2017 Exhibitions

Currently, I’m preparing for a few exhibitions that begin in the coming months, these include a group show with Strathearn Gallery, running from 11th February to 12th March, and I am delighted to be exhibiting there again.

I will also be exhibiting with Perthshire Visual Arts Forum, as part of a members’ show, at the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, Fair Maid’s House, Perth. This exhibition forms a part of the Platform event, run by Perthshire Creates, during the last week of March.

Perthshire Open Studios will also be holding their 10th Anniversary Exhibition, at the newly refurbished Civic Hall in the PKC headquarters at 2 High Street. This exhibition also forms part of the Platform event, run by Perthshire Creates.

I’m delighted to have been invited to take part in arTay again this year, part of Perth Festival of the Arts. The arTay marquee will be open to the public from the 18th to 21st May, and promises to showcase some of the best in Scottish visual art. Last year around 300 artworks were exhibited for sale. Entry is free, and well worth a visit. The marquee is located next to Perth Concert Hall. See www.perthfestival.co.uk/event/artay-18-21-may-2017/ for further details.

Into the summer, our Stanley Artists group, previously focused solely on Perthshire Open Studios, will be exhibiting together at Birnam Arts from 4th June. We will, of course, be taking part in Perthshire Open Studios again this year, and more will follow about dates, times and the venue in the coming months.

As more exhibitions arise, I’ll update here 🙂

11 Feb-12 March – ‘Winter Escape’, Strathearn Gallery, Crieff

25 March-1 April Perthshire Open Studios 10th Anniversary Exhibition, Civic Hall, Perth

25 March-1 AprilPlatform/PVAF group show, Perth

18-21 May – arTay’, Perth Festival of the Arts, Perth

3-4 June – ‘Summer Show’, The Lemond Gallery, Bearsden, Glasgow

4 June-29 JulyStanley Artists exhibition, Birnam Arts, Perthshire

6 July onwardsMansfield Park Gallery, Hyndland Road, Glasgow

17 August onwards – ‘In Full Bloom’, No Naked Walls Gallery, Chertsey, Surrey

2-10 SeptemberStanley Artists exhibition, Perthshire Open Studios

Self motivation 

Any artist, or maker of anything, will likely tell you how difficult it is to stay motivated in their practice. Working predominantly on my own, as many artists do, means self motivation is key to my success, or achieving my goals. 

Knowing my weaknesses, excuses, distractions etc is the first step to finding strategies to work around them. For instance, having my studio at home means the housework is within sight. Now, I’m not so interested in housework, it’s not exactly my favourite pastime, but when I have work to be getting on with in the studio, suddenly that housework is  the most important thing in the world, and requires to be attended to right away. Over many years, I’ve developed various strategies to bring my focus back to my work though, such as using music to help relax my mind, having some inner chat (yes, I talk to myself!), or compromising with my inner domestic goddess, and allowing her to put on one load of washing while I get back to the studio. It might sound like madness, but it works for me! Most of the time anyway.

Now, for those of you who don’t understand what I’m on about, and perhaps are wondering why I persevere with being an artist at all, I do reap the benefits of making art when I get to the point of making it. Stood at the easel with brush in hand, and totally immersed in what I love, it really is the best feeling. I can liken it to meditation, the state of serenity or bliss when the mind slows down and you can let go of your thoughts just a little bit more than normal. Again though, getting to that meditative state takes a lot of energy, commitment and it’s quite hard work actually.

Yes, making artwork takes a lot of hard work, patience, perseverance and frankly it can be a really painful process. It takes a lot of time, and can be a daily struggle! Knowing how it makes me feel though; the releasing of tension, sense of completeness (however fleeting), happiness and the sort of expression that is beyond what I could convey in words – it makes it all so worthwhile. In any case, it’s not as if I decided this as a career path, it is simply what I am compelled to do. 

So, if I could give the world any small piece of advice, it would be to find some practice or activity where you can express yourself more fully. That could mean anything, from painting to skydiving, but to find that one thing that makes your heart sing will bring harmony into your very core. It will help you to feel more alive, as my practice does for me. But do be prepared to work to achieve this bliss.

Studio Update – September 2016

Towering FoxgloveIt has been a very busy Summer here, with preparations for Perthshire Open Studios and Bristol Affordable Art Fair. We had a great turnout at Stanley Village Hall for POS, surpassing our figures last year to 401 visitors! Being a part of Stanley Artists is proving to be a great move, our group is very supportive and community-spirited, which is most welcome when you predominantly work in isolation.

Now I get a bit of a breather, allowing for the studio to have a long-awaited redecoration. Photos to follow 🙂

I’ve just submitted work to two open submission exhibitions, something that I haven’t done for a while, so fingers crossed for a favourable outcome there. As any other artist will know (who submits work to these types of exhibitions), you have to become pretty thick-skinned when it comes to your artwork being rejected. Dealing with rejection is just about an everyday occurrence to a professional artist, in some form, whether a passing comment, an exhibition committee saying ‘no thanks’ or a gallery not getting back to you at all.

And some people wonder what all my spiritual/self-development stuff is all about… Dealing with the challenges of life, better than I could have otherwise, of course! Being a self-employed artist can be isolating and somewhat depressing, at worst, but very rewarding when the successes do come, and that is a matter of mindset, how you respond to events that happen. I’m still learning, but have a great teacher – see www.derekoneill.com, if you’re interested.

geraniumSo, getting back to my update… Once the studio is all shiny and white, with better lighting, I will be preparing for a couple of exhibitions next year, including a solo show at the Scottish Natural Heritage‘s Battleby Conference Centre in Perthshire. This is a fantastic, large and open space, which will take some very large paintings, so I’m taking the opportunity to produce a scale of work that I haven’t been able to for many years. I’ll be focussing on native plant species, to keep with the ethos of the organisation. I’m excited about it all!

Our Stanley Artists group will be exhibiting together at Birnam Arts Institute in the Summer next year too, and a few of us are submitting work to their Christmas show, which opens on 2nd December this year. We hope that you can make it along to both exhibitions, to see the great work that we all produce.

Until the next post.

Best wishes,

Perthshire Open Studios 2016

This is the second year that I’ll be participating in Perthshire Open Studios, and once again I’ll be exhibiting alongside some fabulous artists, making up our Stanley Artists group. This year, we have three new group members; Liz (printmaking),  Shonagh (jewellery) and Martin (illustration/drawing).

I’ve just had Dave Hunt of Wildgrass Studio photograph some paintings, so will have some giclee prints of my work for sale for the first time, along with canvas tote bags and greetings cards. Needless to say, I’ll also have some original oil paintings for sale too 🙂

We’ll be exhibiting from 10am to 5pm, Friday 9th to Sunday 11th September, at Stanley Village Hall. Tea, coffee and homemaking will be available to lure you in, and we’ll have artwork and gifts for all budgets – prices start from £3. There’s loads of parking and wheelchair access. Hope to see you there!

For more information, please visit out Facebook page – www.facebook.com/stanleyartists

Stanley Artists - Perthshire Open Studios 2016

Open Studios North Fife – 4/5/6 May 2013

This year, for the first time in 3 years, I will again be participating in the Open Studios North Fife event. This is a great opportunity to meet artists and makers in their studios, and to buy direct from them. I will have my studio prepared for your visit, and there will be a variety of my paintings available to view and purchase on the day. Special discounted rates will be available on all displayed artwork, which will only apply to this event.
For directions, images and more information, please visit the official website for the event: www.openstudiosfife.co.uk
and Like them on Facebook too!

Studio 883605_504073326316617_1220617823_o