Friday, October 11, 2019

Taking stock: A bullet point review

my latest painting
You know how I am about evidence. No matter how hard I try to get away from counting things, I still find it comforts me. I get so busy living that I am not always sure what I am doing. I am amazed by this year and it isn't over yet. 

Time in 2019 has moved so strangely, but it has moved and apparently, I moved along with it. Kudos to all involved. I am thankful for all the support I have been given and the care and subtle magic I have been shown along the way. 

Let's make the abstract more concrete by counting it up. 

I have painted 86 paintings this year, including my major dark series on canvas, books series, and refugee series on paper along with assorted paper sketches and the 4 commissioned paintings for Paper+White back in February (this does not yet include the many other pieces in progress and those studies still floating about my studio and you know there are going to be some holiday works coming soon!).

I participated in 1 solo pop up and 5 group exhibitions, with 3 more group exhibitions on the horizon this year (for a total of 8 group shows). I participated in the 2-day Porty Art Walk Bookmakers market. 

I have had my studio open to the public 4 times this year with 4 more times available before the end of 2019 for a total of 8 simply by tagging on to Markers Marque events, Summer and Winter Arts Markets at the Drill Hall. 

I have recorded 43 Tuesday Studio Video Visits and supplemental video visits about my studio practice.

I have written 41 Studio blogs. 

We raised £550 for Bicycles for Refugees through the sale of 10 of my paper pieces and we put 10 bikes on the road. 

I saw my work on television on True Detective.

I joined the Scottish Artists Union. I went to two of their events, one on basic income and the other a paid consultation on the fair works contract.

I created my art mentoring website and have mentored artists. 

I have worked in a secondary studio residency environment starting this summer.

I entered 4 juried art shows. 

I have attended 13 (or so) exhibitions/art markets/open studio events this year (give or take a few here and there). I am glad I have been able to see as much art as I have this year. It's important to see what is on show and to support your fellow artists, peers, and galleries. 

And yes, there have been sales here and there (thank the painting gods and perhaps, more importantly, my patrons and paper+white for that big commission). So that is my art world. 

In my everyday life, I have managed to see countless documentaries and films about everything under the sun, many docs on painters and a q&a with the directors of "Stories of the she-punks" as part of the DocNRoll festival. 

I managed to read 4 books, and have 4 others in progress and many more I haven't yet started but that I obtained this year. Saw a couple of authors (Matt Haig and Armistead Maupin) give wonderful talks. 

I got to see Peter Hook and the Light play live- and Joy Division tunes made my heart sing. It was wonderful to see such a legend play.

I marched in 5 political/social/environmental justice marches and rallies in the streets of Edinburgh this year. 

I went on 22 adventure walks with friends, seeing parts of this beautiful city but also many places further afield in the surrounding areas of the country. Thank you, James! Thank you, Jane! Thank you, Aoife! 

I have seen friends and family, maintained relationships, and spent quality time in the back garden patio planting things (I must admit it all looks a bit rough right now as the seasons' change- needs an autumnal refresh). I enjoyed the sun when I could and being in nature. 

I have taken countless photographs and spent inordinate amounts of time in front of my computer on social media and plenty of time on stress and worry. During all of this, I was diagnosed with anemia back in the early spring and was on high dosage iron tablets for months and months. I have been consumed by the visa process, passing the life in the UK test, and yet here I am. I have baked and cooked and shared some of my baking and cooking. Overall, it seems I am living a pretty balanced and productive life and that's the best I can do. Perhaps it's time for a holiday... Ha! 

Again, I am grateful for my communities near and far. To quote Joe Strummer as I have often in the past, "without people, you're nothing..." Thank you for being my people. 

Next week I will tell you about the upcoming group exhibitions I will be part of for the approaching festive season as well as when my studio will be open as well. I would love to see you out and about, don't worry there will be some online options as well. 

Keep fighting!

You can find my work at the following galleries.

Portobello, Edinburgh


Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

And of course around the internet on all your favourite channels!

Walls too crowded, budget tight? You can still support my work. Click the link to buy me a coffee. Thanks!


  1. You continue to amaze - thank you for prevailing!

    1. Aw, thank you. Thank you for stopping by here and for your beautiful art and supportive comments. x