Friday, October 22, 2021

I remembered

I have walked 68 miles so far this month and I am obsessed with Fair Isle socks, jumpers and of course, cups of tea and hot chocolate. I listen to jazz and atmospheric music with rain and crackling fire sounds. I make lists of art films I want to watch. This can only mean one thing, autumn is firmly here. 

And you know what? It's okay- it's actually rather lovely. I usually dread this time of year in Scotland because I get ahead of myself and think about what comes next, winter in Scotland - and the short days and rain.

I like spring, summer, and autumn here just not winter. It's important for me to realise that it is not winter yet, and it's always good to stay in the NOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. 

Also another funny thing is that when I know WINTER IS COMING... I get out more in nature and am more active than in the sunnier and brighter parts of the year - it is my strategy to walk through the darkness. Strategies are good (I hope you have some). Anyway, I know this is an art blog but art comes from life - and walking in nature, being cosy, and falling into and recognising my autumnal strategies helps my art practice. 

So here's a bit about art, supporting artists, and your local economy and how the artist you support will in turn support their local economy too. You can see and hear me preach this gospel on the most recent Tuesday Studio Video Visit. 

So, there you have it. Our art is not on cargo ships but nearby, readily available, and waiting for you and I like autumn in Scotland just fine. Until next week, keep fighting. We need the magic you bring.

Thank you.

Small works are available from my shop.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Reflections of Bannockburn house and new small works.

The house kept us just warm enough as we walked the old wooden floors and looked out through the open doors. I balanced a perfect cup of tea on an old radiator behind the red wingbacked chair in front of the window. Abstract art dotted the walls and furniture. It was a perfect rainy Saturday and a sunny and sweet Sunday would follow. 

I relaxed into the old space. It felt like home to me - solid and calm. A place of solace, in its old age and slight decay - authentic and real. It breathed the damp into its bones just as I did. Occasionally, I would be called out to walk beside the five sisters, the old redwoods planted just a bit too close to completely thrive, but oh how they survived anyway. 

Everywhere you looked around the old house and grounds there were stories of perseverance and hope. An ideal setting to show and share art.  

Thanks to everyone who came along to see the Abstractionistas at Bannockburn House this past weekend. We enjoyed sharing our work in such a beautiful and historic home. Visit the Bannockburn House website to learn how you can volunteer or consider donating to help restore this community-owned treasure.

In other news, I have listed the remaining nine small works I painted especially for the exhibition, they are on raw canvas and are mounted and ready to pop into a standard 8x10" frame. You can find them all in my Ko-fi shop.

I hope you are well, happy and inspired. Never doubt what a small group of dedicated and passionate individuals can do. Thanks for being here. 

Friday, October 8, 2021

Abstractionistas at Bannockburn House this weekend!!

Hello dear friends, 

The Abstractionistas are looking forward to showing at the fantastical Bannockburn House this Saturday and Sunday from 11-4pm in Stirling. I have created a new series of 12 small works on canvas, mounted and ready to frame (I have shared six of them above). I will be showing these along with six works on canvas that are framed and ready to hang in your home or office. This is would be a great time to start thinking about Christmas presents...

Come see me, Judith Shaylor, and Susan Wilson along with the Gossip collective and the Forth Valley BA students. Take in the house, the garden, and of course all of our fabulous art.

Here's the Tuesday Studio Video Visit if you missed it.

Okay, that's all I have for you as I need to run out the door and jump in the car with Abstractionistas and go install an exhibition! Hope to see you this Saturday or Sunday if you are in the area. 

Until next week, give yourself a break - you are doing just fine.

Friday, October 1, 2021

Exhibition news! Ko-fi support and more!

Exhibition news:

The Abstractionistas in collaboration with GOSSIP Collective and Forth Valley B.A Students

Saturday 9 October 2021 - Sunday 10 October 2021
Open from 11-4 pm
Bannockburn House

Megan Chapman, Judith Shaylor, and Susan Wilson are the Abstractionistas. These women bring a depth of experience in the arts and a firm dedication to abstract expression, each one striking a different chord with their use of colour, line, space, and drama. The goal of the collective is to create more opportunities to share the enduring importance, power and pull of abstraction with viewers across Scotland.

The Abstractionistas are delighted to join forces with the GOSSIP Collective and the Forth Valley B.A. Students for this exciting two-day exhibition in the historic Bannockburn House.


GOSSIP Collective:


Bannockburn House:


I hope you will join us if you are able.

Casting spells on paper: One pigeon wing to tether a ghost's heart

In other news, I have continued on with my mark-making exercises to help me get out of my rut and return to remembering my foundations. After working on several small paper pieces/exercises, I moved on this week to six A2 sized papers and spent a bit longer with my marks and actually got to a place I liked. It was a good feeling. I shared those works over on my ko-fi page for my supporters as soon as I had them documented.

