Moving around

New Art Studio - December

New Art Studio - December 2011

It is now just over two months since I moved into my new bigger studio and yesterday I decided to move everything around!  I guess it takes time to work out the best use of a new space and the way I’d set things out on first moving in, well, it was far from that.

I’d put my easel and palette (a large piece of white ‘kitchen’ board on a battered and very old Black & Decker Workmate) close to the door.  This is the main source of natural light in this studio, so it seemed to make sense.  Opposite this are the stairs to the upper studio and the gap between the two had to accommodate my chair …a rather large rocking chair to be exact!  Suffice to say it didn’t leave much room to get past and into the main body of the studio.  This didn’t really matter to me; after banging my shins on the rockers of the chair a few times, I’d learnt.  However, this wasn’t good for anyone visiting as they had to negotiate their way past these obstacles in order to get to see the finished work hung on the end walls.  As I say though, in my defence, I had placed the easel in this position in order to get as much of the natural light as possible …so not that daft!

New Art Studio - December

New Art Studio - December 2011

However, this eye of mine is a strange beast and it does odd things in different types of light.  I always see colour now in a very subdued way but rather perversely not only does my sight fail almost totally in very dim conditions, it also fails if the light gets too bright.

In this new studio, the lighting is a series of six fluorescent tubes hung in two sets of three along the length of the space.  With the studio space above, the ceiling is quite low and so these tubes appear much brighter than in my old studio, which was in the old part of the building and had a very high ceiling.  So then, the problem I’ve found is that although my easel gets the maximum amount (not very much in reality) of natural light during the day, once the light outside fades, and the fluorescent tubes take over ….well, it’s just too damn bright for me.  At this time of year especially with the kind of dark gloomy wet days we’ve been having much of the time here on the west coast of Scotland, there has been precious little day light anyway and I’ve really been struggling to see what I’m doing.  Not that this is really that different from normal except that now under this great glare of fluorescent light …I can barely see anything of the colours ……except the very strong contrasting ones that is.  Any subdued colours just fade into a fuzzy nothingness!  Not great!

'Winter slopes, Glen Lyon'

'Winter slopes, Glen Lyon'

I had been working on one of my larger 80 x 80 cm pieces for almost three months and the other day I managed to completely wreck it.  The painting has been a bit of an experiment in all truth.  I’d been trying to create something that was full of marks and done in thick paint.  This was proving difficult but under this strange and intense light, it proved a step to far.

'October morning, Glen Lyon'

'October morning, Glen Lyon'

So then, with one wrecked painting, many hours and many pounds worth of paint down the drain, I decided yesterday that it was time to change.  The far end of the studio has less natural light but also, rather conveniently for me, slightly less fluorescent light too.  I have then taken all my painting gear up to the far end of the studio and hung some of my finished paintings on the wall on the right as you enter the studio.  It’s going to be much better for visitors, (no obstacle course) and the slightly less intense and more constant light should, with a bit of luck, prove better for painting.  I’ll let you know how things work out.

Finally, if you live in Ayrshire, why not pop along to The Framework Gallery in Troon.  They have a great selection of work by many Scottish artists and they now also have five of my paintings, (four small and one large).  Although you can see images of my work on this website, there’s nothing better than seeing and experiencing a painting for real.

The Framework Gallery
83 Portland Street
Troon
Ayrshire KA10 6QU

Tel: 01292 316144

Website:  www.frameworktroon.co.uk

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