Happy Almost Christmas!

L138a 'December afternoon, Glen Lyon', Acrylic & Pastel, 2009, 80 x 80 cmWell, the run up to Christmas this year has been quite a good one.  I’ve got a number of paintings completed this month ready for the exhibition at Strathearn Gallery in February.  This is a group exhibition, containing work by the seven finalists of the Jolomo Awards 2009.  They’re asking for around eight pieces so I’m hoping to include nearly all new work.

I also had a very pleasant surprise the other day as I heard that one of the pieces I’m currently exhibiting in the ScotlandArt.com gallery in Glasgow has just sold, along with a painting at Blairmore Gallery near Dunoon.  The harbour side in Irvine is a quiet place in winter and so sales through galleries are very important.

Like the rest of the country, Irvine this week has had a touch of winter.  Yesterday saw some heavy snow late afternoon and this morning the town was like a skating rink.  Indeed there was so much ice on the pavements that I dug out my small instep crampons (that I use on icy paths in the hill) and crunched my way over the three miles of icy pavements to the studio.  It was great, until that is, I had to walk through the shopping mall!  Not wanting to go to the effort of taking the crampons off, I clattered my way between the shoppers …no doubt getting a few odd looks en route.  The studio has been seriously cold this week and it’s been a case of wearing three jumpers and a bobble hat some days.  From the look of it outside this evening, I’ll be going through the same thing tomorrow, but what the heck….I love snow and it’s quite rare here in Irvine.

Irvine-Harbour-Arran-ViewTomorrow will be the last day for a couple.  This year I’ll be spending a quiet couple of days with my partner Anita.  Last year however, things were a little different.  Anita, who works at the local hospital, had drawn the short straw and was working a twelve and a half hour shift on Christmas Day.  I decided I might as well do the same thing …and we’d start our Christmas at 8 pm when Anita finished work.  She said that she’d drive down to the studio and pick me up on the way home.  Well, all was fine.  I had a nice walk down to the studio in bright winter sunshine on Christmas morning and then spent an enjoyable day painting.  By evening though the weather had turned bad and a fierce gale was blowing and it was raining very hard.  At eight o’clock Anita rang to say she was leaving work and I closed shop and made my way from the back door of the studios to the main gate …which I had to close and lock.  Not concentrating, I put my white cane under my arm and proceeded to walk across the courtyard towards the gate … trying to find the padlock key as I went.  In the total darkness I hadn’t notice a large wheelie bin that had been blown across the courtyard in the gales and was lying on its side right in my path.  I tripped over it’s open lid and fell face first into the empty filthy, wet bin!

When a few minutes later Anita arrived in the car, she said as I got in, ‘oooh, you’re all wet’.  I replied, much to my shame, ‘I’ve just fallen in a ******* bin!’  ‘Happy Christmas’ she said….laughing!

christmas-studio

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