Friday, July 22, 2016

New Archival Prints!

A very exciting development came to fruition this week! I have selected 11 of my small abstract paintings to be archivally reproduced!

You can now purchase my signed, limited edition prints exclusively in my Etsy shop, ArtMaven for £15 plus shipping to anywhere in the world. For my patrons and friends in the United States that's about $20 depending on the conversion rate.

Shipping is affordable too, just £2 in the U.K. and £5 to anywhere else in the world (that's about $6.50 to the United States). Please visit my Etsy shop to learn more.

Small original works and prints are a great way to build your collection or create a dynamic grouping. Painting is a profound practice for me and I believe in its magic and power to transform. I am grateful that I can now share my work in this way with you.

limited edition print
Purchase here:

Conversation at 3 a.m.
limited edition print
Purchase here:

Put these in your hair (don't look back) 
limited edition print
Purchase here:

Caught in a moment, silken threads
limited edition print
Purchase here:

Sailor's warning
limited edition print
Purchase here:

A fine summer's day
limited edition print
Purchase here:

limited edition print
Purchase here:

Secrets by the sea
limited edition print
Purchase here:

Outside voices
limited edition print
Purchase here:

The petals dropped with every stir of her tea 
limited edition print
Purchase here:

Found in a coffee can (let it rust) 
limited edition print
Purchase here:

I am adamant that art needs to be accessible for all and that artists also need to be able to make a living from their work. Reproductions make sense on all fronts. 

That said, you can rest assured that I am pretty picky about what I would sign off on and put into the world. I wanted my prints to be made here in Edinburgh and to support a local business in the process so that's why I chose fellow artist and dear friend, Jenni Douglas' fine art printing service. The colours are vibrant, the details are sharp and they are truly brilliant reproductions! It is a pleasure to work with Jenni on this ongoing project. 

If you are an artist in Scotland or elsewhere in the U.K. and looking to have prints made of your work, look no further than Jenni Douglas.

Until next week, you know what to do; as that popular internet meme states, "support living artists, the dead ones don't need it."

Friday, July 15, 2016

A change in the frequency

I really can't make sense of what happened in the studio this past week except to say there was a change in the frequency and a new series was born. Don't worry, I will return to I love the broken things best at a later date but this time seems to be meant for something else. 

This new series doesn't have a name yet but one painting does; Out of my mouth come flowers, come barbs. What has tumbled out this week is a mystery of pinks, oranges, teals, yellows, layers, and cellular shapes. These shapes I have explored over and over again in different ways for decades yet these seem to be more vibrant and colorful as they dance in the space and depth. As the shapes and colors multiply, they seem to converse and the chatter is contagious. 

I am giddy with excitement. It reminds me of art school when I would talk to my mentor and professor Ron Graff at the University of Oregon about my latest paintings or a new idea for a series. I could feel my face turn red and my heart beat fast and my palms sweat. Not in that awful panicked way, (which I was well versed in at the time) but in that, I can't stand keeping this in, way. That jumping for joy, way. That I can't fucking contain my excitement and I don't care if I look like a fool, way. In other words, pure joy and freedom. 

I wrote a dear friend and fellow artist and later told my parents over Skype this week, that "I love color so much it makes me want to grind my teeth to dust."

I could qualify that more and I could be more cautious in talking about this new series since we are in the early days yet but I don't want to play the fear card right now. There is enough of that going around. Right now, I am grateful for these patterns that kindly haunt me, these colors that sing and dance and that I can jump up and down in delight when the orange hums next to the pink. 

What if it is really just that simple...

Friday, July 8, 2016

I keep making art

The world continues to be in turmoil and yet I keep making art. It feels odd to go about the day to day while black people and police are getting murdered in the streets back home in America.

I am horrified by the state of affairs and I hope all of my readers and friends will write their politicians and leaders and speak to their friends and communities loudly to make sure everyone in your circle knows and feels it in their soul that black lives matter.

It feels equally strange to be here in the U.K. to watch as leaders continually bow out of their responsibility for the Brexit result while acts of hate toward immigrants escalate. Whole populations of people are now wondering about their future and safety in their chosen home.

Fear seems to be the common thread around the world. People living in fear of each other and the unknown. People wanting change after years of being punished and neglected by the outdated systems in place; rising up and trying shift the balance of power while often voting and working against their best interests. The powerful know that they have trespassed on the rights of the populace and they live in fear of the situation they have created. Throw guns into the mix and we seem certainly doomed.

I want to live in a more fair and just world. I want to live in a world of color and difference. I want to live in a world of mutual understanding and appreciation, a world not connected through fear but through love.

