Finally, after almost three weeks of dark, wet and very windy weather here in Irvine, today has turned out bright and sunny and cold. It’s really beautiful here on the Harbour-side this morning and it makes for a good end to what has been a very good and interesting week.
My working week actually started with a day off!! Can’t be bad eh? That said however, I did feel like I needed one as prior to Monday I’d been in the studio every day for the previous 2 weeks. My day off did include a working lunch however! You’ll remember perhaps that back in the summer one of my paintings, “Breaking mists, on Mam na Gualainn”, won the Probus Club of Irvine Prize at the North Ayrshire Open Art Exhibition. The club, formerly the Rotary Club of Irvine, kindly invited me to join them for lunch at their weekly meeting and asked if I’d give a short talk about my work afterwards. It was a really good deal as on Monday I joined them at a local hotel and enjoyed a fine lunch with them all. I’d taken the winning painting with me, along with two other pieces and after coffee I told them all about my work. It seemed to go down well and I managed just to keep within the time limit! Nita had warned them beforehand that they might need to bop me on the head with a mallet as I tend to talk too much. Me? Talk too much?!
Tuesday included a trip down to the Waverley Gallery in Prestwick to collect nine of my prints which I’d had framed ready for a couple of pre Christmas exhibitions that I’m taking part in. One of these is at “the gallery on the corner” in Edinburgh ….details of this “Winter Print Show”, at the end of this blog.
The other show is a local “Affordable Art Fair at the Harbour Arts Centre here in Irvine which will include work from many of the Courtyard Studios Artists and which will run from December 16th . Until January 8th. Full details slightly nearer the time.
Wednesday was a full day of painting and although it started badly …I completely wrecked a small 30 x 30 cm acrylic and pastel painting that I’d spent about 20 hours on, the remainder of the day went well. After the disaster with the acrylic and pastel piece, I went to work on a couple of my larger oil pieces ….and by the end of the evening at 8pm, I had developed both pieces quite well and I left for home feeling good.
Thursday was something a bit different as Nita and I had been invited along to the Opening of John Lowrie Morrison’s new exhibition, “Jolomo at the Mitchell”. The exhibition was to be officially opened by HRH the Princess Royal and so Thursday morning found me wearing smart clothes…..and a tie! The exhibition is in the magnificent space of the Mitchell Library in Glasgow and I have to say that the work looked great in the fabulous space. We had plenty of time to see the exhibition prior to the Royal party arriving and it all made for a very interesting, enjoyable and for Nita and I, very different kind of lunchtime. I think that the show is only on for another week so do pop in to see it if you are in Glasgow over the next few days. Look out for painting No 47 ….a fabulous piece of work I think.
Friday was another day spent painting and I finally finished one of my canvases and moved another one quite close to being finished. I’m really starting to enjoy working with oil at long last and am starting to think that this will be the way forward in the future.
Yesterday was a good end to the week as I had some visitors to my studio who purchased the “Breaking mists, on Mam na Gualainn” painting. The lady and gentleman (Nettie and Ted) had earlier this year bought one of my small pen sketches at a charity auction in Ipswich and had then gone on to check out my website. A few weeks ago, Nettie contacted me to say they had seen the Mam na Gualainn painting on the website and really wanted to buy it ….but also wanted to visit my studio and collect it in person. As they live in Essex, it meant an almost 450 mile drive and they rather heroically made it despite their car having a major breakdown in the north of England and it having to be towed back to Essex. They however were determined to get to Ayrshire and so hired a car to complete the journey. They arrived yesterday afternoon along with their five small dogs and we had a very enjoyable couple of hours together. Nettie is a painter too and we had agreed a part exchange of work. We now have one of her beautiful wee paintings on our wall and to cap it all, Ted presented me with a copy of a book his father had written back in the late 1930’s I think. He was an established British climber and with two of his colleagues they produced this fabulous book called “British Hills and Mountains”. I’ve only had a short while to look through it, but it’s full of wonderful black and white photographs….. many of them of hills Nita and I have climbed over the years. What is really interesting is that many of these photos are of angles I’ve not seem before. Wow ….in my element or what! Sadly I can’t see print any longer but Nita has said she’ll read the book to me. So then, a big thank you to Nettie and Ted who, as I type will be driving back to Essex. As I said at the start of this blog ….it’s been a very interesting week.