Tuesday, 12 October 2010

New works and SoloExhibition at RedBubble

The Solo exhibition at Red bubble is now live, and tomorrow is the reception. If you'd like to talk about any paintings, ( or anything really!) follow the link below and come along

Join me at Fee Dickson's Solo Exhibition, 'Beauty and the Beach'

This exhibition, and other upcoming shows has inspired me to do some new work, a series based on the rural landscape around my parent's house in France.

Unusually for me, I'm not painting either from photos or from life, but from memory. It's a fun experiment. Seeing as it's where I walked the dog for 4 years, I know the landscape pretty well, and I'm trying to show it in my favourite early morning light. ( though, I have to admit to slight cheating... I think the sun is rising in the North in my paintings...)

The colour values don't quite match the paintings at present, as I have no photoshop here in France, but it's a little taster of what I have been up to..

Friday, 8 October 2010

Shows, shows and shows

Next week, I have a solo show on at RedBubble, which I'm very excited about. Elizabeth bravo has created this great flyer for it. These shows on RedBubble are not only a great way to showcase your work, they are a chance to discuss the work with lots of people. For an artist working on their own, that can be a godsend to get some feedback.

I'm also showing some paintings at Peter Potter Gallery's winter exhibiton, opening on the 29th of october. I'll add a flyer for that once I know more. But it will be very nice to have this painting framed properly and shown to the public - it's been hanging in my kitchen too long!

I'm also in discussions with Blackmarket art.co.uk about being represented on their website, and in hotels around Edinburgh. Again, Will post more when I know more..

And finally, I have a feature spot in ArtgalleryUk for the next week or so - lots of original work on sale there.

Now I think it's about time I went and produced more paintings..

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Homage to Bernard

I'm long overdue a blog post on how my show went ( well) and other things, but today I'd like to talk about Bernard Lacoque, a very talented artist who I've just found out passed away this week.

Bernard was an incredibly prolific artist, and one who was warmhearted and generous with his praise of others. The joy of a place like Redbubble is finding artists whose work is radically different, yet you can wholeheartedly enjoy and appreciate each others work - and a relationship of sorts, of mutual support and recognition, springs up, and before you know it develops in to a friendship of a kind. Not long ago, Bernard commented on my Valle d'Or series, and I replied back it would be great to see them in a gallery . 'yes', he said, 'then I'll come and see them!' - Would that he had been well enough to do so.

Bernard's images were a punctuation in my day - they would pop up in my image feed, and though I didn't comment on every one, they would always make me smile. He had a gift for sad faces, for cartoon like drawings that were expressive and touching.

He drew on whatever came to hand - books, lottery tickets, newspapers, sometimes feeding in to the story behind the art, as with the 'resistance' piece at the bottom. No titles for him, all drawings were 'face', or 'bird', or 'nude' - his three favourite subjects. I just bought a calender of his 'faces', so I'll still see his pictures every day. But I wish I had done it when he was alive, so he could know how much I loved his pictures.

I didn't know Bernard well - I didn't even know he had been ill. But I did like him tremendously, and I treasured our dialogue, as I do with a good few Redbubble artists. He was funny, clever, and utterly unique in his artistic style. I will miss him greatly.

Friday, 27 November 2009

The show is ready..

Just finished hanging my paintings along at Joseph Pearce's. It was really exciting seeing the Valle D'or series, all together, all framed, for the first time. The bar staff loved it, which was encouraging! Vanessa and myself have both put a lot of work into promoting, so I'm really hoping this goes well. If not - well, it's a start, right? and something to learn from. Now roll on sunday!

Friday, 20 November 2009


Had a very exciting meeting with Vanessa of Delicartessen yesterday about a christmas show at Joseph Pearce's, with all the work shown here and possibly a few more - haven't quite decided yet.

Delicartessen is a mobile gallery -Vanessa has a stable of artists that she exhibits at a range of places across the city - bars, restaurants and even a youth hostel. A friend of mine on redbubble, talented ptographer Chris Clarke reccommended I talk to her months ago, but as is often the case with me I lacked the courage to make the call and get my art out there. But inspired by a very good couple of weeks, both selling prints and calenders on Redbubble, and a lot of enquiries about buying originals, I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and approach some galleries and people.