Until then, I keep making art and at night I whisper out peace, peace, peace to the world just before I shut my eyes for another sleep in my luxurious white life.

Until next week, keep fighting with love in your heart for a better world.

Friday, July 1, 2016

An anchor, a beacon, something to pull me back

Well of course I got sick after Paris. I have spent my days since our return in bed watching political documentaries and wondering if it was all just a dream. I have also spent days wondering what the hell happened to the United Kingdom and what will happen to the United States in November. What a world... I just hope the future includes an independent Scotland as a member of the European Union and that America will NOT elect Donald Trump.

But back to me though, there have been boxes of tissues and many pots of tea and a bottle of Drambuie next the bed. There have been strange vision dreams and awkward naps. Yet here I am and finally on the mend, writing this blog from bed. If you missed my last two Paris related posts you can read them here and here.

On Monday I plan to be in the studio working further on my latest small works series, I love the broken things best. Come hell or high water I am going to be there and then I am going to be there the next day and the next. You get the idea, I need to make some art and I really like the series title. It inspires me so I must show up for it and see where it takes me.

Before I left town and everything got crazy, I did finish a small piece in the series. You can see it here, I am quite pleased with how this has turned out using my new foil technique. I can't wait to expand on it.

So I think I will leave you with this wee painting, like a talisman for the week ahead. An anchor, a beacon, something to pull me back from this sick bed and back into the dark arts where the dreams make sense. I love the broken things best and that includes me and you.

Until next week you know what to do. Keep fighting! The world needs you and your voice!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Paris: A beautiful memory

We got back from Paris Tuesday night, exhausted, amazed and inspired. There were photos to process, clothes to unpack and a whirlwind journey to absorb. There was also a very happy cat to adore.

Our Paris trip was everything I had hoped it would be. I know this blog is about art but trust me this trip to Paris will fuel a lot of art in the future so let me just break it down.

Saturday: Travel day and arrival

Lovely worlds pass us by, visions of the sea, green rolling hills and flat lands, sheep, cottages on beaches, villages and cities provide our view.

After a signalling delay in York, a change of trains was required and then we were on the tracks again to London where we changed trains to the Eurostar. More beautiful worlds passed us and then we entered the Chunnel. I thought I might be nervous or weirded out by being in a tube under the sea but nae bother! Once out, suddenly France and then just as suddenly, Paris!

We arrived in late evening, still light and hailed a taxi outside the station to the flat we were sharing with my brother, sister in law, and my two nephews. Hugs and hellos, some food and wine and then my brother and I went out to have a bit more wine and ended up sitting outside in a lovely neighborhood. Ah...and then soon to sleep.

Sunday: First full day and Subatlantic

A sunny and bright start, walking through the streets to the market in Charonne, stopped to listen to the organ grinder play and sing a tune. Fresh fruit and veggies abound.

We have brunch and then walk over to Cimetière du Père-Lachaise and visited the graves of Jim Morrison, Amedeo Modigliani, Edith Piaf and countless others. It is a beautiful and vast green space filled with some of the great artists and minds. One could easily spend an entire day here.

After this we took a break and enjoyed a glass of wine nearby before heading off to the Tour Eiffel! I enjoyed wandering the tree lined streets before the massive monument appeared before us all. My jaw dropped and I gasped "WOW..." as did my young nephews. It is amazing to suddenly just happen upon it and nothing you see in television, films or books can prepare you for the enormity of it. It was magnificent! From there we also glimpsed and walked along a section of the Seine.

By this time it was getting later in the afternoon and so we took a crazy taxi ride to Belleville in preparation for Sean's band, Subatlantic's gig. The band was playing later that night at La Barricade, a lovely little venue. After checking in at the venue, we wandered around the area and found a Chinese place around the corner for our dinner. As it was a beautiful and warm evening, after dinner Stewart and I took a stroll around the neighborhood before returning to the venue to see the gig. It was a great show and it was really wonderful to finally see Subatlantic in person and especially on their first European tour date! After the gig it was back to the flat to sleep after a long action filled day.

Monday: Second full day, sightseeing and rain

In the morning, Stewart and I decided to hit the streets a bit earlier and visit the Arc De Triomphe. Again the Arc is just magnificent and has such a presence when you are standing near it as opposed to seeing in on television or in a book. Of course this seems obvious but it really is mind blowing when one finds themselves next to these famous monuments.

