Thursday, 11 May 2017

Sink...a surreal space painting

So events have conspired to keep me from starting number three in the 'Moments on the Mother Road' series, but in a good way.

Surreal art+universal plug+cosmos+sink+Nicola McLean
'Sink' - acrylic on canvas 40 x 50cm

Paintings completed since my last post: One

This painting harks back to my 'space junk' series of random objects in space. I painted the background to this one way last summer using acrylic modelling paste to get lots of texture and then spray paints for the night sky in which I painted a black hole. Then it just sat there in my art shed until last week when it seemed to jump out at me (not literally, that would be weird) and stare at me accusingly for my neglectful behaviour towards it. And so, I felt compelled to finish it after all.

Surreal art+universal plug+cosmos+sink+Nicola McLean

I already knew what I was going to paint on it. I already had the reference photo printed out and waiting in my stuffed full reference photo folder. Back when we redecorated our bathroom last year and bought a new plug for the sink, I thought about how an item is referred to as 'universal' when one size fits all and so when I saw the phrase 'universal plug' this is the image that popped into my head.

Surreal art+universal plug+cosmos+sink+Nicola McLean

Bricks and Mortar Galleries: One

In a rather exciting turn of events, I received an email last week from a couple who have just bought an old historic building which used to be a mission hall and had more recently been used as a studio by the artist whose house they also bought which happens to be right beside the track down to the beach I often walk the dogs on, in Melvich, the next village from ours. 

They are in the middle of renovating the building and turning it into an art gallery and had been doing some research on local artists. I was one of the artists they contacted to see if I would be interested in having them represent me up here. 

I went to meet with them on Friday and they showed me round the mission hall and told me what their plans are. They hope to tie in with the increase in tourism thanks to the North Coast 500 and will initially open from June through to the end of September. 

Surreal art+universal plug+cosmos+sink+Nicola McLean

Now the North Coast 500 is something I am honestly not keen on and which I had a little Instagram rant about recently due to the annoyingly inaccurate comparison to Route 66 and the increase in motorbikes zooming past our cottage at ridiculous speeds on the narrow country roads which are in really bad condition and aren't being maintained. 

Still, whether I like it or not the North Coast 500 is a fact of life up here now so I'd be stupid to cut my nose off to spite my face and while I don't for one second imagine that any of the boy racers doing the route as quickly as they can without stopping or even slowing down to enjoy the beauty of the place, will ever be buying one of my paintings, that doesn't mean that those tourists who do come here to enjoy the slower pace of life won't be interested in stopping to while away some time in a local art gallery and perhaps decide to take a small piece of colourful art home as a memento.


surreal art+surrealism+sink+plug hole+universal plug+nicola mclean

Anyway they plan to represent four or five local artists and the work on sale there will be exclusive to that gallery with the opening taking place on 1 June. With that in mind, I've set the Route 66 series aside for now as I'd like to complete a couple more of my 'signs of life' river rocks paintings and submit those to the gallery.

surreal art+surrealism+sink+plug hole+universal plug+nicola mclean


Time lapse videos: One

So, not wanting my Christmas present from S of the GoPro camera to have been a one trick pony, I decided to give it another outing in the art shed.  I discovered that if I use the video setting rather than the time lapse setting it takes up far less room on the memory card and it's easier to edit together at the end to make a time lapse video. I quite like just doing time lapse clips of just little snippets of a painting rather than filming the whole thing (which I found rather invasive to be honest) so here's a wee snippet of 'Sink'.




New work surface: one

My art shed was a year old in April and the work surface which had been painted with wood paint in cream was looking very paint spattered and grubby so I decided to cover it with some colourful sticky vinyl to spruce it up and make it wipe clean. I'm very happy with how it looks although I ran out with just a little bit to go so have had to order another roll to finish it off!



Sunny days: three followed immediately by the haar 
(sea mist that is the bane of summer in Caithness)

I went out to my art shed last Monday and the dogs sat themselves on the decked porch so I sat down with them for a minute.  Four hours later I was still there when I discovered it was actually really warm (relatively speaking for Scotland!) and then the postie delivered my magazine subscription so I took that as a sign that I should just sit in the sun and read all afternoon. I didn't feel guilty because we get so few sunny days that I knew I had to make the most of it!



