This week in the studio: sunsets and beer taps


Work in progress: a study of the bar in the Stockbridge Tap, oil on canvas.

I never know what to title blog posts here – I usually want to discuss a half-dozen random things in each post. These days I am spending a lot of time in my new studio, excited about having so much space, trying to figure out what to work on next. I have some ideas for a series of paintings related to Edinburgh’s food and drink culture, which may or may not just be an excuse to go sketch over a pint in my favorite pubs.

I’ve also been spending a lot of time looking out the window. I am enchanted by the view from our new flat, all chimney pots and church towers. It’s especially delightful at sunset. Edinburgh has the loveliest sunsets. And all this staring out the window at sunsets has made me want to paint sunsets, but at the same time I don’t want to paint sunsets, because painting sunsets seems a bit trite and cliched. Besides, the real things are so stunning, I’d never be able to do them justice with paint on canvas. But then again every once in a while you come across a really skillfully-rendered sunset in oil paint, and you think “I want to do that!”, and then you fill up with self-doubt because you know you’ll never be that skilled at painting, but then you think that you might as well try, right? Because why paint anything at all? Just try a couple sunsets.

“But I wanted to be focusing on food & drink!” you say. It doesn’t matter, just work on something. Just paint.

I signed up for Leah’s Art Every Day Month again this year. Basically for the month of November I’ll be making art and posting something to this blog every day. It’s a great exercise, to sometimes focus on quantity over quality in art making. From participating in past years, I know that it pushes me to make art I wouldn’t otherwise have made, and also to share images I wouldn’t have otherwise shared. And good things can come of that – sometimes the painting I’m least sure about, the one that is about to get painted over, turns out to be someone’s favorite piece of mine.

So, this blog is about to get a lot busier for a bit. Also, I’m hoping to get one of my highly-infrequent newsletters out this week. Newsletter subscribers get sneak peeks at my studio work, information about my upcoming exhibitions, and occasional extras such as discount codes for my Etsy shop. Are you on my mailing list? If not, you can sign up here:

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2 Responses to “This week in the studio: sunsets and beer taps”

  1. Karen Shewan says:

    Art Every Day Month sounds fun and challenging. Might sign up too.

    • Jul says:

      That would be great, Karen. I’ve participated 3 or 4 times now, and I can highly recommend it. It’s like a gentle kick in the butt, which most artists could use from time to time. :)

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