The Jolomo Scottish Landscape Awards – ‘2009 Finalists’ – Strathearn Gallery, Crieff

144 'Breaking cloud, Am Bodach', Acyrlic & Pastel, 2010, 80 x 80 cm

'Breaking cloud, Am Bodach'

Well, the exhibition opened last Saturday and the eight paintings I included in the show were finally completed, framed, delivered and hanging on the walls in time for the opening at 11.00am that morning!  Now, that doesn’t sound difficult does it?  Just eight pieces.

Of course, I couldn’t do it the easy way and select eight already completed pieces.  No, I was determined to do a few completely new paintings for this show.  And, bar for a few days of panic while I was trying to finish the ‘Winter, Blackmount’ painting … (I just couldn’t get it right for a while), everything went ok.

The framing though was another matter.  The five smaller paintings were fine.  These are always framed the same way; behind glass with a wide single mount and a stylish but simple 7 cm wide distressed ‘York’ silver frame.  This seems to work well with the scratchy, scribbled nature of my paintings.  The three larger pieces were another thing entirely.  At this scale (80 x 80 cm and 60 x 60 cm) I needed a different kind of frame; something without a mount and glass.  I tried a lot of different mouldings and colour combinations before hitting on the right thing.

It’s a fairly broad simple wooden frame with a raised outer edge, painted a pale cream colour and with a thin gold inner edge.  This seems to work well with these paintings.  This sounds quite simple but getting to this point took much bashing of my head against the wall as to start with I’d decided the frames should be dark and with a second outer edge of gold.  This made them look like window frames and so they all had to be completely re-painted ….ooops!  Oh well, we got there in the end and as my framer said …the customer is always right …but not always correct.  He may have a point

The show, containing work by the seven of us short listed for last years Jolomo Awards for Scottish Landscape Painting, looks good.  It’s a smashing gallery with large well lit spaces on two levels.  It was great meeting up with the others again and seeing what they’d all been doing.  There’s a lot of very fine work there, so if you can get to Crieff before the show ends on March 20th, then I’d recommend it …not that I’m at all biased of course!  Of all the work though, my fuzzy eye was caught by Toby Cooke’s fantastic painting, ‘View from Leith’.  It’s quite big and the composition is just great.  Anyway, you can see for yourself, even if you don’t live in driving distance of Crieff …the show can be seen on-line:  www.strathearn-gallery.com .

At the end of the preview on Saturday I was feeling pretty happy as I’d sold a few of my paintings and the gallery has asked if I’d like to put on a solo show in 2011 …Wow!  Mind you it’ll be a lot of work – something in the region of forty pieces, so it’s a good job I’ve a year to work on it!

Jolomo 2009 Finalists Catalogue

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