Showing off

After months of procrastination and lots of panic, feverish work, much expense and planning, the exhibition at Gallery North was finally ready. It took me almost 2 days to hang just 15 paintings in my room in the gallery, mainly because I still hadn’t worked out how to get light shining through the back of some of my paintings on glass. I’d bought some battery operated LED strip lights which were the right size and provided just the right light but they needed supporting on the wall behind the work rather than inside the back of the frame and I just could NOT work it out. I scrabbled around in the gallery cupboards and found an old red metal easel which worked as a support for one of the paintings to stand in front of the windows and I positioned my red standard lamp ready for when the sun wasn’t performing. The other 2 just had to hang on the wall and at the Preview I could demonstrate the effect by dragging the lamp over and shining it up behind the work.

The paintings on glass were well received – I of course had massive doubts as I was hanging the work. 2 pieces never made it out of the studio but all the rest went to the gallery and I hung all but 2, the rejected ones having been part of a previous collection which was shown there a few years back. To me the idea is simple – I paint on the back of the glass, scratch out the image, apply more paint, scratch off more and so on. But trying to describe this to people wasn’t easy so I decided to do a demonstration on one day… but no one turned up so I just had a happy couple of hours finishing a new piece of work.

The paintings that have had the most comments are my favourites. As I progressed with the technique, I loosened up and did less planning so the results were brighter and more spontaneous. It’s definitely a technique I’ll continue with. I’ve already completed another and taken it the step further that I had always intended – several layers of glass in one frame. This was a wedding present for my niece, a tree painting with leaves on the top layer, the trees and ground in the mid layer and the light, sky and vibrant colours on the back layer. Another clear layer behind that to protect it and it can be hung on a wall or in a window and works from both sides. Sadly I forgot to take a photo in the manic run up to the wedding. And the wedding is another story to come – a fabulous day.

The exhibition continues until Saturday 9th August, open 10 – 4 Tues to Sat, also open 5-9pm Wed 6th August for tea and cake while you view!

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