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, 9 May 2010


Looking back over previous posts, I see that it's three weeks since I last mentioned progress on my own artwork. I apologise for this, and hope to make amends for it here, as there is quite a lot of news, although I have no new completed artworks to tell you about. I hope to have more soon.

I have been working on a commissioned landscape/seascape of Lerwick's Sooth End, and I hope to have the buildings finished by the close of play tomorrow. I then have to attend to the piers, boats, foreground sea and reflections therein, so I'm still some way off completion, for which I have a deadline of 16th June. I am still hopeful of making this. I have been working on a "stock" painting too, of Shetland-model boats drawn up near Burravoe pier, on the Shetland island of Yell. There are other landscape features in the mid-and background parts of this work, and I have completed most of these.

A British ex-pat, now resident in France, was in touch regarding the possible purchase of some of my website paintings. However, despite several phone calls between this chap and me, something definite has yet to materialise from this. I still live in hope, as it's nice to sell paintings "ex-stock" now and again.

I picked up a small but interesting commission, from an old school friend, while I was away on the mainland the other weekend. This is a painting of one of the ships on which his grandfather served as crewman, the SS "Clermiston", but there is no deadline on this work, so I will "clear my feet" of more urgent jobs before tackling this one. This also applies to a November-deadlined nautical commission, of the P & O ferry "St. Clair" (IV) coming out of Aberdeen harbour, with Girdleness lighthouse in the background.

The largest commission I have yet to undertake came my way a fortnight ago, and this has already been attended with difficulties. The size of this work is 50" x 40", so I had to order a stretched canvas for this, from one of my mainland suppliers. When it arrived last week, there was a tear, about 1.5" long, near one of the corners of the stretcher frame, which had obviously been the point of impact of a blow during transit. The canvas had been wrapped in only one layer of cardboard, which is completely inadequate for the purpose of sending by post or carrier. I well remember the exertions I had to put into claiming compensation from Royal Mail for a painting which had arrived in Anglesey with a hole through it, a few years ago. Of course, on this occasion, I had to replace the tall ships-themed painting with another similar work, adding another month's work to my bill! The lesson learned from this painful experience was to use polystyrene sheeting AND bubblewrap to protect work from damage by careless and busy delivery-men. The little bit of extra effort saves a great deal of potential time and trouble. But I digress.

The firm who sent the canvas were very good about making reparation, sending me another canvas (which has yet to arrive) and requiring only photographic evidence of the damage to support my claim for replacement. I supplied them with this immediately on request. They don't want the damaged item returned to them, which was a relief, as getting a package as large as that to a point of despatch was a logistical problem for me. Nevertheless, I'm stuck with a large, slightly damaged canvas, on premises in which space is already at a premium! Anyone want it for painting stage scenery, or something? If so, just get in touch and arrange to collect it, and it's yours - free!

I gave myself until the end of July to complete this painting, and I've already lost a fortnight of this. It is of a sailing ship heeling over in strong winds, and it is for what appears to be a potentially valuable client in Cheshire, so I hope I can still make this particular deadline. To misquote the call centre operative, and out of context too, "this job is important to me!"

There have been hints of further commissons too, so "easel-time" on stock works looks like being limited over the coming few months. It is just as well, therefore, that my next booked exhibition remains that which is scheduled for the Creel Inn, Catterline in November and December of 2011. By that time, Shetland will have had its second stint as host for the Tall Ships Race, and my 63rd birthday will be a fairly distant memory. Now and then, I wish that the passage of time had a brake attached to it somewhere!

The website upgrade is still a work in progess too. I would like to get a new look to the "moveable information" layout on the Home page, and my web designer and I will have to apply our joint best efforts on this soon. I haven't updated the information on this page for ages, and this cannot be good for my online search prospects, so I hope to have better news on this in the very near future.

And there ends the latest bulletin from the Tait Gallery. Have a nice week!

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