Friday, June 30, 2023

It's loud and it's tasteless

New this week - studio snap

New this week - studio snap

Hello Dear Readers, 

I hope you are well. Let's see... above, you will see two new works that showed themselves this week. There is another one in progress but not quite formed yet. These may be subject to change but I like them right now so I thought they warranted an appearance on the studio blog. 

My week was full. My lovely niece showed up late last Saturday night and stayed until Wednesday morning - so that was a wonderful surprise delight. We went to two art events on Sunday. We enjoyed the first "Birds of a Feather" market at Sketchy Beats in Leith. We went to cheer on my studio mate Aoife and also got to discover many more artists, second-hand clothes, and bakery goods as the music flowed through the air in the sweet and funky wee space. Sketchy Beats has a nice community feel. Keep your eyes peeled for future events. 

Later that afternoon we checked out the Queer Summer Market at the Leith Arches presented by Sett Studios in Leith. Lots of artists and makers there to check and explore - if you go have a rummage through the Sett Studios Instagram feed you will discover them too. After all that art and the good tunes spinning at the market, we were hungry and had a bit of late lunch at The Bullfinch. I had a look at their chalkboard events scheduled on the wall and it seems like a lot of creative things are happening there too. 

I maintained my schedule this week and worked in my studio as usual. Monday, Tuesday, and Friday - and managed to work on three pieces and recorded the Tuesday Studio Video Visit. I can't tell you how good returning to my studio practice and art routine feels. There is ground under my feet again. 

Here's the video visit if you missed it. 

I did more work with the Scottish Artists Union this week as well. Have you joined your union? Check if you are eligible and consider joining. We are stronger together. I am really excited about this important and meaningful work.

On Thursday, I was honoured to be the guest of Edinburgh City Councillor and my friend, Susan Rae, to the private view of Beyond the Little Black Dress at the National Museum of Scotland. It was fun to get dressed up and go see some gorgeous and famous designs and chat with beautiful and fascinating people. It was loads of fun to do something a bit out of the ordinary and outside my usual comfort zone. Thanks, Susan! 

And here we are, I went to the studio, worked, and went to a meeting of a few of my peers at the Drill Hall as we try to build community within the building. On my way home, my friend Eleanor Buffam, an artist, wrote to ask me where to get some red embroidery thread. I offered a few futile suggestions and then as I was walking realised that I was about to walk by my friend and textile artist, Mairi Brown's studio. I sent a quick note and was met at the studio door by Mairi and got the thread Eleanor needed and had a quick chat with Mairi in the process! It felt like magic at work - community, creativity, serendipity, and spontaneity were all at play! 

Later in the day, I had a wonderful video call with my friend and fellow artist, Adelaide Shalhope and we talked about all things art and life using our shorthand painting language - such a joy! 

It truly was a full and artful week of connection, solidarity, support, and a bit of fun. This weekend is Leith Late - so if you have the energy - get out there. I might catch a bit of it and also just enjoy some quiet time. 

Thanks so much for joining me here, I hope you are well, happy, and inspired. The world and your wee community need you and the gifts you bring. Keep fighting. 

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Friday, June 23, 2023

Lust for life

I am writing this blog from my studio. I have my big headphones on and I am still listening to this song on repeat after finally seeing Trainspotting 2 (T2) last Saturday night. I highly recommend it if you haven't seen it yet - and go ahead and make it a double feature if it's been a while since you saw the first one. 

I am having a Cherry Coke and I have already painted today. I worked back into two canvases I had started a while back (in the same colour palette) so that was a no-brainer - working back in is always easier than starting anew. 

This week flew by! I put my niece back on the airport bus at 3am last Saturday morning. We had a great time, I think especially last Friday when I met her after writing my blog - we went charity shopping, ate some amazing pizza, followed that with gelato and had a gorgeous wee walk. Sounds like a perfect day. 

This week I worked as usual and I think the series is really coming together. I am building two series at once with a bridge, light and dark - just like life. Right now the darker side is stronger and I am enjoying working with its palette of black, red, and ochre - also a bit of shocking yellow chalk pastel. As I have mentioned before I am trying to use what I have on hand in the studio and not buy more materials to create this body of work. I really love this palette. I have always loved red and have painted my fair share of paintings with it. When I was a little girl, I would say my favourite colour was rosy red. I see you little girl - we know our way around this colour.

Okay so about the art. Let me start with the latest pieces in the dark series. (there are 4 pieces in the light series too - but this week I just want to see the dark together. Here they all are, beginning with the most recent ones.

this one might get worked back into... 

I just want to eat the black with a spoon, perhaps served with a sweet rosy red sauce. 

It feels good to be working again - reclaiming this sacred space, alongside my studio mate and dear friend Aoife. We both dive into our respective worlds and then come up for air and a wee chat. I am so glad this works for us. I'm very protective of my practice and the energies around it. 

Currently painting feels like returning home after getting lost in some really dark woods. 

If you missed the Studio Video Visit you can see it again here: 

That's all I have for you this week. I hope you have a beautiful weekend - thanks for joining me for the Friday Studio Blog. 


Friday, June 16, 2023

I'll meet you there

new this week (this painting no longer exists)

Hello Dear Studio Blog Readers. 

Thank you for being here and spending some of your sunny time with me. 

It's positively roastin' here in auld reekie! My niece Elena has been here with me since late Saturday night taking a break from her world travels. It's been great to have her back in Scotland.

