The last ten days has seen a run of the best kind of late spring weather here in North Berwick - sunny, fairly warm and not too windy (which is rare!). I have been down at my beach hut studio every day (not today though as we seem to have reverted to a strong easterly wind which has sent the temperature right down) and, having brought down my easel and paints, I have been able to get on with some outdoor painting. This acrylic on canvas board was executed entirely outdoors, apart from the smaller tree on the right.
I seem to have been a little remiss in updating my blog recently so here are three bits of news all wrapped up in to one easily digested bundle...
1. I was delighted to be voted the winner of the Public Vote in the recent Dalkeith Arts Spring Exhibition held in the Riccio Gallery in Dalkeith, with my painting 'The Meadows in the Snow'.
2. I am currently exhibiting some of my boat paintings in the lovely Number Four Gallery in scenic St Abbs, as part of their Spring Exhibition. This is a lovely gallery with a very fine mix of work on display and well worth a visit. http://www.numberfourgallery.co.uk/
3. I'm back in my Beach Hut! Yes, beach nut no 5 'Lamb' at North Berwick Harbour is again my home for the summer, providing a space to work and display my artwork. Still a little chilly some days but I'll be there when the weather is reasonable, from about 12.30 onwards.
This very popular annual event (there are queues at 10am on Good Friday before opening!) runs over Easter weekend again this year, raising funds towards the Church Repair Fund as well as local charities. I am pleased to be exhibiting here again along with many other talented local artists. Open all Easter weekend with hours as shown in the flyer. Some of the paintings I will be exhibiting are also shown in the slideshow below.
A new venture which is fundraising for the main 3 Harbours Festival in June in Prestonpans, Port Seton and Cockenzie. I am taking part along with about twenty other local artists. The exhibition is taking place in Prestonpans Town Hall on 24th and 25th February - tea and coffee will be served and there is also a raffle.
After doing a fair amount of drawing in coloured pencils since the start of the year, this week I felt inspired to try something completely different from my usual. Canvas board is not a surface I have used often and the chance to try out a new palette of colours on a new surface was quite exciting. Add in to the mix pens, sponges and cocktail sticks and there has been a fair amount of experimentation. Luckily I am very pleased with the result!
"Late Autumn Apricity", acrylic and pen on canvas board, 500 x 400mm
Finally, I think it's finished - although I may come back to it later for a little bit of tweaking! Not sure why it has taken me such a long time to complete this painting, to be honest. There must have been a lot of distractions. And quite a few learning processes along the way too, as this was a new painting surface for me, and I had never used gold leaf before - no doubt it would be quicker the next time. 50x50cm, acrylic and gold leaf on birch ply.
A combination of poor light and lots else to do has meant that this painting has been on the go for a quite a few days. Working in acrylics on a birch ply panel - a new surface for me - well sanded between coats of gesso as a primer. I've never really taken to canvas as a surface to work on as it is so 'bouncy', but I'm really enjoying working on this panel. Still looking up but moving on from chimney pots, this dome doesn't actually exist - it is a combination of several and some imagination!
On Saturday I signed up for one of the National Gallery of Scotland's Life Drawing Classes. I have never done any life drawing before - I rarely draw people at all in fact - and it was something that I have wanted to try and thought that I could learn from. It was a two hour class and we drew the model in four poses - two standing, and the same sitting pose twice. We were working purely in charcoal which is also not a medium that i have used very often at all. Very quick and intense and very tiring! I enjoyed it a lot though and will almost certainly be going back at some point.
Got the bit between my teeth the last two or three weeks and have been really quite productive - lots of painting! All boats from North Berwick harbour , and destined for various upcoming shows.
First boat painting finished in what seems like ages! Another view of Tidewatch II which I seem to paint rather often - I do like its shape though. Hoping that people will understand the title...