I have just recovered from my first dose of a bad cold this autumn, as the weather has taken a real tumble. But, today I am back on feet and back in the studio working on my new garden painting. And yesterday I went up to London to see my great friend, Joe Fan, at his exhibition opening at the Thackeray Gallery. See all his images on their website I am tentatively calling my new painting ‘Battle of Hastings’ as it features two men standing back to back with a hedge btween them. So, it is a sort of stand off in Hastings and the title is just a piece of simple irony – and it means that I am doing a series of pictures with ‘battle’ in the title (an extraordinary concept. It is much harder to paint this type of image on canvas than it is as a watercolour. I did another small watercolour to help me work it out. I think this will be another long one to do, and therefore I need to get some other small boards prepared for some quick works while I brood about the big one. I am still in a quandry about whether it should be painted with alot of line drawing or to be more painterly – a constant struggle with me. I think painterly will win out, at least until I get some decent brushes. Well yesterday in London, was a lovely diversion for me. I had not seen Joe Fan for two years, and he was coming down with his partner Fiona, and their two year old daughter Maisy. I had never met Maisy before, and she was just a delight, and it was so lovely to see all three of them. I met them at their Hotel in Kensington in the afternoon, and we went for a drink and for some food before the opening which started at 6. The exhibition itself is a joy. I have always loved Joe’s work, but these new works, are for me, the best he has ever done. They have a brittle edge which are almost gothic, but then they also make you want to smile. Joe did extremely well for an opening night. He sold loads. For loads of money. Well done the Fan Man. I went for a drink with Joe and a couple who ran the gallery, before I went off to get the last train to Hastings at 11.45pm. Joe also had a little surprise for me. A note with greetings from some of my old Aberdeen friends and Gray’s School of Art colleagues. Joe had got them all to scribble a few words of hello. So thank you Michael, Keith, Cam, Craig, Simon and Kaiko, it was a lovely surprise, and I would dearly love to get up to Aberdeen soon to see you all.  greetings.jpg

greetings from my Aberdeen mates