In tribute to the excellent BBC4 programme What Do Artists Do All Day we have got an occasional feature on our blog looking at what the artists we know do with their days...it's often not quite what people expect.
Today we're starting with in-house artist Ian Scott Massie. Scott is particularly interested in portraying the personality of a landscape in paint or screen print He's influenced by artists such as Paul Nash, John Piper as well as poets and songwriters. He also collects stories and folklore about places as well as writing poetry. You'll find these writings and art juxtaposed in his books. As well as supplying work to a small number of galleries he tends to work on larger scale projects that often include writing and organising exhibition tours.
MG:What is your favourite kind of day as an artist?
ISM: My favourite days are when I’m beginning work on a new exhibition. But I don’t always leap in action, brush in hand. I’ll kick off the day with a session of yoga in the garden or, even better, a set of tennis with a friend.
If I’m travelling, which is one of the great pleasures of being a landscape artist, I like to get to locations early. If there’s nobody about, particularly if I’m visiting somewhere touristy, I have more freedom. I can find the best angle by climbing on a wall, standing under a bridge or, occasionally, blagging my way into somewhere private with a great view.
This kind of research is tiring but, fortunately, over the years I’ve developed a sixth sense for finding a decent cup of tea.
If I’m working in the studio I like to warm up by painting a few possible beginnings for pictures. They may evolve into something, but often they’re just a way of getting into gear. That done, I’ll draw for a while, getting to know the subject I’m thinking of painting and then I’ll tape some watercolour paper to a board, paint the sky and leave it to dry.
Music is very important to me (I trained as a musician) and it really affects how I work. A late Beethoven string quartet is a great accompaniment for a complex piece of architecture but, if its a lively, expressive landscape the Beatles, Stones or Bob Dylan usually seem to help the work along.
Sometime in the afternoon I’ll knock off and take a walk round the market place outside or further afield and then have a cuppa with Josie (my wife and owner of Masham Gallery).
The evening often involves some red wine and I’ll sometimes read about somewhere I’m researching, usually with a cat on my lap. I love to find legends about my subjects - it often adds another of meaning layer to the picture. Then its early to bed and up with the lark again!
Hello! welcome to the once a month (hopefully!) blog about reflections on running Masham Gallery and what it means from a personal perspective. I hope to get some guest bloggers in at a later date too. All feedback is welcome, thanks.