Just to let you know that there's been quite a few paintings sold over the Christmas period. I thought that there might be a Christmas rush - I just hadn't realised that it would actually be over Christmas itself! At the moment, the paintings like 'Sunny Cove', at left, which have sold are marked as such in the galleries. All 5 prints are, of course, still available. Once I get back to work properly I'll sort the galleries out, I promise! In the meantime, I need to get some more painting done! All the best for a Happy New Year, Rob.
Well, it's that time of year again, and I just wanted to wish all my customers, and visitors to the site, a Merry Christmas!
It's been a few months since I started the site and started the business and I've thoroughly enjoyed all the interest I've had from many people around the world. The comments and 'likes' on the social networking sites, available through the buttons at top right, have been universally wonderful and I thank you all for your kindness. So far I've been lucky enough to sell as far afield as west coast USA and New Zealand and at several points in between!
I've also learned a few things over the last few months. Delivery has been generally very good but I've now decided to go with a courier company - DHL - for all deliveries. This company has, for me, a 100% record of prompt delivery worldwide in perfect condition, and art is all about the customer experience and feeling. In some cases I've had to adjust my prices very slightly to account for the greater expense, but many paintings are the same price as before. I have always wanted to make my works affordable, and to avoid the somewhat inflated prices I see elsewhere. I will continue to do that, and hope you will understand that I need to pass on at least some of the cost increase. A look around my galleries will show you that I have done this only where necessary (I have commercial agreements with galleries which limit my ability to do what I want) and by the minimum amount possible. All the prices now include UK courier delivery rates. For deliveries outside the UK I will only add the extra required to cover extra charges. People only buy art because they love it, and I hope my customers will appreciate the added security of ensuring their purchases are carried to their destination with the utmost care.
OK, that's enough from me for now. I intend to enjoy the festive season with my family. Wherever you are, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year! All the very best, Rob.
In the last post I promised that my next painting would be a return to my artistic roots. Anyone who knows me will know that water and trees play a huge part in my inspiration and so this painting is unlikely to be a surprise! It is 'Racing Sticks'. I saw some local kids playing Pooh Sticks on a different river and wanted to include them in this scene. I think they add some life to it and I love the triumphant stance of the winner! The bridge in the painting is the one where the Old Mill Road crosses the River Lossie in Elgin and I've been wanting to paint this scene for some time.
In reality this is quite a difficult viewpoint to get to because of the tangle of branches. This scene has therefore been hugely simplified - but that's the beauty of painting! I love the way the trees and the view through the arch of the bridge melts away into the mist, lending a calm and tranquil feel to this lazy river scene. I hope you like it too! You can see it at a larger size here. Cheers for now!
I've been painting much less for a few weeks now, and I'm sad to say that it's because I lost my dog and sketching buddy, Scooby the German Shepherd. My faithful mate for years and a massive part of the family, we all miss him hugely and I've found it hard to get out there and paint or sketch, with the notable exception of a snowy day about 10 days ago.
But life goes on and I've now got a couple of paintings on the go. I finished one of them today - Elgin High Street, 1863. Normally I start my paintings from one of my sketches and I neglect the detail in the painting in order to strengthen the atmosphere and character of the subject. In this painting I really wanted to produce, if you will, a watercolour version of an old photograph. The world wasn't in black and white then, just because the photos were! To rebuild Elgin of exactly 150 years ago, I used lots of old photos of the place, people and their transport. But, as always, I sketched the scene first. You have to grin and bear it if you intend to sketch on a busy high street but I was intent on positioning myself exactly as the original photographer of one of the photos I was using. I suspect he was leaning out of the top of what is now a pound shop, and used to be Woolworths. I stood outside the door and sketched at ground level.
Then, in the studio, I tried to bring them all together. A brief resume of the changes that this street has seen:
1. There are almost no chimneys in view these days. There were lots - and in this view they're almost all churning out smoke to emphasise the change.
2. Several of these buildings have been demolished and replaced with concrete buildings, which is a shame. The most notable one is the white-fronted building just to the right of the non-working fountain.
3. The buildings receding down the left hand side now house a large shopping centre.
4. The whole area is pedestrianised now whereas there were definite areas for walking and for driving - carriages! I've done my best from monochrome photos to guess a colour scheme. The only bit I agree to falsifying is the kerb between the central grey area and the road on the left. That's been added for artistic reasons, and seems to have been roughly level 150 years ago.
5. The central area has seen a few changes. There was apparently a sort of 'pallisade' around the base of the fountain, shown here. The war memorial, dedicated to those who died in the Great War, was almost 60 years in the future. Also, the curious wooden building in the foreground behind the two gentlemen has long gone. What was it? I don't know, although I know this area once housed an underground toilet - perhaps someone who knows could enlighten us. Lastly, the trees growing in the wrought-iron pens outside St Giles' Church, centre, were very young then. Now there are fewer, but they're bigger!
From my point view, though, the most surprising thing is how much is still the same! This has helped to 'root' me in this town, and I hope it might do the same for my audience. I've really enjoyed the process but it'll be a while before I take on that much work again. For now, my next painting will be a return to my artistic roots - I only wish Scooby couldv'e been there!
A professional artist living and working in the beautiful north of Scotland. My work is realistic and quite traditional, though strongly interpretational in nature. My inspiration is the beauty of Nature, and the wonderful colours and moods she shows everywhere.