Paper & performance, words & weaving, sound & story

Open studio 2019

Collage detail 4My partner Clare and myself shared our recent creative processes at a small Open Studio event in August this year.  Plays were performed, words were literally woven, stories were threaded together and Studio Hundy opened its doors exhibiting a series of 4 artworks, “memory fragments” created out of paper.

These “Paper thin memories” were the culmination of a personal transformatory journey following the death of my father in October 2016.   Working with papers and other related materials cleared from the family home, I was inspired to transform these “objects” – so tangibly full of meaning – into artworks of some kind.

A synopsis of the 4 pieces that arose as part of this creative process can be viewed by following the Exhibitions link – Open Studio 2019

Exhibition under way

Foyer Gallery, Newton Dee, 26th May 2017

Explorations: landscape and the soul has officially opened and will now run from Monday 1st May through to Friday 26th May 2017 in the Foyer Gallery, Newton Dee, Aberdeen Exhibition in 2017

Exhibition - Serenity series
Serenity Series II to IV

The pictures were unpacked on Thursday after their long journey from the Borders.

Decisions on the sequence were not as difficult as originally anticipated.    We created 4 possible scenario’s and with help and input from various people from the community at Newton Dee it became obvious which of these worked the best.  Friday was spent with tape measure, spirit level and a good eye for minor adjustments hanging the pictures and putting up labels.

An informal preview on Saturday afternoon saw a small gathering in the Foyer Gallery.  I – as the Artist now outside Studio Hundy – spoke about the research process involved in the transformation of the artwork from naturalistic landscapes to expressionistic abstractions and beyond.

The 17 artworks are the culmination of a number of years work and to see them together in the lovely light filled gallery space at Newton Dee was a real joy.

All wrapped and packed!

…and ready to go

Exhibition ready to go.  All pictures bubble wrapped and securely fitted into the car ready for the 170 mile journey to Aberdeen tomorrow.

All accessories – labels, résumé, biographical summary, exhibition brochures, comments book and, of course, those important red dots – packed.

Next exciting stage will be Thursday and Friday choosing the sequence and hanging the pictures ready for the preview on Saturday.  Quite a journey……maybe see you there?

Rainbows on the horizon


April is always a month with great contrasts.  These are often reflected in changes in the light within the landscape, as spring develops and the days get longer.   When this contrast in nature reaches a kind of peak – with rain and sun, bright light and dark skies – something magical emerges in the form of the multi-coloured rainbow.   I never cease to be excited when they appear, wondering at their luminosity and beauty, in the sky and through a prism onto the wall.

April has seen a hive of contrasting activities inside Studio Hundy as well.  The Chinese ink picture came back from the framers, completing the series of artworks for the exhibition.

BORDERS III - chinese brush
BORDERS III – Chinese inks with brush

So I have turned to those final preparations – the labels for the 17 artworks, listing, pricing, sorting out insurance and making a comments book.   Oh yes, and with a bit of wishful thinking in mind, getting hold of some red dots!!

There has also been time to be “the Artist outside Studio Hundy” enjoying the unfolding of nature in the garden.  Watching fritillary nodding their heads in the breeze, celebrating the pulsatilla that has not flowered for 2 years coming into blossom and listening to the song of the wren that has taken up residence in one of last year’s swallow nest.

Only a few days now before we pack the car and head up to Aberdeen to hang the pictures in the Foyer gallery in Newton Dee – Exhibition in 2017

The picture transport challenge

17 layers of glass on glass!

Just 3 weeks to go before setting up the exhibition in Aberdeen (Exhibition in 2017).   So today I thought it would be good to check how I am going to approach the “picture transport challenge”.   Yes, after the recent “paper roll challenge” this proved to be a lot trickier!!

I decided it would be best not to stack 17 layers of glass on glass, however well padded, but rather to see if my portfolio and picture stand from Studio Hundy would fit into the back of the car.

The measurements indicated it would be a very tight fit, but I wanted to avoid dismantling the frame and reassembling it in situ inside the car.    After various attempts, the stand decided to loosen itself and ………  hey presto ……. the solution; once it had concertinaed it fitted and could be brought back to a snug fit floor to ceiling.

Well that IS a relief!

Some paper is more difficult than others!

The paper roll challenge

One final picture to complete for the Exhibition.  This is a large elongated landscape using Chinese brushes and ink. So today I have had the “paper roll challenge“!  Yes some paper can be very difficult to handle and a large roll (1m wide and 10m long) is such a case in point.

However the paper challenge is small in comparison with the painting itself!!   I have 6 or 7 versions of this painting already and each one just does not quite make the mark.

I am attempting to capture the simplest of “motifs” of the local Borders landscape using a range of different size Chinese brushes.  I now know why it takes years to become a master of this technique.   It is like a meditation.  You have to prepare yourself before you commit the brush to paper; a kind of inner calm with resolve.  There is no re-working possible.  It is all in the spontaneous moment the brush glides across the paper and makes its mark.

Perhaps I should take note of the message above the roof light ……………. or our cat Horace’s approach to life in the summer in the hammock!

Exhibition coming up in May 2017

Explorations: Landscape and the Soul

I’m in the final stages of preparation for a Solo exhibition of my artwork during the month of May.   The show will be in the Foyer Gallery at the Phoenix Community Centre in Newton Dee Camphill Community, Bieldside, ABERDEEN AB15 9DX.

The theme of this exhibition is the transformation of landscape through the artistic process. Changes from the naturalistic to the expressionistic Exhibition in 2017.