Friday, May 29, 2020

Funerary potatoes for a nation

I wake up at first light. I stand in the tiny kitchen in front of the window with the morning sun. I peel potatoes, they had eyes and were sprouting, but if I do this now I can save them. I am not sure what I am making. The sun continues to shine and the cool breeze enters the window. I feel fortunate to know that I can save these potatoes and that I can avoid waste. I assemble ingredients I have on hand and look up a recipe to confirm my instincts. I am making funerary potatoes for a nation. I didn't mean to but here we are, my eyes fill with tears when I realise. Hell, I might be making funerary potatoes for the world. I would share them with you and your family, you and your community, you in your time of loss, and you in your need for comfort. You with your rage, I would share with you too. 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Overlooker (you don't need to think on it)

Overlooker (you don't need to think on it)
mixed media
A3 size/11.7x16.5”
150gm acid-free smooth cartridge paper

The wind is rattling the blinds against the window frame and my peony tumped over on the patio. The neighbour's laundry runs parallel with the ground while my wind chimes are caught in the vine I am training to take over the landlord's house. 

The sun hits my hands and I am warm but I take comfort under a brightly coloured and stitched blanket. I am a sunflower along the highway as I move my yellow chair to face the light. I had to broker a deal with my cat.

Such a cautious display

Friday, May 15, 2020

I'll send myself a post card to remember

Headphones on. One song on repeat."So long, bad feeling..." the voice of Paul Banks hits the spot it has hit repeatedly, this time not with Interpol but with another new project, as a member of MUZZ. I find it auspicious that Paul Banks has been on lockdown in Edinburgh since March 12th. If you have followed this blog long enough, you know why I am even mentioning this or even seriously using the word auspicious. 

Good luck charm. Good Omen. Wake up call. A voice that fit into the receptor site in my brain that was looking for something in my thirties and now here I am in my late forties, and it still works. Like some old memory that isn't mine, the vibrations continue to propel me forward to unlock my secrets clothed in his vagueries. And this is good for THE ART. 

I was unwell this week, dizzy and strange, mostly exhausted from Sunday night through most of this week, however, I am happy that I am seemingly well again. 

I finished a couple of pieces this week, thanks to Paul of course. I smile to myself and I wish you knew my sense of humour better. I'm one of those funny women and I laugh a lot. 

I started sending myself postcards of my art. Pieces I don't want to forget, pieces from this time that are keys to something more. Notes to myself as I am working. Remember this. This is good. Trust this. 

Here are this week's works. 

Solidly in the centre (not moving)
mixed media
A3 size/11.7x16.5”
150gm acid-free smooth cartridge paper

Imaginary traits (you brought me here)
mixed media
A3 size/11.7x16.5”
150gm acid-free smooth cartridge paper

Thank you. Be well. I appreciate you and all your love and support. Thanks for being awake to all that it is beautiful and divine. It's easy to lose that, and I never want us to lose that.

Friday, May 8, 2020

To lean away from a black hole

Accidental Portrait Number 14
Mixed media drawing 20x16" 
on heavyweight 250gsm paper

I am always a bit hesitant to share my "accidental portraits" as they are a sideline expression and one that I have less confidence in so I will always feel more vulnerability towards showing them. This piece, as it is topical, I didn't want to be careless with it. I didn't start out to draw a person with a mask, but it showed up of course since this is our collective consciousness right now. I started this piece last Thursday but it wasn't quite right so I scrubbed it down and turned it away from me and it bothered me all weekend. On Monday morning I returned to it with a bit of a calmer mind and tried to resolve it. I shared it with two trusted souls privately before I shared it publicly. It is a moment in time that I decided needed to be. 

I recorded my Tuesday Studio Video Visit about the piece as well. If you missed it on Facebook, you can see it here. 

On Wednesday, I attended an online meeting hosted by Scottish Artists Union featuring Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts at Creative Scotland who was there to listen to member concerns and provide more information on changes to the Open Fund. It was very helpful to have direct access like this and learn more. It was a really informative and enjoyable meeting. I would encourage all union members to tune into future Wednesday meetings as there will be many more in the series. If you are not yet a member, consider joining.

On Thursday, I shared my Ko-Fi Fundraising page to highlight the fact that I am trying to create some additional funding for myself during these strange days.

As you know, I am paying for a studio I am currently unable to use during the COVID-19 crisis. The galleries I have work in are currently closed and exhibitions are canceled (except online!!). I am selling bits and pieces online here and there (THANK YOU, PATRONS) but your additional support of £3 could really help fill in the gaps. I have offered some images available for download in exchange for your support. Thank you! I have set a goal to raise 1 month's studio rent to start. It's about buying time to work without worry. Imagine what would be freely created in our society if we didn't have this strain? Thank you. 

As I am writing this blog, I can gratefully report that 98% of my goal of one month of my studio rent was raised by your generosity! Thank you! I have applied for some additional arts funding as well, so hopefully, I will receive some relief in that form as well, but every little bit helps especially as I wait to be notified. 

With my spirits boosted, I was able to return to a painting I had started last week and I was able to finish it last night. I am really excited. I love painting on paper and I am enjoying working with pastels and more traditional drawing materials during this time. This process has created a spark in my work. 

To lean away from a black hole
mixed media
A3 size/11.7x16.5”
150gm acid-free smooth cartridge paper

Until next week, take good care, and thank you.

Support these galleries. 
Velvet Easel 
Solo Gallery
Irving Gallery (instalment plans available and a 15% discount with code until May 25th)

Friday, May 1, 2020

Mark making, podcasts, videos and more!

Happy May Day!

Here we are, we've made it to another Friday. I hope you are staying well. It just occurred to me that I didn't promote last week's blog post so if you missed it, you can read it here.

This week has been somewhat productive but also a bit pensive and introspective - more on that later.

I did make some work this week.

Something so awful in the beauty (temporary space)
mixed media 41x51cm/20x16" on heavyweight 250gsm paper. It has a fine-grain linen-textured surface that has been double-primed and is acid-free.
Your sad parade (subject to change)
mixed media 41x51cm/20x16" on heavyweight 250gsm paper. It has a fine-grain linen-textured surface that has been double-primed and is acid-free.

I also worked on a couple of other pieces and an accidental portrait. I recorded my Tuesday Studio Video Visit with a verbal walkthrough of some of the most recent works on paper.

I also recorded a new podcast to walk you through the seven works I have available through Solo Gallery in Innerleithen in the gorgeous Scottish Borders. You can view them all in a previous blog post here or just listen to the podcast here You can now view and purchase them directly from the gallery from their new gorgeous website.

To the introspective part. This morning I woke up and thought about the just over five and a half years I have lived in Edinburgh and what all I have accomplished with my art during that time. You can read all of that here. It's a quick 4-minute read and it helped me put some things in perspective. Thank you for supporting my work, checking in here, and enjoying the other content I provide. Your support keeps me on the path.

Thank you.