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Pictures at an Exhibition (Cue Mussorgsky)

April 24, 2016





 Next week I am taking part in the 2016 Isle of Man Arts Festival along with almost 40 talented and varied Manx artists.  Formerly known as WOSAT (Western Open Studios Art Trail) the festival has now grown to cover many exciting venues and open studios throughout the Island.

Preparing for an exhibition starts several months in advance of the actual event as it’s good to have new work that hasn’t been previously seen by the public. So, over the past three or so months I have concentrated on producing a series of still life miniatures ranging from 5 x 7” to 7 by 9”.  As I’m more comfortable painting on a large scale these have been a challenge. However, I have really enjoyed the experience of working with fine detail and working on several paintings at once.

The countdown to meltdown started about a month ago. I chose framing material and not being a confident chooser of frames spent a few days wondering whether I’d decided upon the right stuff. Fortunately, when I picked them up they really seemed to do the trick. Phew! As I was still adding finishing touches to the miniatures I asked the framer to just make frames and I’d insert the finished works myself. Though I say finished it’s hard to stop, even framed I still like to add highlights, details and all kinds of fiddly bits. I’ll be lucky if they’re completely dry by hanging time next Saturday!




Once framed the paintings have to be labeled and priced. Not an easy task as the time taken is rarely reflected in the amount one can ask for a piece of work. Still, what price joy and the immense pleasure of creativity?

Showing new work is always difficult as there is always a doubt that taking a different direction won’t be well received. Fortunately I have my own in house art director Steve who has cast his experienced eye over my work and given very useful constructive criticism and support in equal measure during the last few months.  He’s also helped with framing matters which has been great as I find screw eyes and picture wire immensely tedious. Thank you Steve!




 20 small paintings done and framed, two more still on the easel but nearly done. Here’s to a well supported event and great appreciation of all the exceptional artists on this lovely Isle. To see my latest work, I'll be at the Corrin Hall in Peel on Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.

For more information on the Festival, the artists and the venues :

Updates of what's on and where, plus profiles of local artists can be seen at a wonderful new site









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