Preparations

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‘ One of the new paintings for the Edinburgh exhibition’

It would have been the perfect day to go walking today …its clear blue skies outside and a heavy frost. Alas, both Nita and I are working! Our friend Guy has gone out to have a wander around one of the two local wind farms …and I would have joined him if I hadn’t been so busy. This certainly would have been the day to do our long walk with him on Rannoch Moor but we’ll just have to wait for another opportunity.

Basically this last week has just been work. I’ve now got just over three weeks to get everything finished, framed and organised for my exhibition at ‘the gallery on the corner’ in Edinburgh. We deliver the work on the 26th ….but I’m getting there. The most important thing I guess is making sure I’ve got the paintings ready and this side of things has gone well this last week. I’ve completed the two new 76 x 23 cm paintings and so have enough new work for the show. We took these two paintings along with two new 30 x 30 pieces to the Waverley Gallery in Prestwick yesterday to get them framed and collected five other pieces that I took for framing a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t have time to look at these yesterday so am looking forward to getting down the studio in a couple of hours and unwrapping them. I always find it a bit nerve wracking seeing paintings in a frame for the first time …occasionally it can be the moment that you realise a piece is not finished! Hopefully I’ll be happy with these once I get them up on the wall.

I still have several more drawings to complete. I’m planning to take around half a dozen A2 sized graphite drawings to the exhibition. I’m not going to get them framed, just mounted and covered with a sheet of clear acetate. These will then be displayed in a separate stand in the gallery along with some new small prints I’m having done.

After returning from Prestwick yesterday we jumped on the train and headed through to Edinburgh. The gallery had recommended using their local printer to get the work done. We arrived in Edinburgh to be met by dark skies and a very cold wind (it had been sunny in Irvine when we left!) and we had a decidedly cool half hour walk over to the printers. Anyway, they were very helpful and I’ve ordered two copies of each of eight images to be printed on two types of paper … one smooth and white, the other off white and with a slight texture. I’m not really sure how these will come out but it’ll be interesting to see and give me a better idea whether I want to go down the prints ‘line’ in future.

It was then straight back on the train to Glasgow and after portion of fries and a rather tasteless cup of coffee on the station we rushed over to Millers, the big art supply store ….and spent an hour or so wandering around ….spending the tokens I’d won back in July in the North Ayrshire Open Exhibition. I wasn’t very sure whether I’d be able to spend them all ….but I shouldn’t have worried. In the end it was quite good as I found a selection of different types of sketch book, squares rather than rectangles and in a range of different papers. A few pastels and a large bottle of acrylic gloss medium / varnish and I’d used up my tokens …great stuff. Normally when I buy art materials I get just what I know I need …yesterday I felt free to try out a few different things. Thanks then rather belatedly, to Millers for sponsoring the prize at the North Ayrshire Open Exhibition and to the judges who awarded the 2012 Millers Prize to yours truly. That’s another good reason to get down the studio today ….I can’t wait to get everything I bought out of the bag. As I think I said in my last blog or Work of the Week, I’ve wanted to do more drawing again and so with all these great sketch books I’ve got no excuses not to!

So then, the preparations for my forth coming exhibition are well under way and with a bit of luck I should have everything done and ready in time. Next week I have to get invitation cards printed and a press release written …and go back over to Edinburgh to collect the prints…that’ll be interesting. If I’m happy with them it’ll then be another trip down to Prestwick to get them all mounted. I haven’t had an exhibition since October 2011 (at the Queens Gallery in Dundee and also at the Künstlerhaus in Speyer) and although it’s quite hectic, I’m really enjoying being back in the thick of it. I do hope some of you can get along to see the exhibition during March. Full details soon. If anyone wants an invitation to the preview please just let me know.

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