Friday, 6 January 2012


As I have mentioned a few times already, Kevin Low and I will be having a joint show at Edinburgh's Union Gallery in April. I have been aware that, apart from being really, really excited by this (which I really, really am), I should probably be at least a bit worried. This is because the exhibition will be my highest profile one so far and not only have I not yet a body of work to show, the three months I have to make that body of work in is not a very long time.

I especially thought I should start worrying after I spent a day at the gallery in December and worked out just how many paintings I was going to need to do. Somehow, though, I did not worry and that made me happy because I have always been someone to whom worrying came easy. My recent lack of worry could mean that I am less of a worrier than I used to be, which is good, however it could also mean that I now have confidence in my abilities and that is great.

In the middle of November, on my flights home from Fayetteville, a vague idea for a theme for my new work floated in my consciousness. As the weeks went by following my return, and I resolutely did not paint, the idea never became any more concrete, indeed it seemed at times to become less so. Nonetheless, I gathered materials and waited for the moment when I knew I had to paint. That moment arrived six days ago.

(As yet untitled)
© Stewart Bremner 2012
Mixed media on board, 12x12"
Every day since the moment's arrival, I have painted for several hours. Pulling something from nothing, with only a slight grasp on the edge of a concept, is hard work and it was therefore to be expected that the pieces would not be as focussed as could be desired. Consequently, I am really rather pleased that two of the paintings I have been working on are quite fully realised and close to my nebulous original idea.

In a week I have made two paintings that I am happy to call finished. If I can keep that hit rate up, I'll have enough paintings for the exhibition by the middle of March. Which would be perfect!

I've got many, many hours of painting ahead of me and a lot of thinking to do. This is going to be my biggest artistic challenge to date and as the desire to paint slowly builds, I know I am going to truly relish these coming months.

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