South Uist

South Uist

Saturday, 23 July 2011

100 Pebbles almost there!

This is the final entry before the big day on Sunday. Hard to believe that we have been working at this for months and the day is almost upon us.
Canvas purchased,delivered and numbered. Paint mixed and knives and brushes at the ready.
BIG THANK YOUs to Millers Art shop, Stockwell Street, Winsor and Newton who came good and to Richard and all the staff at Ken Bromley Art Materials.

The BIGGEST thank you goes to neighbour and friend Jessie, who thrust a cheque in my hand for the stretched canvas and wouldn't take no for an answer.
Spent quite a bit of time mixing the base colours for the event, the paintings are fundamentally based on 2 components, sky and sea so it was important to create a set of consistent and coherent colour matches for the base work.
With 6 paintings already reserved, or purchased we still have some way to go, but we have a great start and many thanks to those friends and aquaintances who have put their hands in their pockets for such a good cause.
The event is due to start at 10.30am on the 24th and finish at 6. Good weather is forcast and fingers crossed for a good turn out for the Merchant City Festival.
On Wednesday this week Caroline Wilson interviewed me by phone for a feature on the event for the Glasgow Evening Times, who have continued to be a long standing supporter of the Beatson cause. A photographer followed up on Thursday morning, a very nice guy who put the artist at ease, although I've never been shy in front of the camera.

I thought it was important to include my longest standing supporter, and the person who has had to put up with 100 Pebbles longer than anyone else, my wife Marian. The photo was taken on a lovely sunny day in Pittenweem on the Fife coast in Scotland, and the bundle of white fur is our not so wee dog Hector who loves to bark at seagulls at every opportunity.
This is a great spot, although the artists insistance on climbing over rocks to get closer to the crashing waves resulted in falling over without the aid of any alcoholic beverage.
Just up the road is Cellardyke which I have tried to capture in oil, and can be found at the Union Gallery in Edinburgh for sale.
This painting was influenced by a visit to Cellardyke as the evening was drawing in, and the light was failing, the ever darkening sea only broken up by the white spray on the black rocks close to the shore. A great moment which I brough back to Glasgow to try and capture on canvas. Hopefully I have have done the moment some justice. This like all of my work has a little bit of me in it, and forms a kind of connection with an event or memory.
I have always try to capture not only the appearance, but something of the mood and feeling.
I will try and capture those same memories and feelings into the 100 Pebbles work which even though in a slightly more tricky medium, acrylic. will demand discipline on the one hand, but also a lighter, more instant approach.
The work will be presented in the Art Exposure Gallery in the format of 10 x 10 canvasses, each of 8 x 8 inches in size. I have always the considered the finished piece as the artwork. 100 separate scenes brought together in a coherent whole.

So pretty much ready for the day, so look forward to an entry telling how we got on and a few pics as well of the occasion. So for anyone in Glasgow visiting the Merchant City Festival tomorrow.. have a good day and make your way to Art Exposure Gallery in Parnie Street, behind the Tron Theatre where Frances Lowrie, the gallery owner and yours truly will look forward to seeing you..
Should be a great day.. See you all there.


Friday, 1 July 2011

Is it July already?

As we get into the month of July the thoughts of the massive challenge of painting 100 paintings in one day is foremost in my mind. There has never been a doubt in my mind the physical challenge is achievable, but the support of others will be pivotal making the event a success.
The Beatson team, the Art Exposure Gallery are pulling together to build up the momentum for the day. The event has already published with Events Glasgow, submitted to the Merchant City Festival online programme, and circulated to the existing Beatson Pebble Appeal supporters via newsletter. In the last few weeks we seek to gain as much publicity to guarantee a great day and the sale of all of the 100 pieces to make the £2000 total. Lets look forward to a fine day for the final day of the Merchant City Festival.

As mentioned previously, Millers Art shop are to supply the paint.
We are still need to raise the £150 for the stretched canvas from local and national companies, with the possible support from a major art materials supplier I am hopefully that we can finalise something in the next week.

Last week I was called my Lord Macfarlane of Bearsden to lend his support to the challenge, who as a major figure in art and commerce in Scotland is greatly appreciated. A very big thanks for the support!

There have been a few offers to purchase a painting before the event so it would be good to have a few guaranteed sales before kick off at the end of the month. I am sure I will be leaning on a few people to dig deep in their pockets for the charity.

The event is not without its critics, my cats Rufus and Barnaby continue to provide advice, usually telling me that cat pictures are much more fun than seascapes. I'm sure we can look forward to a future event called 100 paw prints if they get their way.

Since it's Canada Day today I am reminded of an artist in Quebec, Marcel Gagnon whose arts centre sits next to the the Saint Lawrence river.
This picture was taken on typically frozen day in January this year, the centre closed up , but Gagnon's sculptures hauntingly standing like sentinels over the landscape. The wooden figures continue out in the river, or here the ice. The centre out in the Gaspesie National park of Quebec at Sainte Flavie is easily missed, and the artist learned the limitation of snow tyres in rural Quebec in the winter sliding across the road after sharply applying the brakes to capture a few pictures of Marcel's work in the snow and ice. The things you do for a photograph! Well worth it I think, although I missed a few heart beats as we slid to a stop.
The light is always special in Gaspesie, being lucky to have good friends who live in the Forillion National Park we have been lucky to spend quality time in one of the most beautiful and relatively undiscovered parts of Canada. The blue eastern light is so much like Scotland, thick dark forests, mountains rolling down to the sea. A land of Black bear and blue whale. A very special place indeed.

A special mention for the artist Olivia Irvine whose lovely work is to be found in the Union Gallery in the last few days of their "Now we are Two" exhibition.

I was particularly taken by the beauty of this work, her technique produces a stunning luminosity to the colours which are rich and intense even though the image has ethereal dream like quality to it.
Check her work out if you can. The painting here is called Clearance, I'm sure she won't mind me publishing the image of such lovely work.

That's all for now, anyone interesting in reserving for purchase one of the the 100 Pebble paintings in advance of the event, please contact me my email address where I can pass on the details of the Beatson fundraising team.
Remember its only £20 for an original artwork, that doesn't happen every day. The last blog featured 2 paintings that typified the style of work if needed to know what you might get.

Bye for now.

Glasgow - Scotland