RSA, RGI and Scottish Drawing Exhibitions

I’m really not the most organised person in the world, although I am trying to do better.  This said however, in the last few weeks I’ve missed deadlines for two important open exhibitions; the RGI exhibition and the Scottish Drawing exhibition in Paisley.  On both occasions I failed to read the relevant dates and rules, and so missed out on a chance to exhibit work in these shows.

I decided then that I really had to enter a couple of paintings for the RSA annual exhibition ….handing in days Friday 23rd Oct and Saturday 24th

I read through the dates and rules very carefully this time.  I got my partner Anita to read through the dates and rules carefully too!   Then of course it comes down to what paintings to enter ….and this is always the difficult bit.  You can never predict what a selection panel will like or dislike, so it really comes down to what you think is your very best work …always tricky!

This summer I’ve been trying to develop my paintings a little.  I’ve been using a bigger range of brushes, a bigger range of paint …the thick heavy bodied acrylics as well as the standard ones.  I’ve been mixing paint with mediums to create far more fluid colours.  Added to these I’ve still been scribbling into the paintings with oil pastel …but now with perhaps less abandon than in some earlier works.  I want to create good Scottish landscape paintings, but I want them to go beyond simply producing a view.  It’s vitally important to me that the paintings work as Scottish landscape and as paintings in their own right …to be viewed and enjoyed for their purely abstract and aesthetic values.  I’ve therefore been working hard on this side of my work ….I’ve had many failures along the way over this last few months, but a few of the pieces are starting to work in this way to a certain extent.

'NW from Conival, May', Acrylic & Pastel, 2009, 80 x 80 cmI decided then to enter two of these new paintings for the RSA exhibition.  Both of them are slightly bigger than I normally work on and this increase in size has allowed me to be a little more expressive in the way in which I put the paint down.  The two paintings are:

 ‘North west from Conival’, Acrylic & Pastel, 80 x 80 cm

 This painting is based on a walk we did on Conival, one of the two rough and wild Assynt Munros.   It was an almost perfect May day, warm, bright sun with odd clouds producing a wonderful patchwork of light and shade on this rocky and barren landscape.

 

‘Below Mid Hill, Luss’, Acrylic and Pastel, 90 x  60cm

This, the third painting of a small series of works I’m doing based on one particular winter / early spring day in the Luss Hills.  As we descended from the freezing temperatures and gale force winds on the tops, we were treated to an amazing array of colours as the sun caught the different grasses, bracken and heather lower down and the snow and ice higher up.

'Below Mid Hill, Luss', Acrylic & Pastel, 2009, 90 x 60 cmWell then, the two paintings are now in the hands of the RSA along with no doubt several thousand other hopefuls work.  With these ‘open’ exhibitions it’s always a bit of a gamble …you never really know whether your work will be accepted …but it’s always good fun entering.  I always say to people who come into my studio and who are entering works in such exhibitions …don’t get disappointed if your painting is rejected.  But of course, when the rejection letter arrives, it really is hard not to be just a wee bit aggrieved! 

Oh well, here we go again.  If my next blog is a bit on the grumpy side, you’ll know my two paintings failed to get into the show!

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