylic and I’ve been battling hard to get it to do what I want! I have then spent much time over these new paintings, cursing many times and no doubt rubbing some of what is left of my hair away! That said and despite many false starts and many pieces ending up behind the bench, I am starting I think to get somewhere with these pieces. I’ve been trying to create paintings that are both Scottish landscape and almost abstract at the same time. It is a very difficult balance to achieve without the paintings looking contrived. Anyway, this is a brief look back at the oil paintings I’ve been working on this year.