Spark: twenty seven

A series about people that have influenced my creative path

priorpitt
Pauline Prior-Pitt, abstract seascape, acrylic, 2013

I’ve mentioned previously that we visit North Uist each year for a family holiday. We nearly always miss the open studios, and sadly we did again this year. Luckily I bought this small painting a few years ago when Pauline was taking part in a local exhibition. She is most well know for her poetry, but I feel that her paintings capture everything that I love about the breathtaking beaches and ever changing weather that belong to the island.

Advertisements

Inspired

BEACH3julietmacleod2016

Each year we head to the Outer Isles for a family holiday. Whatever the weather we always have the best of times, and this year was no exception. Most days were spent on the beach, with my husband and girls investigating rock pools, the dog going mad in the sand and me soaking up as much of it as I can.

MACHAIRjulietmacleod2016

I sketch and photograph whenever possible whilst I’m on North Uist. It’s my way of unwinding. There is so much to inspire and motivate – the colours and textures of the sea, shore, lochs and hills. Everywhere you look there’s something…

I also finally remembered to bring some pots with me to shoot amongst the landscape that inspired them…

POT2julietmacleod2016 POT1julietmacleod2016 POT3julietmacleod2016 POT4julietmacleod2016

Magpie {39}

BRAIDAjulietmacleod2015
Pinch pot, impressed and coloured with oxides and underglaze colours, by Katie Braida

At 2014’s Potfest in the Pens I had a stall opposite Katie. As a result we have become good friends. She makes gorgeous, sculptural vessels inspired by the sea, with layered texture achieved by using a range of blades and printing letters. Last year there was a lovely piece on her stand, but I made the mistake of not buying it instantly – by the Sunday it was gone. This year she was participating again and I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. I reserved this little pod before the doors opened on the first day.

Develop

SEAjulietmacleod2015

I’ve been looking forward to progressing my work and in the last couple of weeks I’ve managed to sneak in a few experiments. It’s been a wonderful combination – the methodical repetition of making established pieces interspersed with the odd opportunity to tinker.

Various threads keep coming back to me… things I have noticed; colours that spark; ideas that have been fermenting in the back of my mind. I’ve already mentioned the desire to expand my palette to allow for different seas – blues, greens and greys. There’s also my fascination with the flashes of colour that you find on the beach – the acid colours of lichens and seaweeds – yellow, green and orange.

TRYPTICHjulietmacleod2015

Then there is reflection: light on waves, the shine of quartz, water on sand, the gleam of shell. I’ve been trying to think of ways to combine all these strands and these are the first results.

YUNOMIjulietmacleod2015

I’m looking forward to experimenting further.

Spark: twenty five

A series about people that have influenced my creative path

hambling
Maggi Hambling, Summer Wave Breaking I, 2008
(image from David Case Fine Art)

I’m just back from a fantastic weekend spent in Glasgow. We’re normally rushing through to see family, but this weekend we spent three days exploring the city. Highlights were Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, GOMA and The Hunterian. At Kelvingrove I saw my first Lowry seascape. I had no idea he painted them, and I was taken aback at the simplicity and stillness of it. I spent a little time researching and discovered that I had missed an exhibition at The Lowry in Manchester at the end of last year… The Sea: L S Lowry and Maggi Hambling. What a pairing! I’ve been meaning to write a post about Hambling for ages and this reminded me how inspiring I find her work.

lowry
Laurence Stephen Lowry, Seascape, 1950

Sun rise

We’re past the winter solstice now and slowly our days are getting longer. This far north we’re lucky to have seven hours daylight during December, but the sun being so low in the sky does give a fantastic light – I can see why artists and photographers like it here. I’ve been spending the last few days gearing myself up to get throwing again and, come Monday I’ll be back in the studio… but today I spent a few hours at Aberdeen docks and beach searching for sunshine and inspiration.