More Press!

January 20, 2011

Our launch night at Alloa Art Club made it into the local paper this week:


Alloa Art Club Official Launch Night

January 17, 2011

I’ve just returned from a really enjoyable launch night for Alloa Art Club.  A huge thanks to everyone who came along to share their artwork – what a talented group!  An extra special thanks to Angela Beardsley for all her help in providing us with a fantastic venue with everything we needed to make the night a success at Resonate.


Hot off the press

January 5, 2011

My repertoire of silly faces for the camera knows no bounds, but all in a good cause!  A big thank you to Angela Beardsley for this article on Alloa Art Club which appeared in the Alloa Advertiser today.


My 2010 Review

December 30, 2010

It’s come to that time of year when I should be reviewing the art goals I had set for 2010 and seeing what I actually achieved against them.  However, I have more than a sneaking suspicion that I may have gone sharply off on my own little tangent so I don’t think it would be a particularly constructive exercise.  I’d prefer to end the year on a more positive note and look at some of the highlights from 2010:

  • I’ve spent a considerable amount of time discovering new art and artists via The Make Room, Forth Valley Open Studios, Pittenweem Arts Festival as well as online.  I’ve learned so much in the process and made some lovely new friends both locally and further afield.

  • I have been able to take the first steps in setting up an art club for my local area.  We’ve had our first meeting and confirmed the venue and I’m really optimisitic about how we can build on this in 2011.
  • I’ve completed the application process to get going on a recognised qualification in art.  This included successfully attaining accreditation for a portfolio of work. I’m looking forward to getting started on the course early 2011.
  • While I haven’t produced as much new work as I may have liked, I’ve enjoyed every minute of the time I spent creating it!  Surely that’s what’s most important?

Wishing you all the very best for 2011.


Christmas Cheer

December 21, 2010

This is a little Christmas commission I’ve just completed for an old friend as a surprise gift for his lovely wife.  Their colourful costumes have helped get me in a more festive mood, I might even stop complaining about the snow!  I really enjoyed doing this one and I hope the boy’s Mum likes it too.

The drawing is just over A4 and was done using polychroma pencils on light tan mounting board.


Alloa Art Club Launch

November 23, 2010

I just love it when a plan comes together!  We had our first official meeting for Alloa Art club on Monday evening.  I was really pleased there was such a great turnout with everyone contributing  fantastic ideas for taking the club forward in the coming year.  I’ve just set up a new site for the club which I will develop further in the coming weeks.  It’s not too late to get involved, so please get in touch if you’d like to take part in shaping an exciting new art club.  Membership is open to artists of all levels of ability from Clackmannanshire and surrounding areas.


Watching Paint Dry

November 21, 2010

I’ve finally decided to give oil paints a proper go.  There are various reasons I prefer to work in acrylic: no fumes, quick to dry, more versatile for mixed media, less toxic, easy to clean up and so on.  On the other hand, I’m constantly told by other artists that oils are beautiful to work with and can achieve a richness and depth that’s not possible with other media.  I’m promised that oils will open up a whole new range of possibilities and that the slow drying can be a great advantage rather than a negative. 

My experience so far has been mixed.  I really dislike working on real canvas with acrylic.  The dryness of the acrylic means unless mediums are added the paint drags across the surface and the water is absorbed far too quickly leaving a patchy finish.  Oil and canvas of course work perfectly together with the paint just gliding on the surface.  Being able to work comfortably on canvas is a big plus as the work doesn’t need to be framed in glass which I find can detract from the finished painting.

I’m finding it quite pleasant to work the wet paint around a little, again something acrylic just doesn’t lend itself too without the use of retarder gels.  However, this property also makes it a little too easy to over blend and overwork.

The most frustrating thing is the length of time needed to allow a layer to dry before it can be worked over.  After a whole week of drying time, I was really surprised to find paint was still lifting slightly when I tried to work on it.  Still I’ll persevere and try to be patient – I want to give this medium a proper go.

Here is my effort so far.  This is based on my recent pencil study of a still life with marbles.  I decided to stick with black and white to keep things simple for my first oils venture.  The pigments and hence colour mixing is likely to differ from acrylic – that’s something I don’t want to be concerned with until a bit further down the line.