28 May 2017

A WOOLLY DISTRACTION

I've been busy, finished one painting and started another. The gorse, or whins as it’s known locally, has been stunning – glorious clouds of coconut scented indian yellow. You may remember my previous depiction of the gorse, but this one is quite different and left me wanting to do more. 

"Gone with the whins" - available at Mission Hall Gallery, Melvich

However, as I was getting myself ready for the next one I was hopelessly distracted by a beautiful sheep and her lamb. The photo, taken by my friend, instantly inspired a new painting.

Copyright Shona McMillan 

After a long time away from the easel, I found “Gone with the whins” to be a little restricting, given the smallish size, so I had already decided to go a bit larger next time. Tempted to portray the fabulous contrast of light and dark in ink, I felt it needed to be in colour in order to portray the warmth of the sun and the lovely pink ears. The composition of the photo is perfect, but it was those legs, the strong diagonals and small splashes of colour that attracted me most. The long tall portrait format helps to highlight those aspects.

So, avoiding black and white altogether, I selected a split complementary palette of red, orange and blue-green.



work in progress!

14 May 2017

PAUSE and then press PLAY

I am always thinking about art, whether I am doing any in practice or not. Always seeing something in the landscape that would make a nice picture, patterns, shadows and handsome trees (not to mention the odd quizzical looking sheep).
My day job takes me all over the northern Highlands, covering large chunks of NC500 every week – so I travel through some fantastic scenery and miles of inspiration. But I found that, in addition to a perceived “lack of time and energy” I reached a state of inertia - with so many ideas, where do I begin?

Whilst envisaging this new journey, as if I needed some extra encouragement, I was asked to do a couple of workshops, write an article for a well known artists magazine and exhibit in a new local gallery – all out of the blue and within the space of a week ! So with both the inspiration & the incentive I better get on with it……and change the title of this post from Pause to Play!

Getting on with it in my new studio (happy)

New action photo for an updated bio (copyright Henry !)


23 Apr 2017

REWIND

Only a few days after my last blog post everything began to change, but at last I’d say things are getting back to normal and I have begun to find some time (energy) to get back to my artwork.

Titus’s last chase of the ball, before we turned back from the beach, ended in a dislocated wrist and ruptured ligaments. Henry drove across the river to rescue us and we haven’t been back since. After 2 months in a splint, 2 months of hydrotherapy, major surgery and a total of 8 months wearing a lampshade, Mr T is slowly building up his muscles and inching his way back to the beach.

In the meantime, we moved into the fabulous new house that Henry built, box by box, every weekend for a few months. Every box full of memories, goodies and “stuff” that we had managed to live without for the last 4 years. It was like a prolonged Christmas.
Filling my new studio was amazing. On a Sunday evening I would sit just looking at it for ages, in awe of having my own space to work in. Henry was rewarded with putting his books (1500 of them) onto shelves for the first time in decades. And as for kitchen “stuff” – well, I had forgotten how much cooking I used to do,  and now love messing about in the kitchen again creating culinary delights.
Operation “cushion” lasted a while too – excited by being reunited with my fabric box, I made a grand total of 8 cushions, covered a chair, made some roman blinds and set myself up to complete a number of “UFO’s” (including a bedspread I started 15 years ago).

So, not much painting but plenty of creativity over the last 9 months. Below is a completed commission: a “thankyou-for-mending-me” card from the patient to his surgeon.