The Velvet Easel, Saturday 3 November 2018

I have 3 paintings in the current show 5 Years at The Velvet Easel gallery in Portobello, Edinburgh. The opening was last Saturday and it was good to see the current show and the new look that Roz has created in the space; very chic, very sophisticated but retaining the warmth and intimacy. I love the new muted Farrow & Ball palette and the new fixtures and fittings.

“The Velvet Easel is a contemporary art gallery which exhibits an eclectic range of modern art by local, Scottish and international artists. Established in November 2013, The Velvet Easel aims to present a programme of exhibitions throughout the year, including solo-shows and group exhibitions by emerging as well as established artists from all artistic backgrounds. A broad range of mediums is represented including painting, sculpture, pottery, ceramics and jewellery.”

Thank you Roz for 5 years of showing my work, it is good to be a small part of The Velvet Easel.

My three paintings in 5 Years are:

Flowers On Red Silk
Acrylic & Oil Paintstick on Board
100 x 100 cm | 27 June 2018

Oil Paint Stick on Board
4x 40 x 40 cm | 23 September 2018

Crown Silence
Acrylic, Oil Paintstick & Chinagraph Pencil on Plywood Panel
30 x 30 cm | 26 March 2018


Inspiration and soul food!

A few things that have recently nourished my eyes, ears and soul! It all goes into the artistic mix. Be omnivorous!


Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances - Neil Gaiman
Cy Twombly Fifty Days At Iliam - Basualdo
The Waste Land (Facsimile & Transcript of original drafts) – T. S. Eliot
The Greatest Album Covers of All Time - Barry Miles, Grant Scott & Johnny Morgan


Negative Capability - Marianne Faithfull
David Bowie In Bertolt Brecht's Baal – David Bowie
Nordub - Sly & Robbie + Nils Petter Molvaer
Nocturnes & Impromtus – Chopin (again and again!)
Jutta Hipp With Zoot Sims -Jutta Hipp
Flowers Of Romance - Public Image Ltd
Thursday Afternoon – Brian Eno
Infectious Diseases - Michigan & Smiley


The Cement Garden – Andrew Birkin
House of Cards (Season Four)
Nightwatching & Rembrandt's J'Accuse – Peter Greenaway
Frida – Julie Taymor
Anomalisa - Charlie Kaufman
The Party - Sally Potter
Séraphine - Martin Provost


Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh
These autumnal days
Leith Theatre
Patriothall Studios, Edinburgh
Velvet Easel, Portobello Edinburgh


The prospect of travlling to Tallinn next month
The prospect of seeing The Last Days of Mankind - Featuring The Tiger Lillies
“Relax. Nothing is under control.” Adi Da
“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” – Frida Kahlo


Georg Baselitz, A Focus on the 1980s - Galerie Thaddaeus RopacGerard
Pin-Ups | Toulouse-Lautrec and the Art of Celebrity -
Scottish National Gallery
Cy Twombly, Fifty Days at Iliam: The Fire That Consumes All Before It

Georg Baselitz, Die Dornenkrönung [The Crowning with Thorns], 1983, Oil on canvas, Image 300 x 250 cm, Frame 303 x 254 x 5,5 cm

I have just returned from an exhausting four-day visit to London. The city thrills me; it feeds my mind for months. It’s almost intoxication!

My first port of call was Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up at The Victoria and Albert Museum. The show was dazzling, arresting and moving but for me, lacking in her compelling works of art. It left me wanting more of the paintings and to learn more about the artist beyond the pain. I don’t know if the exhibition failed or triumphed for me but it was certainly fascinating. Less is more or more is less . . .

I love the commercial galleries in Mayfair especially Gagosian, David Zwirner, Gallery of African Art and Bernard Jacobson Gallery. The highlight on this visit was Georg Baselitz, A Focus on the 1980s at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. The exhibition was mind blowing; the expressionist application of paint and use of colour, result in works of astonishing presence and beauty. They pulsate with life and leave me speechless!

I discovered Ben Uri Gallery & Museum off Abbey Road, St John's Wood for the first time. The exhibition was Liberators: Extraordinary Women Artists from the Ben Uri Collection which was very interesting and powerful. I will put Ben Uri on my map for future trips.

Also saw Staging Jackson Pollock - Whitechapel Gallery, and had a quick visit to Tate Modern for Christian Marclay: The Clock which I sadly missed as the queue was too long. Whilst in the bookshop I did get a beautiful book from Jackie that made up for this - Cy Twombly: Fifty Days at Iliam.

Shakespeare’s Globe is always a joy to visit (King Lear last year was momentous) and this visit was for Othello and The Winter’s Tale. I think it is good to consume as much culture and art as possible to feed the artistic mind.

Two new churches were incorporated into the detailed itinerary that I make for every trip: St. Giles in the Fields (also known as Poet’s Church, thank you Patti Smith for writing about this and alerting me to it) and Notre Dame de France for the Cocteau murals. I also did the St Paul’s Cathedral tour and whispering gallery. The architectural vision and mind that created this monumental glory is beyond belief.

Finally, Rough Trade East always draws me moth like to its groaning aisles of music and books. I love it and got a couple of cds - Nordub
by Sly & Robbie + Nils Petter Molvaer and Live Seeds by Nick Cave and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Also as on every London visit, I went to L. Cornelissen & Son for Markal Paintstiks and Atlantis Art Materials in Hackney for Acrylic Primer and prepared Rabbit Skin Glue.

I can digest this feast at leisure now but am missing the thrill already. If I were independently wealthy I would up sticks and move to London tomorrow! 

You are now / In London, that great sea, whose ebb and flow / At once is deaf and loud, and on the shore / Vomits its wrecks, and still howls on for more / Yet in its depth what treasures! -P.B. Shelley