Archive for September, 2009

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009


Frank To & The Art Of War

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

27092009014It’s been another mad week but in a good way this time. Getting ready for the WASPS Artists Open Studios event each year is a bit like Christmas coming.

The studios are busier than usual and most artists seem to be in a good mood. The studios can be a strange place. there are quite a lot of shy people about who can’t even lift their heads to say “good morning” , there are the art snobs and there are some really decent folk about too.

I am convinced Frank To has a strategy of keeping other artists off their work by visiting for a chat when he is on his tea break. I am suspicious of Frank as I know he has read the book “The Art Of War”. Frank is one of the good guys and is having great success with his artwork at the moment but don’t be fooled by the pleasant demeanour. Fall aslleep at a party and you will either find yourself with a painting…..on your face or your hand dipped in a bowl of warm water. (Apparently it makes you wee in your sleep).

If you have read elsewher in my blog you will know that I am also a  fan of the art of Joe O’Brien. Joe is so talented it is simply disgusting! I was passing his studio the other day and I thought the radio was on….but no, it was Joe singing and playing the guitar. Bloody good he was too. The pic above is Joe strumming away in front of one of his current creations. I also video’d him but the file is too large to get up on here.

Anyway, it’s been a great week in the build up to Open Studios and hopefully there will be a lot of art lovers through the doors as we have the biggest event yet with artists from 2 other WASPS premises joining us.

You never know, Joe O’Brien might even strum you a tune.

What A Difference A Day Makes

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Glasgow artist with paintingI am definately back in the swing of it. I think after an enforced break and with the WASPS Open Studios event coming up the creative juices are flowing and I have had a lot happening in the studio.

Lots of palette knife work and painting without drawing first which I like to do now and again even though it can be scary. I had some company this evening as my daughter was working with me and she took this snap of me and the painting which was first posted below. As I have said elsewere, having a figure next to the artwork gives an idea of scale and apparently it’s a healthy thing to do on a website for various reasons, not least because it shows that the website is run by a real person.

Promise, I am real and you can see the above artwork and me at the WASPS Open Studios event this weekend if you come along.

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

Scottish-art-1After a mad week when I have not been able to get to the studio, I have spent the weekend painting away.

I have noticed that after a break from painting, I am almost itching to get back and often paint with renewed energy and style changes tend to happen also.
This weekend I have been working on various paintings which have been on the go for a while and also some new artwork.

The most fun over the weekend was attacking a big 3 foot square canvas with a palette knife and no brushes. I have no idea where this large scale face painting is going but as always, time will tell.

Watching Other Artists At Work

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

20102009195I dropped by ArtDeCaf in Glasgow yesterday for a Pear Cider which I am starting to get quite into. I thenk because the glass is filled with ice it lasts so much longer and keeps drunkenness at bay.

The first lady of art in Glasgow was doing a painting demonstration. Alexandra Gardner was busy painting a rather large landscape. Sandyhas taught in various schools including Glasgow School of Art. She tells it like it is and is known for not mincing her words. I dared to ask her for a crit of one of my paintings which was hanging on a wall nearby. Very interesting it was too. Lots of helpful suggestions but the best bit was when she compared my painting to a Leonardo Da Vinci……one with nothing happening at the focal point! Wrapped knuckled for me then.

Other than that it’s been a weekend when I have a dreaded 18 monthly event. Yes, time for mobile phone renewal. I was definately a bit of a tech geek in my younger years and I was up to date with most things but I have to admit to being left behind in more recent years. I am now the owner of a Nokia 5800 which is one of these touch screen jobs. I swear that it must have been designed for people with nails filed to that of a pen nib. If you phone me and I teke a while to answer you’ll know why. I give it a week and I will be swapping the sim card back into my trusty old N95.

Friday, September 18th, 2009

Pregnant-Lady-art-2Today I thought i would join the life drawing art class at the studios where I am based. If you have read the earlier posts this week you will have seen that it has been a pretty busy time and this was a deliberate attempt to remove myself from all the busy-ness.

Drawing, for me is very different from painting. Dali said, “Drawing is the honesty of the art. There is no possibility of cheating. It is either good or bad.”

There is certainly some “exposure” in that you cannot hide behind layers of paint. There was the added element today of the model being an expectant lady. I think everyone in the room must have had the thought that they were drawing one person and not two.

Afterwards, I felt much more relaxed but utterly exhausted. This is common when life drawing because of the concentration required.

A good sleep tonight then….

Artistic Calm in the City

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

Glasgow-Art-ClydesideWhat a mad week it’s been.

There has been a lot happening but I won’t bore you with all the details. At one point this week I was standing on the banks of the Clyde in th middle of rush hour traffic. Noise, people everywhere and the usual City centre hustle and bustle.

I turned round at this point and there was a bird sitting on a post at the quay side.  It really was one of those moments that slows you down and makes you realise that you don’t need to be a part of it all sometimes and can have a quiet moment all to yourself.

Manic Monday

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Artwork-In-ProgressToday was one of thos “2 days rolled into one days” which I  don’t mind but I am convince contribute to that feeling of your life passing by too fast (Aldous Huxley was apparently the first to notice this).

Running around trying to get things done and meanwhile painting a portrait which I am being very perfectionistic over possibly is not a good mix. Add to that we had an artist’s meeting today. All very nice people but sometimes I think I prefered it in my previous career when people just said it like it is! It’s fine being sensitive but it really can be a pain in the ass when it comes to making decisions, or moving a meeting along for that matter.

After all this I just had to grab some paint and make a mess! It is so theraputic and a complete stress reliever. So, no portrait which I have been working on for quite a while to show you but here instead is my stress relif artwork.

Aaaahhhhhhhhhhhh, that’s better.

Art History

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Stevie-Wonder-paintingSometimes life just bobs along and sometimes you are aware that you are in a period of change. That’s where I seem to be at the moment as there seem to be quite a lot of “big things” happening.

I am getting ready to move home and started the tidy up and put things in boxes excercise. I came across two old portfolios and just couldn’t resist having a rummage through one of them.

I have to say, it was quite a pleasant experience to travel down an artistic memory lane. There were old pieces of art from college and from school days. I thought I would share this “Stevie Wonder” which I painted in oil pastel when I was 14 years old. I have to say that I am quite impressed by it! I remember doing it at the time. I know that I drew it in pencil first but I also know that I didn’t measure it – just went for it without a care in the world as you do at that age. I am a perfectionist for measuring things these days but the freedom to fail seems quite appealing.

Tomorrow in the studio could be interesting….

Big Art

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Big ArtI have received several comments from art buyers recently along the lines of “oh I didn’t realise how big it was”. They are of course, referring to their recently purchased paintings.

I have had great support from art collectors over the years and have never had a painting returned from a sale via this website but I understand how difficult it may be to understand scale, especially in light of the recent comments.

I know other online art galleries have photoshopped images of art hanging on a wall but thats not really me.

So here is a shot of yours truly, uncharacteristically not smiling in front of  a 3 ft x 3 ft “Madonna Artwork (Bad Girl) to give an idea of scale. Do I do this with every piece of artwork?

Possibly not!