Friday, 16 April 2004

Tonight's Panic

The theme for Tonight's Panic is What to Take to Scotland? Working outdoors, as I shall be for the next week, is really quite problematic for me. I'm primarily an oil painter, and a studio painter at that. Oil paint is not, I find, an agreeable way of making pictures in the outdoors. So Monet did it. What did he know? It's messy and it doesn't dry quickly enough. I'm only slowly coming to terms with the problems posed by watercolour - its inherent wateriness for one thing. I haven't used acrylics in over ten years, so I may try them out again. But they do dry too fast. There's always drawing, of course. That's what I ended up doing on last year's trip. Maybe I'll just fill the car up with everything and do some mixed media work.

To be honest, I'm not really bothered. The other guys are all amateur and look forward to a week's solid painting. I do it for a living and find the prospect of being in the middle of nowhere, away from paperwork and problems, far more attractive than getting some pictures of the countryside done. But then I'm not much of a landscape painter anyway. Chimneys, dereliction, rust and good old concrete and brick are my stock in trade. Last year, while the guys were getting to grips with lochs and braes and forests, the only things to rustle up some excitement in me was a set of old rusted anchors.

Last year's trip was a bit of a disaster in terms of weather. In one day we had sunshine, wind, rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Before Ted could close up his box easel he had a pile of hailstones in it six inches high. I see the forecast for tomorrow is rain coming in from the West of Scotland. Oh well, at least there'll be In Ruins to read and no doubt a decent bottle of Scotch to hand.

But how many jumpers shall I take?

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