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The Royal School of Drawing

Dumfries House, Cumnock, Scotland.

On my waaaaay!

I've always found difficulty as an artist to narrow my ideas and try to be specific to my aims, intentions and actions.

But through forcing myself to change the way I work I only result in stubbornly working against premeditated plans and refuse to simplify my contextual ideas.

My masters gave me that freedom to change and fluctuate my ideas and aesthetics, as well as giving me time to re-evaluate and re-develop the residue of my ideas.

My largest painting yet, scaling over 7 feet!
I will now always be sure to measure doorways!

However, undoubtedly this residency has set more demanding limitations. As much as I would have enjoyed the challenge of travelling 250 miles with a 7ft canvas, unfortunately it is just not feasible! So I really have to challenge my concepts, narrow my sporadic use of materials and again- step out of my comfort zone!

So three trains, six hours later (with luggage the weight of a small horse) I made the journey to Auchinleck for my three week stay at Dumfries House.

The temptation to conjure up a plan/project or blueprints for a "final piece" was something that riddled me right up to leaving. I didn't want this time to be spent laboriously tying up lose ends and ideas from my Masters, but time to reflect and explore new ideas in an incredibly beautiful and peaceful setting.

I know my strengths but more importantly my unforgivable habits!

So here's a little list of materials that I've brought with me:

  • Acrylic paints and mediums

  • (Pip Seymour and a few of my fav Lascaux mediums)

  • Off cuts of Perspex left from my MA

  • Indian ink

  • Watercolours

  • Card

  • Sketchbooks

  • A few Architect's Journal magazines I hadn't had time to read!

  • Transparent paper

  • Glue, rulers, erasers, pencils etc- Tonnes of masking tape!

  • Hammer, staple gun, chisel, scissors, scalpel

  • Macbook, camera, speaker (although they do provide a very hipster radio for the studio which I made very productive work from!)

And clothes wise (December + Scotland = Antartica)

  • Hoodies, rain coats, hat and gloves

  • Umbrella and wellies (although the House kindly lets you borrow these on rainy days!)

  • Big IKEA bags - always useful of course

  • Trainers/walking boots/active wear

  • Toiletries

  • TORCH! -Absolute must during the Winter periods.

Arrival time: 21:52pm so there isn't must to see apart from acres of darkness and the hooting of owls...

But after the long, damp wet journey nothing felt better than climbing into this beautifully decorated cosy artists' flat!


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