It has become increasingly more difficult for me to see what I’m doing when I go to the polling booth on election days and so for yesterdays vote on independence, I decided to register for a postal vote. As such, I voted about a week ago and so while record numbers of people went to the polling stations, I had a very normal day.
It was in short, very like many other working days for me and started with an hour or so doing jobs on the computer. Being an artist isn’t just about splashing paint….. It’s also about doing all the things other businesses have to do ….in short, the paperwork! As my sight has very slowly deteriorated, this side of my work has become more and more time consuming. I’m currently writing this blog with the screen magnifier on 8x and the screen reader reading each word as I type it. This is still quite quick but once I’m using email or the internet it gets much more difficult I find. My morning sessions on this computer usually end up with me swearing at the thing as I make yet another mistake. Yesterday however, things went quite calmly for once and I managed to place an order for new gift cards. I’ve sold most of the ones I had printed a couple of years ago and suddenly realised I was down to the last card of one of the four designs…and that sold to a lady who visited the studio with her husband yesterday morning. With our Open Studios Weekend looming it was time to get some new cards made.
Once I’d checked my emails, ( and sent one off to the Harbour Arts Centre to arrange a meeting to discuss promoting my forthcoming exhibition) ….well, I’d had enough of this machine and it was time to do some proper work and get down to the studio. I grabbed a lift with Nita in the car down to town and then walked the half mile along the harbour side to the Courtyard Studios. I had a chance to have a close look at the new entrance-way to the Maritime Museum yard. They have somehow printed their sign directly onto the wall …and it looks very good. Quite how they got it through the local council planning department I haven’t a clue …but well done to them, it’s quite impressive and I certainly enjoyed standing looking at it.
I arrived at my studio about 11am I guess to find several of my colleagues there working away with Alison and David both running classes I think. I have to say that I’m not a quick starter when I arrive at work. First job is always putting on the coffee maker ….one has to get ones priorities right! Once that is bubbling and gurgling away I can relax, put my sign out and sit in my rocking chair looking at the work I did the previous day. This usually lasts a good half hour and only then do I start work. I have four main paintings on the go at the moment and with the paint still wet on the two large canvases, and the 80 x 80 cm acrylic and pastel piece almost finished, I decided I needed to get on with the new 122 cm x 61 cm painting I started about a week ago. It’s still in its very early stages and is based on a view of Buachaille Etive Beag. Unusually for me, the view point is from down low in the glen and the painting is in the more traditional “landscape” format. The early stages of these big acrylic and pastel paintings are pretty methodical work. I just slowly build up alternating layers of thin paint and pastel and this is quite time consuming. It doesn’t need too much concentration though and so I often play music or listen to one of my talking books while painting or scribbling away. Yesterday was just such a day but by the time I left in the early evening I’d got the piece to a reasonable state. Today, when I get down there, I’ll have to start concentrating and the talking book will be turned off!
My immediate priorities now are to make sure I have a good selection of work ready for my exhibition at the Harbour Arts Centre starting on November 27th. Of course, before that starts, we have our annual Open Studios Weekend at the Courtyard, on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th October. This actually involves a lot of work as I have to clear all the surfaces, move the tables and hang all the work ….and paint the floor again as it’s really messy now. Some years I spend the whole of the week before the event getting the studio ready but this year I have so many other things to do that I may well carry on working until the end of Wednesday 1st October ….and then have two very mad days getting everything done! If I go down this line I’ll be very tired at the end of it and visitors to my studio over the weekend will probably find me slumped in my rocking chair …oh well, nothing new there!
I left the studio at 7pm and went home to watch the gathering news from the referendum.