What an amazing time I had at Riba Rocks, so much fun. I was also pleased with the photos I took and fortunately everyone else was too, so phewf on that part. If you're reading this and don't know about Riba Rocks, it's my pals, Sarah and Chris', tiny eco music festival located in their little valley near Riba-Roja D'Ebre in Catalonia, Spain. Such lovely people; met old friends and made new ones. Sarah and Chris invited me over to flaunt my photography skills by documenting the festival. I did my best and got what I thought a good flavour of the festival. There's always things you end up missing but all to work towards for next year! Such diverse music too from local and UK bands and artists. From solo guitar singer-songwriters with the likes of Carrianne Hayden, Lilac Sheer, Nic Bennett, Adrià Cid (who also makes ceramics!) and Ali Ingle; folk with Troubadour's Garden; indie with the new kids on the block Run Tiger Run, piano and vocals with Maud the Moth; bit of prog from Hysterical Injury; noisy punk with a touch of ukulele from The Cecilias; nu-metal from local band Flatware and electronica from The Horn The Hunt. After midnight the DJs took over playing House late in to the night. Phewf, think I got everyone there.
There's a little gallery on the Riba Rocks website and I've put together a few here but will put more pictures up soon.
New exhibition for 2014 will be the next group show curated by Wolf Bones at Glasgow's Broadcast in Sauchiehall Street. Opening will be on Friday 31st January, so coming up really soon. I'll be showing a couple of drawings and a brand new painting, along with my fellow artists, some of whom were also in the previous Broadcast exhibition. The opening will be from about 7.30pm on Friday, hope to see you there.
Other exciting things I've been up to lately is flexing my rock photography muscles again in the form of doing a little promo shoot for pals' band Chris Devotion & the Expectations. It was great fun and I think it went well. Got some shots on my facebook page, you can have a wee swatch of a few shots through this link. It's all for the cause of their brand new shiny album that will be coming out in a month or so, so keep your eyes and ears peeled for the fabulous tunes by the boys, the fabulous album artwork by the talented Mr Dave "Ninja" Turbitt using my fabulous photos. It's a marvellous team effort.
Here's a single from their last album, give your ears a wee scorchin' on this.....
In the building where I have my studio there are a whole bunch of small independent businesses and we decided to have an open day on Saturday 14th Dec 12noon til 6pm for Xmas shoppers to invite and encourage you, the public, to come and see what we're up to. We're in the affectionately named Eczema House at 141/143 West Regent Street, Glasgow G2 2SG.
Come and visit Jeff and his new sidekick Archie in Rig Bike Shop where Brian and the guys will be providing bike expertise to everyone so you can consult with Santa about that all important new bicycle purchase for Christmas. You can also get your caffeine fill from Ingrid who will be manning the teas and coffees in the cafe.
If 4 wheels are more your style then see Lindsay at 5th Blocker Skates who will furnish you with skating and Roller Derby knowledge and kit. On the day, Lindsay will also have her range of fashion on sale as Tyrannosaurus Spandex. Mark & Tony will have their super cool Devil's Own Apparel where you can buy skateboards, comic artwork, urban wear and more. I believe Jetpace Industries t-shirt workshop, t-shirt printers to the stars (well, local Glasgow bands), may have some exclusive shirts on the go. I, of course, will be having my studio open with original artwork and prints for sale. So many excellent and fabulous gift buying opportunities.
What a selection of amazing goodies on show, I hear you say! Well, we are good to you but it doesn't even stop there. We're also going to have stalls from handmade soap purveyors Linzi & Ashley's Twa Burds Soaps, cards and jewellery from Lynsey's Art Angel, raging hot sauces from Matt the Glasgow Chilli Guy and Nick will be doing awesome things with brioche and chorizo!
Not only that there will be free, yeah you heard it, free mulled wine and mince pies (subject to availability, get in quick before they run out!). There is also a probability that there will be entertainment happening in the form of African drumming and a possibility of performance poetry. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see performance poetry at Rig Bike Shop. Hold on to your hats people!
Oh yes, it's coming up to that very special time of year when people all over the world celebrate the wondrous birth of a very special person.
Yes, me! Another year older on the 16th but after that it'll be Xmas!
Love it or loathe (I'm in the former camp) Xmas is coming with a vengeance: it's going to be December on Sunday! Cripes! I've been painting furiously in between doing all my other jobs and ukeing so I will actually have....count 'em...three exhibitions going on at the same time. The first one is already up (you can read about it below), the "Paint it Black" exhibition at Broadcast in Sauchiehall Street, the next one will be in Bar Ten in Mitchell Lane; a Xmas show entitled "All the Small Things" and then I will have another show at Cocktail & Burger also in Sauchiehall Street.
"All the Small Things" will be setting its sights on Xmas shoppers. Small, affordable and unique gifts for that special loved one; original works that are no bigger than 18" x 18" and under £100. Prints will be available too. The image here is one of my tiny paintings that I have just completed. It's part of a set of seasonal woodland critters, four in all of course (5" x 7"). Come on down to see the others. The preview night will be on Wednesday 4th (next week!) from 7.30pm. There will also be extra shenanigans going on with live music. Should be a great night.
