If you had told me six months ago that come April we'd be in this situation I would have found it very hard to believe. But here we are. Hoping for the best, but also worried about how things will turn out. I am lucky in that the two things I enjoy doing the most - art and gardening - are excellent for relaxation and so that is really all I have been doing.
I have a great number of paintings ready for various shows and exhibitions that are now cancelled, and I was also getting ready to move back into my beach hut next week, with a number of 'new lines' that are now sitting sadly around the house!
Anyway, chin up and keep painting. What else to do...
So it seems that it was April that I last made made a blog post! In my defence I suppose I have been treating my Facebook page as a blog more and more, but I appreciate that is not necessarily accessible to everyone...
So here, in summary, is what I've been up to art-wise since my last blog -
I moved into my beach hut studio in April and spent a lovely summer painting outdoors and meeting people from all over the world. All the huts were occupied by artists and artisans this summer and we have a real community spirit down there. Although the weather wasn't as good as the exceptional season we had last year - there were several Monumental Downpours and a few High Winds - many more days than not I was to be found down at the harbour. And I gained the tan to prove it :)
The North Berwick Art Group Summer Show took place over two weeks at the end of July/beginning of August and we enjoyed the company of the Fringe By The Sea's Spiegeltents at the same time. North Berwick was VERY busy. I was also involved with the East Linton Annual Art Show - now in its 51st year - at the beginning of September.
Sad to move out of the beach hut mid September again but I'm sure we'll be back before we know it...
Since then I seem to have had a slightly manic painting phase, all good preparations for the shows coming up later on.
Slideshow of summer 2019 at the harbour below.
Nearly time for the annual Art Show at the St Andrew Blackadder Church in North Berwick High Street. Now in its 17th year this exhibition features the work of around 60 local artists and raises money for the Church Repair Fund and a selection of local charities. During the show tea and coffee along with homebaking is served - even I am baking! (a rare event, if I am honest). Opening hours 10am until 5pm on Good Friday and Sat 20th, and 1pm until 5pm on Easter Sunday. Note that the exhibition is not running on Easter Monday this year, but if you still need an art fix then pop down and see me in my beach hut studio!
All my paintings in the exhibition shown below.
I made the decision to retire as Chair of North Berwick in Bloom last summer, after eight years in the role and nearly twenty years volunteering for the group in various capacities. It has been a lot of fun, I have met wonderful people, and I have learnt so much. But the time had come when I was feeling quite worn out by it all - and also it will be good for NB in Bloom to have some fresh blood in charge!
So I was delighted to receive a letter just before Christmas informing me that I was to receive a Certificate of Merit from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society recognising my "highly regarded and significant contribution to horticulture and gardening in Scotland". I collected the certificate at the Caley's AGM and Award Ceremony on Tuesday night at the Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh (another favourite haunt!). Now to find a frame (it's a large certificate...)
Last weekend I was exhibiting at Cockenzie House and Gardens in a fundraiser show for the 3 Harbours Festival. Some very good work on display and lots of visitors over the week, and I was very happy to take part as I will be busy at my beach hut during June when the main Festival is taking place. I was very interested in the salt being made in the garden in a newly repaired pan, which has been newly repaired by the Waggonway Heritage Group and there will be a group of salters there regularly at weekend over the spring and summer.
Meanwhile, with all this extra time on my hands, I have started painting in earnest in preparation for several forthcoming shows. This painting "Snowdrops in the Stumpery" features one of North Berwick in Bloom's beds in the Lodge Gardens.
It seems I have been a bit remiss with blog posts, so here are three updates in one. Daylight is of course restricted at this time of year which means that evening working is out of the question! However I have been working on some boats, a slightly different view of North Berwick from the harbour wall - which is destined for the St Andrew Blackadder art show at Easter, and a rather large collage of a spring woodland which if I am being completely honest I am finding rather hard going. Or at least I assume that's why I keep stopping working on it to concentrate on something else!
This week I have worked on aluminium panels for the first time - the surface is coated to accept whatever media you’re using. These two - Robin on a Frosty Twig (15 x 20cm) and Winter Lane (12.5cm square) are both acrylic. I enjoyed painting them and will be working on these aluminium panels again I think!
Been a bit under the weather lately - either two colds one after the other or the same one continually mutating - but a mild malady I find very good for enforced productivity...
'Winter Tree in a Field', A3 acrylic on canvas (title may need some work!) and
'Brimlad', acrylic 290 x 290mm (an Anglo Saxon girl's name meaning seaway, fact fans)
Actually there isn't much sign of it at all - an unseasonable 19 degrees here today - although we are firmly into autumnal territory foliage-wise. Nevertheless this week I have been fixated on snow and have painted these two acrylics on board 'Winter mist, low sun' and 'Winter Crow'. Both A3.
This week 8-16 September sees the 50th Annual East Linton Open Art Show. This annual event was first held in 1968 when it was organised by the East Linton Traders Association and has been run by volunteers ever since. Read more at eastlintonannualartshow.weebly.com/
I am pleased to be one of the committee members who helped with the slightly daunting task of hanging nearly 300 works of art that were submitted! I have three framed works on display this week - 'Misty Autumn Woods'; 'Paragon & Design' and 'Two Yellow Floats'.
And what a summer it's been - weeks and weeks of warm sunny weather. I have been at my beach hut studio nearly every day, painting and meeting interesting people. Last week the Fringe by the Sea was in town too, so we were sharing our space with two Spiegeltents, interesting music and the daily tantalisation of wonderful cooking smells drifting over from the food court. I may have succumbed once or twice...
No hut today, or yesterday, as it has been rather damp. I have finally finished this painting 'Paragon & Design' and treated myself to a new tiny paintbrush (having ruined the old one!).
Next stop - the Edinburgh Macmillan Art Show at Bonhams in Edinburgh