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, 19 December 2010


As I intimated as a possibility in my last post (sound the bugles!), my final pre-Christmas stall of 2010 at the Toll Clock Centre was snowed off on Thursday, which was also, with predictably immaculate timing, the day the blizzards struck. I spent a slightly more productive day in the comparative warmth of my studio, working on commissioned works mostly. I now have three of these to occupy me, with another possibly in the offing, and, while none of these will make my fortune, they are interesting jobs to do.

Two of the new commissions are of historic Shetland fishing boats, one of the paintings featuring two of these, the other only one. Both pictures have been ordered by descendants of the owners of the vessels to be depicted. One of these boats was lost at sea as a result of an engine-room fire, another going to her watery grave, some years after being sold by her Shetland owners, while on admiralty duties during the Dunkirk evacuation of 1940. I'm not sure what happened to the third boat. She probably ended her days aground, as many of her contemporaries did, in one of the many Shetland inlets or "voes", being left to rot, having become obsolete with the advancement of fishing boat design and propulsion. I will do my best, as always, to bring them to colourful life again on canvas - they still make nice subjects for seascape paintings!

The third commission, which I may have mentioned in a previous post, is of a slightly later fishing vessel which was completed at Macduff in 1940, and which spent the 1950s fishing out of Eyemouth. I'll be painting her coming into her home port from the fishing grounds.

While the commissions pay the bills, I'm very conscious of the passage of time, as it careers towards my next scheduled exhibition at Catterline in November/December of 2011. Many things will have to be organised before then, such as Northlink ferry journeys, accommodation for myself and my driver, publicity material and grants to cover part of the cost of the above. I just hope I can muster at least one willing (and fit!) helper to assist with the hanging when that time comes. Oh, and somewhere along the line I'll need to do some paintings for it too!

I plan to go out to my mother's on the morning of Christmas Eve, as I usually do, and should be there until sometime late on Christmas day. I'll be trying to make myself useful, helping to deal with the turkey, and acting as kitchen porter on the day. Mother has admitted that, at 94, she doesn't feel up to making her usual butter-scotch trifle for sweet, which is disappointing, but Mary has volunteered her sticky toffee pudding, which will be a worthy substitute. I'll probably attempt some snow clearance, although the brae was under about a foot of the white stuff for most of its length on Friday, more has fallen since, and more is forecast during the coming week. Ertie's 4x4 fanbuster only made it to the top at the third attempt on Friday, the snow lying on a base of black ice.

It's all a bit grim, but beautiful in its own way. While I hate this wintry weather, it does provide some spectacular skies to admire and artistically appreciate. Since childhood, I have always noticed the intensity of the purple and orange of cumulus snow-cloud, particularly in the afternoons around sunset. Have a happy, peaceful and colourful Christmas!

1 comment:

Eric said...

And a happy Christmas to you, too. Look forward to meeting you sometime when I'm in Lerwick.

Eric Burgess-Ray Unst