It seems that currently many new avenues are appearing in my work, new creative directions. As time inevitably wind us along much is revealed that was previously hidden especially when it comes to creative pursuits. So entirely mysterious is the constant searching in the uncharted waters of some sort of semblance of authentic expression. It at times feels like a place of constant undermining voices of self doubt and disillusionment to blissful moments of exhalation.
What are the precise influences of these continually fluctuating feelings is impossible to say but I’m glad to have had to commitment to my work so far to have reached this point. The nature of this decidedly uncertain place is a little easier to endure now, indeed I sometimes revel in the madness and delight of it. I feel that there is so very much more to discover and the key is to keep experimenting, not to ‘become a connoisseur of yourself’ However it is not possible to sustain myself if constantly pressed to the ragged edge in the mad search for new worlds containing new forms of self realisation.
Among all this so many questions, what is the role of the artist? What part can art play in the current unfolding story of our times? How can I constantly work from a place of liberated expression? In terms of my work itself it seems that figurative depiction is something that I’m getting more attracted to than in the past. Also while in France I had a definite rediscovery of the joys of drawing. Strange as it may seem for a number of years now there has been very little drawing in my work, even the paintings wouldn’t be drawn first just begun immediately with color.
Another interesting side project is that I’m beginning is the painting of furniture in a patterned ‘folk art’ style. Among other things it’s a great way to transform old unwanted furniture into something interesting and unusual, I’m extremely pleased with the results so far, more to follow soon. With all the time taken up at the moment getting the gallery ready there is no creativity happening at all, soon hopefully though new things shall appear, watch this space!
A few months ago we presented a family art exhibition in Doune, a little village in Perthshire. Three generations of the Campbell family we’re involved and a considerable amount of different creative work was displayed. The event was held in the 1920’s village hall, a particularly charming place and perfect for such a show. Everything from wood carving to books was there to view over the weekend. The turnout was considerable with well over hundred people attending the preview buying all sorts of things along the way. Having such a focus to work towards can be extremely helpful in encouraging more creativity and some of my new paintings speak of a really quite exciting new direction. Overall it was deemed to be a success and much was spoken about the unusual nature of having such a diversely creative family! Hopefully something similar shall happen again another time
Currently at this time Lucy and I are working on creating art studios and a gallery in the delightful little village of Palnackie in Scotland. Thanks to a remarkable amount of serendipity and fortune we we’re able to rent an Old Mill, one of the oldest buildings in the village. It is indeed a beautiful building and entirely ideal for what we are planning. It has been so encouraging also to receive so much support and enthusiasm from local people in the area. Slowly but surely it is starting to take shape and already the upstairs of the Mill is a usable studio space complete with a 1950’s kitchen! Downstairs is going to be the gallery space and arts cafe. The vision is to have a cosy seating area filled with unusual furniture and house plants. There shall also be a large number of interesting books to peruse while sipping tea or coffee. The walls all around the space shall be adorned with a constantly rotating selection of paintings and drawings. The intention is very much to create something out of the ordinary and to provide visitors with a more unusual art gallery experience whenever they visit the Old Mill Studios. Not wanting to put more pressure on ourselves than is necessary we are not setting a date when we’ll be ready to open, rather just working away until that time is eventually here. Hopefully at some point I’ll find some time to do some painting!
My partner Lucy and I have just returned from an art themed expedition to France travelling in a blue van. Quite the eventful time it was as these things always are. Great distances we’re travelled and many colours soaked the senses. Our intention was to spend the majority of time in Provence spending a few days in the different places that we found ourselves while always focusing on our art. It is a simple and complete delight to while away the hours in the pine forests and cafes of that part of the world, drawing and painting as the inspiration comes. Provence has of course a long history of attracting artists and along the way we paid visits to some of the galleries in the region to admire the works of those gone before. It sure is a dusty flower strewn land and during our time there the atmosphere slowly absorbed into us where it remains upon return. After just over a month of our travels in France we turned the blue van homewards and slowly began the journey home. Along the way we found ourselves in Bordeaux, a charmed city and to where we have every intention of returning.