Using photographs and memory I've been building up a collection of images in a sketchbook using various techniques - collage, acrylic transfer techniques - around my recent trip to Applecross. The photos evoke a rich sense of place and history. It's an unspoilt coastline, no industry to speak of apart from tourism on a small scale - every view is vast and open, huge skies and rugged mountains, endless coast with views as far as Harris and Lewis. I also had inside knowledge thanks to the expertise of our 'guide' Iain MacRae [my brother-in-law who was born there] whose colourful descriptions of local characters and the life they had, began to play upon my imagination. I plan to evolve the sketches into larger scale works using a variety of media but mostly painting I think and then of course find a venue to exhibit.
My art show at The Atrium Gallery has been booked for two years. It's difficult to obtain premium space to exhibit art in the Leeds area so I'm really pleased and grateful that the selection panel at St. James's agreed to show this series.
Due to the nature of the venue there are restrictions on the type of images that can be displayed, so no sex, glamour, religion, violence, death or politics. Fortunately at the time of submission, I'd been working on some very colourful, optimistic flower images.
Upon securing the exhibition site it was decided that I should work towards filling the space with images based around the initial idea. So making larger versions of the initial six that were chosen to publish as greeting cards seemed a logical step.
The larger paintings took six months to complete, each one in succession. Some are truer to the original sketches than others but the fact that I was using a different medium - acrylic - meant that the colours probably wouldn't be as intense as the originals - oil pastel and crayon.
The smaller paintings followed and I was keen to capture the looseness of the scribbles that I'd drawn which reference the original series. I'll have the notebook with me at the Private View on 7th August so that I can demonstrate what I'm talking about. All in all a busy 18 months so I'm hoping the show will look as good as I think it will and be good publicity for Yorkshire Cancer Centre. Let's hope we can raise funds for a much needed cause (25% commission from my sales will go to Yorkshire Cancer Centre).