After this we wandered further along the Champs Elysées. From here we wandered around discovering various other monuments and parks (Saint-Jacques Tower, Square De La Tour Saint Jacques and Fontaine du Palmier). We found ourselves crossing the river and enjoying the left bank, taking in the sights and sounds of the beautiful narrow streets (Pont au Change,Tour de l'Horloge, Square Jean-XXIII, Fontaine Saint-Michel, Rue de la Harpe, Boulevard Saint-Michel, Rue de la Huchette and Square René-Viviani). Then onwards back across the water to the obviously epic, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. We waited in the pouring rain to enter this masterpiece and it was beyond worth it. My eyes filled with tears once inside, just beautiful.

After Notre-Dame we met up with my brother in the rain. We quickly took a detour for some photos at the Quai du Marché-Neuf and then on to a cafe to meet up with the rest of the family to enjoy the sound of the rain while we watched the world go by and shared some wine. It is true that all the wine in Paris tastes wonderful.

After the wine and the rain we walked around as a group further in the Left Bank enjoying again the colorful streets and the dark majesty of Saint-Séverin cathedral before taking the metro to see one more major attraction. We visited the Place de la concorde and the wonderful fountains there and the massive Egyptian Obelisk. A beautiful point in the city where many monuments can be seen at once. The rain was picking up and we were hungry for our dinner.

From there it was back to Belleville (the area from the night before) where we quested for our dinner (being that I am a vegan and gluten free, this can be a challenge). We finally settled on some lovely Thai curry and sticky rice and then proceeded homeward. On the way home my brother and I spotted a lovely place for a drink or three and we broke from the group to enjoy the atmosphere, music and mojitos provided by the lovely, Piston Pelican. It was good to sit and relax and have this time with my brother. If I was a local, the Piston Pelican would be my regular. After this it was on to the flat for one last trek up the beautiful six flights of wooden, almost spiral stairs and then to sleep.

Tuesday: Morning in Paris: train home at noon

My brother and his family left out early on Tuesday morning and we followed an hour or so later. They were headed towards the south of France for more music touring and explorations. We were headed back to Edinburgh.

We didn't really have enough time to do any deep new exploring so we went back for another wander of Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, enjoying the peace and fresh air before our long train journey ahead. Afterwards we got the metro and headed to the station, Gare du Nord and once there we were on our way to London and then homeward to Edinburgh.

What an amazing trip combining so many of my favorite things. I can't wait to go back! I also can't wait to get back to the studio and make some art!

Friday, June 17, 2016

To Paris!

Tomorrow we are headed to Paris!

I am very excited about this as I have never been and I can't wait to meet up with my brother Sean and his family as well. We are taking the train which I am also excited about as train travel always seems more calm and relaxed than flying. I love just listening to music and watching the world go by and of course arriving in Paris at the end of the journey will seem magical.

I am looking forward to walking the streets, seeing the monuments and getting a feel for the place. We are not going to Paris for long (two full days and two travel days) so I doubt we will have the time to take in the extraordinary museums. Needs must as they say and another reason to return sooner than later!

Besides being an amazing adventure, my goal is that this trip will be fun and easy enough that it will make us both want to travel more. I have been itching to travel since I got to Edinburgh but it just hasn't worked out. Maybe this jaunt will be the beginning of a spate of travels. I can only hope!

I don't have too much else to add right now as I am busy packing, tidying up the flat for the cat sitter and doing those last minute things one does before travel. Needless to say I am of course very excited!

Onward to Paris!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Looking for the light

detail from the new series
I finished the commission as planned and posted it to the States this past Monday. I was delighted with how well it turned out and almost hated to see it go. 

Sometimes working with prompts from a patron can be nerve wracking but sometimes if the prompts are interesting and just loose enough, it can really inspire. Luckily that is what happened with this piece.

Because of this, I knew I wanted to expand on what I started and create a series of new small works loosely based on one of the techniques I used in the commission. It was exciting to keep experimenting and to maintain an attitude of play this week in the studio.

Happily, this exploratory and playful attitude spilled over into all areas of my life. This is Scotland and the sun is never to be taken for granted. This week, there were sunny hours spent at the Leith Jazz Festival, The Royal Botanic Gardens and Lauriston Castle. There were also bike rides to Granton Harbour and anywhere else beautiful and calm the cycle paths would take me.

Nature is a refuge just as are newly discovered pubs and beer gardens and it is important for me and my art to live well and discover it all. Everything inspires everything else. I am trying to embrace the joy in this life without doubt, judgment and second guesses. So much of what we have been taught about artists is dark, brooding and very painful and while I can relate, it doesn't keep me from looking for the light and celebrating each moment of beauty that I see.

Until next week, you know what to do...