I am pleased that I managed to maintain my studio, my Tuesday Studio Video Visit, and now my blog schedule and even did some work with the Scottish Artist's Union this week. I am really happy that I was able to put my studio practice high on the list while still enjoying the sun and some of the sights with Elena. After where I've been lately, this feels like a noteworthy accomplishment.

That's the thing - these things don't need to take a lot of time, just some time and consistency - a promise. Magic happens when you show up even in short bursts. 

This is Elena's last full day in the city, so after I write this I am off to jump on a bus and meet her in the wild for a bit more exploring and sunshine. 

Now to the art. 

Currently, my studio work schedule is Monday, Tuesday and Friday. 

I managed to start two new pieces this week and work back into one I started last week. At last count, I think I now have 9 pieces on the go. This is a good feeling. Currently, I am only using materials I already have in the studio - trying to avoid purchasing any new materials for the time being. I am curious how long I can go. I like to set myself a challenge. 

a piece from last week that I worked back into that is now finished

Here's the Tuesday Studio Video Visit if you missed it on my other social networks. 

In other news, the brilliant Blunt Knife Co. is closing its doors on Thistle Street in Edinburgh so make plans to go by soon and buy one of my prints, pretty please!!  Their last trading day is Saturday 15 July. Make Haste! Support them and me!

Available Now at Blunt Knife Co. Edinburgh for £25 each!
Get one from the shop before they close!

In other other news, I did some more litter cleanup this week, I highly recommend finding a small area nearby and just cleaning it up - it is amazing how much satisfaction can be felt after working for an hour or less and making a visible difference. A cure for what ails, I tell ya! If you do this - take a before and after picture and message it to me and I will send you a coupon code to save money in my shop. Thank you for making the world a better place. 

That's all I have for you this week on the Studio Blog. Be well and enjoy the sun. Thank you for staying the course with me. 

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Friday, June 9, 2023

You've come in singing

Well Hello, Dear Readers!

Interpol continues to work their magic in the studio (along with of course all I have ever learned and practised for years and years and fucking years... but this is how it happens. I have to commit to showing up and then the bottle stopper comes out and whooooooooooooooooooosh! 

Pouring out... don't stop. Keep showing up. Don't question. Make it bad. Make it old. Make it from the past. Make it limited, make it messy. comfort shapes and lines. Just get it out on the canvas. Don't question. Pour pour pour and don't stop - you can always refine later. You can question if it is "crapstraction" later. Derivative? Who cares, that's for later. These are like napkin doodles after smoking too many cigarettes and drinking too much coffee in 1987. Pour pour pour - don't stop. And then leave. Don't look back. You can look again tomorrow - you can make the connections tomorrow. You can think about it as you walk home under the trees with the birds, with your big headphones. You can repeat the song and hear the chop chop chop chop of the guitar... and you can make your mark. Do not question it at this stage. Plenty of time for this. Later. For now, you just show up and pour. 

And that's all I have for you this week on the Friday Studio Blog. Thanks so much to all of you who have read and followed this blog since 2007 and to those that have just found it somewhere along the way. I learned this week that the Friday Studio Blog is in the top 10 of the top 20 Best Abstract Art Blogs to follow in 2023! I am honoured to be coming in at number 6! 

Oh and if you missed the Tuesday Studio Video Visit it's here: Please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven't already - thanks!

Thanks for your encouragement, support, and for being along for the ride. Take care until next week and get outside!

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Friday, June 2, 2023

We sail today

Paul Banks of Interpol 

Hello Dear Readers!!

I got myself into the studio Monday from 10-2:30, Tuesday from 9-11, and again on Friday from 11:30-2:30. I recorded another Tuesday Studio Video Visit from my studio, organised most of my favourite materials, received my new drawing board, organised a survey for the Drill Hall resident artists, attended a meeting with a few artists, and started and finished a painting!

And I saw Interpol on Wednesday Night! Interpol = finished painting. It's a fact. It was my first completed abstract painting since last autumn. I am finding my way. 

It was my 7th time seeing Interpol and maybe the best gig yet! Certainly, the shortest distance I have ever travelled. Amazing. I was high as a kite the next day. Invigorated.

May 31, 2007
Interpol /
Palladium Ballroom, Dallas, Texas, United States

Aug 01, 2007

Interpol / Calla
The Pageant St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Sep 27, 2007
Interpol / Atmosphere / Liars
Palladium Ballroom, Dallas, Texas, United States

Oct 10, 2007

Interpol / Liars
Uptown Theater Kansas City, Missouri, United States

April 20, 2011
Interpol / The School of Seven Bells
Cain's Ballroom, Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States

February 14, 2015
Interpol /
Barrowlands, Glasgow, Scotland

May 31, 2023
Interpol / Water From Your Eyes
O2 Academy, Edinburgh, Scotland

If you want to read about the relationship between me, Interpol, and art then just type "Interpol" in the search bar of this blog in the top left. This is a band that I have painted countless paintings to with their songs on repeat, over and over again. They sort of resuscitated me when I thought I was getting old back in 2007 (lolz - I was only 35) and at 51 they still do the trick. 

Go see live music. Go see your favourite band over and over again. Have a healthy obsession. I am so grateful that I have been seeing live music since I was 13.

Right, so my art. 

The Tuesday Studio Video Visit:  Abundance in the studio. 
I love my tools - these are my friends.

After I filmed the video I couldn't help but start a painting. I needed to make some marks on that wall so it didn't stay too pristine for too long. And the finished result is below. It's all the rage back home... 

I listened to one song on repeat (of course). 

That's this week's studio blog. Thanks for your encouragement, support, and for being along for the ride. Take care until next week.

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