That's all my news for now. Thanks, as always for taking the time to pop by.

18 comments:

  1. What a great painting - I could sit all day waiting to see if something will come up through the plug hole !! :-D
    Great new plastic surface and your doggies are soooo cute :-) Lovely to see you getting a bit of sunshine Nic.... I got lots of it here in Greece LoL :-xxxxxxxxx

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  2. I hardly ever see you in the blog world these days... It's good to see a new post pop up! I was beginning to think you had stopped blogging altogether along with a few others... I'm thinking of closing mine down as it's no fun talking to myself. Maybe that's why so many others have stopped too!
    As always, you have come up with a great idea for a unique painting. Love it!

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  3. So happy to see you. I miss your posts. I watched your video too. Love seeing how you create. Congratulations on people seeking you out. That is a real accomplishment. I really love your art table and your back yards looks so inviting. Hope to see you at PPF.

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  4. LOL, still awaiting a warm day here to sit on our balcony. Last year I repainted our furniture at the end of the season so it's all white and clean waiting for that sunny and warm day. Great painting, love the tongue in cheek idea and that vinyl on your table looks fabulous, now splatters will look like they fit right in, the new vinyls you can buy are kinda awesome and I think they'd be like washi tape, one just won't do. Have a great upcoming weekend.

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  5. Quirky and thought provoking, I love this work.

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  6. It's fascinating to see you working on that painting. You manage to make it look so lifelike and at the same time surreal.... The second picture where you show the easel I noticed your desk and was wondering whether you made it from pallets. I've seen so many great ideas with pallets and this looks like one I would love to try out. I was worried how you would keep it clean, so it's a relief that it's vinyl ;-) Congrats on being asked for the new gallery, that's great news!!

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  7. A fantastic painting, and a great pic of your 2 doggy friends. Happy PPF, hugs, Valerie

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  8. Brilliant painting Nic and I love seeing your video of the process too. Oh yes, best to take time to enjoy those simple things on a perfectly sunny day. Your pups seem to be looking very intently at something...
    and good luck with the gallery. Never hurts to put things out there. Happy PPF!

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  9. Beautiful pieces! Love that you took time to kay out in the sun!

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  10. Really beautiful piece! So surreal and fun. It's really pretty. Congrats on the gallery too! That's super :)

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  11. Your painting is beautiful and the video most informative. Congrats on your new venture in the gallery. Exposure never hurt anyone. Must say, I would surely enjoy sharing my art shed with those to 4 legged bosses. They are darling. Happy PPF

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  12. What fabulous news that you will be showing in the new gallery. I love your new painting. Only you could make a plug interesting!
    Happy Friday ~ ^_^

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  13. Nicola, first off thanks for taking the time to give me advice about the eating situation I have. I do so appreciate it. You offered some very good ideas. Your sink painting, quirky though the idea is, is absolutely gorgeous. You are so talented and the shadows and highlights make this look like a real sink. And my, that's a big canvas, too. BTW, you have a most inspirational view from your studio window. Love the dogs.

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  14. Another great video Nic and thanks for sharing your wonderful process.. Love your sink painting..Happy to hear a gallery seeking you out!! The universe always seems to be helping us change our minds about things...Good to see you enjoying your studio to full capacity too! Always enjoy the doggy photos...thanks for sharing!

    Hugs Giggles

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  15. Wonderful painting. You really made it look like shinny metal with all your details.
    Fun music in your video which was fun to watch.

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  16. Brilliant painting love your photos too

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  17. A gorgeous painting, I love the blues in it! Lucky you, having got an offer to an art gallery. Of course you cannot say no to that. Your work surface is fancy! And such cute dogs! It looks as a lovely place.

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  18. Wonderful painting, and what great news about the gallery! The bikers don't sound very good, but I hope there'll be some less noisy and slower people visiting the area too. That table top cover looks so great! I covered mine with one of those plastic table cloths, but almost everything seems to stain it and it's looking rather terrible. We're going to have 28 degrees C at the weekend, and I'm wishing very much I was somewhere up in the north, where it was half as much...

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Your comments always colour me happy! Thank you for popping by.

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