Back in Business!

'Every one a critic!'

'Every one a critic!'

On Sunday last, the pipes at the Courtyard studios finally thawed out, and surprisingly there were no burst pipes or floods.  It was a great relief and on Monday morning I moved my painting gear back down and got back to normality …whatever that is!

The pipes were frozen for just on two weeks and I found it very strange working away from my studio space.  For this time I was working in a spare corner of the spare room in our house.  It was rather cramped and I didn’t have much space …but, I did have water to make coffee and I didn’t have to wander along the road in order to use the toilets in the Harbour Arts Centre.  So then, it wasn’t too bad, although the room I was working in happens to be the one the cat spends most of his day sleeping in and so we had a few falling outs over the two weeks!  This was due mainly to me keeping him awake with my cursing every time I mixed the wrong colour or lost the particular pastel I was using.

One thing the temporary move did point out though, was just how much I rely on everything being in their places.  At the studio I have a place for everything.  I can’t see things well enough to look for them when I need them …so I have to be able to find them by memory.  Now, as anyone who’s visited my studio will tell you, I certainly don’t keep it tidy.  It’s a bit of a tip to be honest, but, that said, it is usually an organised tip!  I know exactly where amongst the rubble on my desk, to lay my hands on the tape measure or the scissors.  So long as I keep to this routine, I can move about and work quite quickly.  Of course, if someone comes into the studio and distracts me and I put something down in the wrong place, then it’s usually a ten minute job finding again once the visitor has gone.

This then was what I found working from the room in the house …I didn’t have set places for my gear and so I spent all the time I wasn’t arguing with the cat, searching for the right paint or pastel.'December afternoon, Rannoch Moor'

Surprisingly enough then, I managed to get two paintings completed in my spell in the spare room.  Not big paintings, but finished all the same.  The first piece was one of my long thin (76 x 23 cm) paintings.  This is the first of a number of pictures I’m hoping to produce based on the short day we had on Rannoch Moor back just before Christmas.  The second painting was one I’ve wanted to do for a while now.  It is based on a day last year when we were over on the Isle of Arran and got caught in a series of heavy rain showers.  They made the hills look splendid especially in the early morning light and this is one of what I hope to be a number of works on a similar theme.

'Passing shower, Isle of Arran',

In the end, quite a good and productive couple of weeks in my make shift studio.  I was though glad to get back to the proper one on the harbour side …. and I think the cat is glad I’ve gone too!

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