Saturday, May 24, 2008

Hot Stuff

Hot Stuff
Oil on Panel

I've been busy wrapping two big pictures to send to the Marji Gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe today - quite the task as one of them is over 4 feet long, although I'm working on an even bigger one for them right now. After applying about an acre of bubble wrap, cardboard and duck tape I think they're finally done. I think I've been in America too long..inches, acre? what happened to the metric system I grew up with?

Anyway, yesterday was an interesting day - I had a visit from a chap who wants a painting of Pyramid Lake, and he is collecting works of the same subject for a potential touring exhibition in Nevada. He brought me copies several works inspired by Pyramid Lake which have been completed in the last 100 years. These, along with my painting will be in the exhibition celebrating beautiful area north of Reno. I'm really excited to get started on this - I've never worked on something in this context before, and I think it'll be a real challenge. It's also a fab excuse to go back there, it's soooo beautiful.

The closest I've come is when I did a project with the Royal Oak Hotel in Betws y Coed, North Wales. Our aim was to resurrect the historic link between the hotel and the Betws y Coed Artists Colony, active in Victorian times. The founder was artist David Cox, and the artists used to gather at the Royal Oak Hotel after a day's painting, no doubt to drink beer and argue about aesthetics (no change in artist behaviour there). Interestingly, the old stables where my gallery was (across the road from the hotel) apparently housed the less wealthy artists, who didn't mind bedding down in the hay with the horses. I liked that idea (not just for the history) more than working in a swanky studio actually - we had cobblestone floors, vaulted ceilings and wonky stone and slate walls we would climb on quiet days. The Royal Oak purchased a great deal of my work, both for the restaurant, and for their sister hotel, The Waterloo. My prints hang in every bedroom of that 4 star hotel, and fill the restaurant walls at the Oak.

I still puff up a little with pride when I remember that.