The day after I put a package of work and cv's out there, I got a call from Vanessa, and she came round to have a look at my work. She particularly wanted to see the Valle' d'or series, so that's going to be one of the things shown at Pearce's. It's not a solo show, but there will be a lot of my work up there for a couple of months, with a saturday morning preview on the 28th of November. To say I'm excited is an understatement .

The drawbacks? there's aways some..unlike my work on canvas, all the Valle D'or series need framed. That's going to be tricky both in terms of money, and also to ensure I find the right kind of frame that doesn't detract from the serial nature of the paintings. Clip frames would be the obvious option, but I'm worried they'll look a bit naff, so It's going to take a bit of thought to work that one out. But I am really excited this series will be shown. It's a bit of a 'baby', in that I know I love them but I wasn't sure about how anyone from the art world would respond to them.

The other drawback - well, it's not a huge drawback to my mind, but anyway - is that Pearce's is not a dedicated gallery, but a gastro pub. Hence the morning preview, and the (very slight) chance of damage to the paintings. But I've always had good experiences with selling through informal arts venues, be it bars or cafes or even markets, so I'm not seeing that as a bad thing. This is going to be a lot of my work shown in one place - probably almost 20 pieces - and it'll be awesome to actually be able to invite people to a show of mine.

So..umm..hurray! Now I have ten days to prepare..

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Raiding the cellar..

I was down in North Berwick yesterday, picking up some paintings from a gallery someone had shown an interest in buying, and looking for various bits and bobs in my parent's cellar there. I came across a wee pile of watercolours, mostly from 2002, and thought I'd put them up here just to show how much my style has changed over the years. I painted almost exclusively in watercolour back then, and most of my work was commission based one way or another.

I used to be asked to paint Edinburgh castle all the time – I ended up trying to find a lot of different angles to paint it from so I didn’t get bored with it!

This is an old piece from when I was mainly doing watercolour house portraits to commission. This was my ‘sample’ painting, of the centre building in Ann street, one of the finest streets in Edinburgh’s new town. I actually used to have a similar painting on my business card, but unfortunately a lot of people thought I was an artist called Ann Street.

A gallery who'd bought a few of my pieces asked for some Stockbridge pieces. Unfortunately they didn't think many people would recognise this one, which still surprises me ( maybe they just didn't like it :p). It's a lovely old folly that sits on the water of Leith.


This was a commission from a couple who lived near Fidra, an island of the East coast of Scotland. I wasn’t quite happy with it at the time, so I ended up doing another for them. I seem to do that a lot! Maybe I should make myself just do ONE painting per commission..

Anyway, there ends my trip down memory lane. I'm thinking of putting some of these older works up for auction on Ebay, with 30% of the proceeds going towards charity. I'd be interested to know if anyone thought that's a good idea?

Friday, 13 November 2009

Works in progress : Morar Bay

I thought I'd do a slightly longer post on a work in progress today, showing you a bit of my studio, and the tools of the trade.

First off comes the base image - I generally print two or three versions of whatever photo I am going to work from, with different lighting so I can both get some sky drama and pick out the details .

Then studio set up - the joys of being a very skint artist means a studio in the living room. Thankfully my fiance is very patient if I'm not done by the time he gets back from work...

One good thing about it is I get to watch TV while I paint ( or rather listen).

Once the painting is at a stage as shown above, I'll often take a pic and fiddle with it on the computer to work out colours, contrasts, what it's going to be like if I put all the landscape elements in. It helps rather a lot when I'm a bit stuck.

I can tell now I want the blues to be a lot more intense, the boat to be far to the right ( not where shown above) and that yellow taken down to a slightly less mustardy colour.

So back to painting. Half way through is always the bit I like least - I know where I want to get to, but I don't always know how I'm going to do it . I probably shouldn't admit that! I'll update with a finished version later, if it goes where I want it to go..

Edit to add - the final version :