So we're in those funny few days between Christmas and new year and my brain is hurtling ahead to planning (or trying to plan) my 2017. Regardless of what's happening in the rest of the year, January and September are my 30 paintings in 30 days months - and January is fast approaching!
30 Paintings in 30 Days is a free global initiative that simply encourages artists and creative people to create more. The challenge is co-ordinated by US-based artist Leslie Saeta (who also publishes the fabulous Artists Helping Artists podcast each week) and everything is explained on the 30 in 30 homepage. You don't have to create thirty completed works in that time, for some even one is a major hurdle acheived. It just brings people together who simply want to create. It's lovely to be telepathically working alongside fellow artists who one will usually not meet but are all over the world just uploading what they've produced onto a central website on the day they've produced it.
Fancy a go or knowing a bit more? Click on the image above to sign up or see who's already registered - the map is interesting in itself :)
In amongst my current cloud compulsion (actually, more like an obsession but that's another topic), I haven't lost interest or inspiration from those beautiful islands that appear across the sea. Yesterday afternoon there was a brief interlude between snow storms and North Uist appeared in it's resplendent glory. It was mid afternoon and the sun decided to highlight the clouds beautifully (the sun sets here at around 3pm) - I thought it extremely agreeable of the sun to be so illuminating :)
The weather forecasters may well be talking about the imminent Storm Barbara which is about to descend on the highlands, but we've had howling gales and snow storms for a few days now - all of which lead to the most beautiful of cloud formations. They often disappear as quickly as one can blink, yet are transfixing and finger-twitchingly inspiring for fingers who use pastels. Yesterday afternoon was one such time and it's lovely to be creating in rhythm with whatever nature presents. Seeing the clouds so heavy with snow is a privilege to behold.
What started out as a cloud study seems to have been influenced by the full moon of the previous two evenings - even though I hadn't sketched it or anything on those nights. I did find myself drawn to this month's stunning full moon as it was spectacularly clear here. Who knew it would eek it's glow (albeit abstractly) into my drawing last night? Perhaps it's my imagination but this picture is very different to my other cloud works. The tones in the sky were moodier than of late too. It'll be interesting to see what emerges later on today.
I always count myself as incredibly fortunate to witness the fabulous clouds from Skye. I was able to draw them just before the moon bestowed it's clear light over the bay. The colours are ever-changing as the months and seasons pass - and last night was simply mesmerising.
Well I've finally done it! Plucked up the courage to take heed of the suggestions of several exhibition and art shed visitors this year and compiled a calendar. I selected some of the pastels I've drawn on Skye over the seasons and had a limited number printed as a 2017 calendar. When I say limited number, it truly is. Positively tiny in fact, but it's a start and it'll be good to see how popular they are. To order you can click on the image above or here (I've introduced free delivery across the site too. No extra charges or price hikes, just thought it'd make things simpler).
It's lovely to see my drawings in the same vicinity. Usually they're spaced out along walls or in different buildings around the country as they wend their way around exhibitions. I'm working on some drawings of a much larger nature at the moment and it's good to have a chance to reflect on the work that's amassed over 2016. The shorter days at the start of winter bring on a ponderous quality sometimes and it's good to cast the mind over the summer Hebridean days where the darkness was but a fleeting moment and catching the sunrise meant a four o'clock start...