North Ayrshire Open Art Exhibition 2015

It’s that time of year again when the annual North Ayrshire Open Art Exhibition takes place.  , I entered one of my scribbled pastel drawings and one of my more traditional 80 x 80 cm acrylic and pastel paintings.  Both I’m pleased to say, have been selected for the exhibition.   A quick look through the catalogue this morning  revealed a good turn out from the Courtyard Studios artists this year  as well as work by several former Courtyard Studios artists.  The exhibition preview is tomorrow evening starting at 7.30 pm and it takes place at the Racquet Hall in Eglinton Country Park, Kilwinning.  The exhibition then runs for two weeks.   Being an open exhibition with over 100 works on display, there is always something for everyone and it makes for an enjoyable visit…..especially so if you add on a wander through the beautiful surrounding parkland while you’re there.

'Breaking mists on Mam na Gualainnt', on display at the North Ayrshire Open Art Exhibition

‘Breaking mists on Mam na Gualainnt’, on display at the North Ayrshire Open Art Exhibition

The last two weeks have been a strange mix for me.  I’ve spent many days working in the studio.  I have quite a lot of different things on the go at the moment which is nice.  I’ve got back to using oil colour again and have been working on three different canvases, all of which I started last year and then put to one side.    I’m also creating nine new small size (210 x 148 mm) graphite drawings for my forthcoming exhibition in Edinburgh in August.  Busy, busy, busy!

Last Thursday Nita and I drove up to Pitlochry to collect the work at the end of my exhibition at the John Muir Trust wild Space.  It was a good experience showing work there and although I only sold one painting, my gift cards sold well ….so as a way of marketing my work and introducing my paintings to a wider audience, it was very successful.  The Wild Space is right on the main street in Pitlochry and close to where all the coaches park up.  As such the centre gets a large number of visitors both UK and from abroad and so a lot of people will have seen my work for the first time.  Anyway, a big thank you to Jane Grimley (JMT Wild Space Manager) and her staff for making me so welcome and for inviting me to show my work with the John Muir Trust.   To find out more about the John Muir Trust and the important work it does, visit:  www.jmt.org

I’ve just received an email from my colleague Dan Thornton, the photographer and film maker based in Seattle.    As you know, he has been making an hour long documentary about my work and we are now in the process of raising the funds to get the editing done.  I’ve donated seven paintings and some prints which are now with Dan in Seattle and he is setting up an auction and publicity event to raise awareness of the project.  He is also setting up a kick starter campaign for the same purpose and this should be underway around the start of August.  I’ll obviously post more details nearer the time.

The next big project for me is my exhibition at “the gallery on the corner” in Edinburgh.  I’ll be showing something in region of 30 pieces of work I think and the exhibition preview is on August 7th 2015.  The exhibition then runs until 29th August.  I’m really looking forward to this show as the gallery is such a great space.  The exhibition is on during the Edinburgh Festival so if you’re in the city, you could take a well earned breather from all the festival shows and enjoy looking at some peaceful, quiet paintings of the Scottish Highlands.  Full details of this exhibition to follow shortly.

 One other plan for the not too distant future is to visit the arts centre in Dumfries.  My partner Nita is making some great pieces in porcelain and we are starting to think about holding an exhibition together.  A colleague has suggested we look at the arts centre down in Dumfries as a possible venue for the show…..so, early days but visiting the centre would start the process.  More on this project as things develop.

Sadly we haven’t been able to get out walking since our trip to Glen Douglas the other week but I’m hopeful we can make it out sometime soon.  Fingers crossed, I’m starting to get withdrawal symptoms again!

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