As I mentioned over there, I enjoyed the introduction of my favourite inky pen to the mix along with Conte crayon, charcoal, oil pastel and white paint and some words (I have shared one of the six drawings above).

As I wrote to a supporter, I am trying to get into the habit of always posting on Ko-fi first rather than on my social channels and sharing more behind the scenes work rather than always finished products. It's a bit of a hard switch as of course there are more eyes on the work over on Facebook and Instagram but at the same time, I would like to create a more intimate relationship with my supporters. The hard part is also getting people used to coming over to ko-fi to see things and to perhaps support me financially. We will see what develops.

Speaking of ko-fi, I am having a shop wide sale until midnight October 3rd. I wanted to celebrate the anniversary of my 7 years of living in Scotland along with my 1 year anniversary of becoming a citizen! To take advantage of the sale all you need to do is click this code everything in my shop is 10% off.

Thanks to the two patrons that have snapped up two of my "ghosts of the past" limited edition prints from my shop sale! These selections are inspired by the Scottish diaspora (as seen below).

There is too much space here and always of the wrong kind

You are of the land you left behind,
you built the land that will remain a stranger

And of course, I am still creating my Tuesday Studio Video Visits, please visit my YouTube to catch up on those, if you have been missing them.

That's all I have for you this week. I hope you are well, happy, and inspired and at the same time, it's okay if you are not. I get it - just keep fighting. Point your face towards the sky and take good care of yourself. We need you and your gifts.

Thanks for spending some time with me and my work.

Friday, September 24, 2021

Find inspiration (whatever that is)

As I write, I see the neighbour's sheets billowing in the wind as they hang on the line to dry. 

I went for an hour-long walk today - nowhere fancy just the usual paths. I didn't listen to music, just the wind in the trees and the birds, footsteps and breath. I felt the coolness in the air, watched over the ferns growing in an old wall and the dappled light filtering down into the old railway path. 

I have been down lately and my foundation, askew. 

So it's time to build the foundation back up, slowly, mindfully. Walking alone in nature is one way I can do this and as autumn approaches yet again, walking is a proven and tested remedy to the extra darkness that will come soon enough. 

I have been hard-pressed to find inspiration (whatever that is) and that makes it harder to create anything

So, I am taking creating anything off the table for now. My new goal (thanks to a friend) is to just make marks for a while each day. Inspiration is really a habit and so many of our habits have been challenged. I am no different. So I set a timer for 15 minutes and made marks and enjoyed it enough that I set the timer for another 15 and made more marks and then I went for my walk. And this is how I will return to something that I can depend on. I'll walk and make marks. 

The Abstractionistas have a couple of exhibitions planned for October and November and we are excited. But more on that next week.

For now, make marks, walk, rebuild (again). 

Keep fighting.

Friday, September 17, 2021

Exhibitions, Studio Visits, Ko-fi and more!

What a lovely weekend we all had at the Inception exhibition in the Dalkeith Palace at the Dalkeith Country Park! It was great to meet so many fellow artists, see friends and associates, and make new and renewed connections over art in such a wonderful setting. Congratulations to all involved and thanks to everyone for coming out in support. You can enjoy my complete ‘Echoes and Memory’ series on my website.

For those that may have needed a bit more time to think about a potential purchase, my studio G23 is located at The Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith and is open by appointment - please message me through my website to arrange a viewing

You can also find my work at Solo Gallery in the Scottish Borders and Helensburgh Art Hub on the West Coast.

I was delighted to make it to my studio this week as well, here's my Tuesday Video Visit as proof! 


In other news, I worked on fine-tuning my membership tiers over on my Ko-fi page. There are lots of lovely perks over there in exchange for your support. Check them out.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Inception opens TODAY!

Inception opens today Friday, September 10th from 10-6pm and will be open again on Saturday, September 11th and Sunday, September 12th from 10-5pm at the incredible Dalkeith Palace. If you haven't bought your tickets yet you still have time to snap some up and make a weekend of it!

I installed my work on Monday and the five paintings fit the space perfectly and the colours harmonised. It was a magical moment. You'll have to come and see it for yourself.

Join us for ‘Inception’ at Dalkeith Palace at the Dalkeith Country Park.

Participating artists:
Frances Bell
Kelly Anne Cairns
Megan Chapman
Christine Clark
Walter Dalkeith
Domenica de Ferranti
Katy Eccles
William Foyle
Jonathan Freemantle
Taisir Gibreel
Claire Gillie Thompson
Frippy Jameson
Nancy Macdonald
Hatti Pattisson
Craig Rae Ferguson
Elaine Speirs
Christiana Spens
Gill Walton
Julia Trotter

I’ll have these five works on two walls on the first floor upstairs in what was once the palace nursery and I’ll have five smaller framed pieces available in the pop-up shop on the main floor. Looking forward to meeting all the artists and greeting the patrons! 


Lots more exciting news next week! Stay tuned! See you this weekend!