You know what makes me grumpy? All the Grumpy Old Men who appeared on the BBC TV series were younger than me, that's what makes me grumpy. Mutter, mutter....

The Grumpy Old Artist

The Grumpy Old Artist
Would YOU pose for this man???

Exhibition Poster

Exhibition Poster
Catterline Event, 2011

Oil Painting by Jim Tait

Oil Painting by Jim Tait
Helford River, Cornwall

Oil Painting by Jim Tait

Oil Painting by Jim Tait
Full-riggers "Georg Stage" and "Danmark"

Other Recent Works

Other Recent Works
Fordyce Castle and Village

Hay's Dock, Lerwick

Shetland-model Boats at Burravoe, Yell

Tall Ships Seascape

The Tour Boat "Dunter III", with Gannets, off Noss

The "Karen Ann II" entering Fraserburgh harbour

Summer Evening, Boyndie Bay

1930s Lerwick Harbour

Johnshaven Harbour

"Seabourn Legend"

Greeting Cards!

Greeting Cards!
Now Available in Packs of Five or in Assorted Sets of Four

Sunday, 10 January 2010

FREEZE-UP!

Ten days into the new year, and twenty-three of this perishing freeze-up - and it's getting to me! It's a beautiful day, as I write this, with the snow-covered hills glowing golden in the light from the rapidly-descending sun. Lower down, the land is more mottled, reflecting the partial thawing which has taken place from time to time. There's hardly a breath of wind and, were it not for the treacherous underfoot conditions, I would go for a walk somewhere. As it is, I'll stay put, as I have been doing, wherever possible, for nearly a month now. I even missed my usual Friday visit to my mother's house on Friday, having been warned by her the previous day not to even attempt it. Bring back our usual blowy rainy winters - please!

The Roads Department of our islands council do their utmost to keep the main transport arteries open and, in Lerwick at least, the little tractors clear and salt the pavements five days a week, although we have to manage without them at weekends. One day, during the holidays, I was gloomily surveying the wintry scene from my second-floor window, when three youngish musicians passed by on the road beneath, their guitar-cases strapped to their backs. As I looked on, one of them hit a particularly slippery patch and did a backflip, his instrument making a dull G major chord on impact with the unforgiving Lerwick flagstones. The fellow, on getting to his feet again, and apparently unconcerned at his own bruises, was concentrating his first aid efforts on his guitar, which seemed none the worse for its misadventure. The perils of rock 'n roll!

My workflow seems to have been another casualty of the conditions. I've done little on the tall ship works which I started about a month ago, concentrating my limited efforts on the commissioned Fraserburgh whitefish boat painting, the order for which I received a couple of days before Christmas. There's still no word of any exhibition venues or dates for 2010, and I will have to be more pro-active in that direction too.

A website (www.tait-gallery.co.uk) visitor from America contacted me a couple of days ago, attaching a JPEG of a painting he had inherited. He was convinced that I had done the work, which was of a coast scene, with thick coniferous forest down to the cliffs, a lighthouse on a headland in the middle distance, and the roofs of other buildings being overlooked in the foreground. The scene was vaguely reminiscent of the north-west American Pacific coast, but was completely unfamilar to me. I broke the news to my correspondent that the artwork which, admittedly signed "TAIT", was not done by me. He thanked me by return, and pledged himself anew to the task of establishing the identity of the artist, an endeavour in which I wished him well. My own guess is that the painter was American, and quite possibly now deceased.

I hope that this particular living artist has done more to justify the designation by this time next week! A thaw would be nice too! Everyone seems to slip into a state of semi-hibernation when the weather gets cold, a fact which has been noted by visitors to places like north Norway, where people's metabolisms seem to alter to accommodate the seasonal changes. Here, I think it's known as S.A.D.!

Do try to stay awake, and have a nice week!