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, 18 December 2011

WINTER BLUES

It's hard to explain, to you faithful few followers of this blog, why I haven't posted to it in a month.  I suppose the reason is that I had nothing I wanted to tell anyone about.  How can I explain how I feel, after all the elation and hopeful anticipation of a month ago, about the fact that not a single painting has been sold from the Catterline exhibition?  It's difficult to satisfactorily explain, even to myself, how, after eighteen months of producing my best work, and about £2000 of expenditure, my paintings have attracted not a single buyer at a venue where I sold nearly half of the artworks just four years ago.  I can't really explain it, but its's a fact I have to accept, get used to, live with and get over.


That fact, coupled with the seasonal lack of daylight hours to work with, means that my output is at almost as low a level as my general morale, and it's difficult to write creatively in my current situation too.  On several occasions during the past four weeks, I have sat down with a blank sheet of paper in front of me, waiting in vain for the clouds to lift and reveal the welcome apparition of some kindly muse to inspire a decent piece of prose.  The page remained obstinately blank.


A wintry gloom has thus descended over the Tait Gallery, and I've been doing my best to fight it.  I have a full order book, and the first of these commissions, of the motor boat Nj├Ârdr, is shown above.  The second, of a steam drifter leaving Fraserburgh harbour, is nearing completion, and there are two or three more in the pipeline.  I just wish there were more hours of daylight to help speed up the process, but that, along with the weather, which has been quite fierce at times lately, is something else I just have to live with.


Domestic duties have been major consumers of time, of course, and my mother is giving me the usual anxious moments.  At 95, she's getting a bit worn out, and won't be able to stay on her own much longer.  Strange how we've never really thought of her as old until this last year or so!  Her home, at Whiteness, has withstood all of the winter storms so far, although the front gate has suffered quite a bit of damage, and I found the glass pane from one of the lean-to greenhouse skylights lying, apparently intact, on the floor.  This has happened very recently, and the resultant hole has been boarded up to await a more permanent repair in the new year.  Bits of the ornamental garden blockwork, carried out over many creative hours by my late father in the 1970s and 1980s, have been falling off, and I found what would have made a substantial potful of rabbit stew (had I been as good a shot with a two-two as my late brother-in-law Rob) playing chase-me-catch-me around the borders, which have been woefully neglected over the past few years anyway.  As soon as I appeared in the garden, the bunnies bolted over or through the ramshackle drystone dykes and under gates, only to return, no doubt, within an hour of my departure.  I found myself missing my beloved old grey cat - no rabbit dared come near the garden when she was around!


I held the last of my four pre-Christmas Saturday stalls at the Toll Clock centre yesterday, and I sold a few items as usual, although my takings were down on the previous three Saturdays.  The fact that there's always been a few quid heading bankwards over the last month has taken the sting out of the complete financial failure of the Catterline exhibition so far.


It's back to the easel tomorrow for me, hopefully to complete the Fraserburgh painting by Friday, when I head for Whiteness to do my duty as kitchen flunkie for the Christmas dinner at mother's.  My sister has promised me some sticky toffee pudding for afters - now that'll be worth doing a bit of hard labour for!  Have a happy and peacerful Christmas!