This year's Open Studios Ayrshire event, in the Robertson Room at the Burns Museum was interesting but rather quiet, considering that the museum is such a popular venue. It was a busy weekend in all kinds of other ways, which may have had something to do with it.
This year I'll be exhibiting at the Robertson Room in the wonderful Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, here in Ayrshire, alongside several other artists. We'll be here on 21st, 22nd and 23rd April, just after Easter Weekend, from 10am till 5pm. I'll be demonstrating some of my stone painting in particular, so you'll be able to see exactly how it's done - and I'll be exhibiting some original paintings, prints, greetings cards and of course a huge variety of paperweights and doorstops, something for everyone. These make lovely affordable gifts for that special occasion and although we're supposed to be a paper free society, most of us know that the paperwork does tend to build up! Also, these miniature, hand done works of art make wonderful ornaments.
Come along and say hello!
We've been a wee bit quiet on this blog since early in the new year. But that's because Alan has been working on a brand new and quite exciting project - paperweights and doorstops, hand painted on pebbles and stones from a variety of Scottish beaches, many of them collected over years of beachcombing here and there. These are small, affordable works of art. We'll be listing them on Alan's Etsy store within the next week or so, and also displaying them over the Open Studios Ayrshire weekend, when Alan will be demonstrating how these are prepared, painted and finished, all by hand.
Here's hoping for success and prosperity for all of us. I've been working on a brand new and very exciting project, with a distinctly Scottish theme. I'll post pictures as soon as they are available, but for the moment, all I can say is that it involves small and very affordable original artworks.
At present, I'm working towards this year's Open Studios Ayrshire exhibition. Having exhibited from home for several years, this year I'm moving to the lovely Robertson Room, at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, in Alloway, for three days from 2st - 23rd April, just after Easter.
It seems appropriate, somehow, since I've painted scenes from Tam O' Shanter in the past, and my wife's new novel, The Jewel, all about Robert Burns's wife, Jean Armour, is on sale in the museum shop.
Mark the date in your diary, and come along and say hello. Six artists will be exhibiting at this venue and there should be something to interest everyone.
It'll soon be bonfire night in this little village where I live and work. I've often thought about painting bonfire night, complete with fireworks, but it only occurs to me around this time - I'll need to get my act together earlier next year! Meanwhile, here's a picture of this wonderful, primitive fire ceremony to brighten a sometimes depressing time of year.
This year, though, the weather has been bright and calm and sunny so far. It can't last, but it helps to shorten the winter.
My extraordinary and rather disturbing image of Christ on the Cross is for sale here on eBay at the moment. The image depicts Christ amid a sea of troubles - it's extremely large at some 44 inches by 54 inches - and it really ought to be in a church or similar religious building. The frame is hand made from Scottish driftwood. I'm prepared to let it go for a very low price, just to secure it a good home! The price more or less covers the cost of materials plus a little more, but it took many weeks to complete. I have done several 'religious' pieces although I don't think of myself as being a particularly religious artist. But this just seemed to want to be painted. Whoever buys it will have to collect it from my studio, here in Ayrshire - it's extremely heavy, in acrylic on canvas with a very chunky frame - but we'll do our best to facilitate this and you're welcome to view the picture by appointment if you're genuinely interested.
It's been one of those summers! First of all, I spent a week in hospital just when the weather was at its nicest. The medication I'm on for severe arthritis also lowers my immune system, so unfortunately, I'm prone to infections and have to watch out for any little symptoms. On this occasion the NHS came up trumps, my GP came out to the house, the ambulance arrived within half an hour and I was admitted to our local hospital with a raging fever and a lot of other symptoms too nasty to go into here! I had intravenous antibiotics for a week and - eventually - was on the mend. But it took me a while to get back to work after that.
I came back home to the realisation that our house needed some serious building work, focused on the bathroom - and that, almost completed now, took up many more weeks of disruption while people tore the place apart. So - it's quite surprising that I've managed to do some work in the shape of some new painting, but I have. I've also very slowly but surely restored an old Victorian rocking horse - an Ayres horse - and these were the best rocking horses around. Photos to follow very soon.
If you love this picture, title End of Shift (and lots of people do!) then we now have excellent full size stretched canvas prints available - they look very much like the original, but at a fraction of the price. We can take orders now - do contact us for more details. At present the original artwork is still for sale, although that might change in the next couple of weeks. (Customer still making up her mind!)
If you're going to be in or near Ayrshire, during the next few weeks, do pop along to Many Thanks at the Cross in Mauchline. This is a really beautiful gallery, gift shop and coffee shop and Alan will be exhibiting there until the end of the month of June. You can find his pictures (like the one above) a good selection of prints at various prices, and greetings cards as well.
Also, if you think you might like to commission a special picture - bearing in mind Alan's unique style (a cross between Lowry, Fred Yates and Grandma Moses, seemingly!) - then you can get contact details through Carol at the gallery.
While you're there, you can also visit the beautiful little Burns House Museum just around the corner, imagine yourself back in the time of the Bard and drive through the wonderful Ayrshire countryside round about.
Many Thanks is also stocking copies of The Jewel by Alan's wife, Catherine Czerkawska, a bestselling novel about the life and times of Burns's wife and Mauchline Belle, Jean Armour. Pick up a copy while you're there! Have some of the best coffee in Ayrshire - and scrumptious cakes too. Well worth a visit.
Apologies for the rather wintry nature of this picture of our lovely village but I've just finished this - and it already has an interested buyer. Prints will be available though!
I'm preparing for a month long exhibition at the wonderful Many Thanks cafe, shop and gallery in Mauchline. I'll be showing a good cross section of my art, originals, prints and greetings cards from early June to the end of the month, so if you're in Ayrshire, do go along to the shop for an excellent cup of coffee, some cake - and some art!
We'll be blogging from time to time about Alan's work, what he's working on and what's for sale. Watch this space for news of forthcoming exhibitions too!