On the 15th I've got a deadline for handing in my work at Cocktail & Burger for the winners of the "Heeds Up" portrait competition exhibition. Not sure when the preview night for this show is but I'm assuming a day or so after...watch this space for more details.... I'll be sharing the walls with artists Stu Murphy and Marianne Vosloo. You can read about the "Heeds Up" exhibition in a previous blog post. I'll be showing the work that got me second prize in the exhibition as well as some other portraits.
Best of luck with the Xmas shopping and remember, getting something unique and hand crafted for your friends and family will not only make you the bestest person in the world but will also save a starving artist from the gutter. Yey! :-)
New exhibition in Broadcast in Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow went up last week with an opening night on Friday. A hectic week for all involved but a great looking show that will be on for 2 whole months. Thanks to the organising talents of Michelle Cohen and Karen Bones a.k.a. Wolf Bones there was live music and even a club night. Good times. The show opens up the darker edges of the artist mind producing an exhibition of 13 artists; from large scale paintings to smaller intricate ink drawings there is plenty to see. On for 2 months so get yourself down there and grab a tasty burger and beer and peruse what's on offer. All works for sale so do the right thing and make the happiest partner, wife, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, grann......ok, you get the idea.
I have put in 6 new paintings, two of which are acrylics, you can see them in the flesh in Broadcast of course but if you can't make it, there are images online on my Facebook page. I decided to switch from using oils and turps and try water-based acrylic paint so I wouldn't asphyxiate myself now I've sealed up the studio due the onslaught of the coming winter and my determination that I will be able to feel my fingers while I paint. It was a bit tricky at first being used to the long drying times of oils but I've got a handle on it pretty quickly. I seem to naturally work faster due the faster drying time but got slightly frustrated sometimes also because of this. I've read up a bit about the properties and uses of both media and have come to the conclusion that using both (which may be controversial to some) may be a way to go; though only when I can open the window again. It is said, by those who know, that oils can only go over acrylics but never the reverse as you will end up with a whole fireball of mess. The plasticy overcoating of the acrylics will dry quicker and shrink and so I'm assuming it won't take the oil colour with it and there will be some sort of separation. However, this could be an interesting experiment if you want to mess around with textures but then maybe it would eventually fall off as it wouldn't adhere to the base coat. Oh, I'm getting kind of technical about stuff that I don't really know the ins and outs of. Think it's a trial and error thing that probably would take years to see actual results as acrylics have only been around commercially since the 1950s they still don't really know about longevity. Anyway, it's going fine at the moment so onward ho!
Going to be in the month-long portrait exhibition at Cocktail & Burger, curated and hosted by the delectable Michelle Cohen of Grey Wolf Art. Opening night is tomorrow (Sunday) from 7.30pm and looking forward to it, should be a good night.
I've put in a couple of older ones "Hireath" and "Alex" but have a new one of the lovely "Steph", so come on down to see them and a whole bunch of other amazing portraits. There will be live music and DJs so bring your pals and make a night of it.
Remember it'll be on for a month so you can come back again and a delicious burger from the rather lovely menu. Look forward to seeing you there!
Sarah, Chris and Caroline
It's November already, how time flies. Just back from a great week's holiday at my friends' Sarah & Chris', place in Riba Roja D'Ebre, Catalonia. It's a lovely place, so peaceful and laid back it makes me want to slow down and just take in the view.
They've had the place now for 4 years and are slowly doing it up. It's a lovely wee hoose and quite a few acres of land, most of which is hill, with olive trees lining terraced soil. Their intentions are toward self sufficiency with solar panels galore and land full of veg patches. The good life indeed.
They are also planning an ambitious project of creating an artist village within their land. Sarah, being an artist herself and Chris, a graphic designer, want to give artists time and space to live and make work in a creative environment; an artists retreat, if you will. I'm looking forward to seeing the developments as they start to build more.
Also, next year in late summer, with the ready organising skills of Sarah's sister Caroline, they're planning to produce an arts and music festival to be held on their land called Riba Rocks. With local and international bands due to be booked, poets and writers planning readings and artists creating workshops, it's gonna be a fabulous event. I'm planning my return trip already.
I can't talk about this place without mentioning its newest residents; Tut and Khamun. They are two little kittens that were found under a manky sofa in a supermaket car park by two friends who nursed them to health. Tut was so tiny, found in a puddle and not moving, they thought he was dead. Khamun on the other hand, Tut's big sister, was very vocal, fortunately for them. Sarah & Chris were asked if they would like to take them on. As they are very rural, they can have a bit of a mouse problem, so thought why not. The kittens had only been there a week by the time I had arrived but I could see Sarah & Chris had fallen in love with them already. Well, they are quite adorable. We'll see how long it takes them to move residence from the shed to in front of the wood burner in the house during the winter.