John Bathgate. Contemporary Scottish Paintings.
Dun Studio is housed in what was once an old "blackhouse". It would have had a thatched roof and very small windows. Previous owners rebuilt it from the two gable ends, which were all that remained at the time.The building now has fairly large double-glazed windows and a corrugated tin roof which, as long as it is maintained, is as good as any for the Highland environment.
Our house is just a few paces away, while the garden surrounding both is Annie's domain.
Inside, the studio is split into two rooms, with a storage area between. One works well as the painting area, while the other end is the framing room. Both rooms have the walls adapted to allow an easy hanging system for paintings.
The images above, from left to right, show some tools of the trade, the collage pile (not normally as tidy) and the trusty wall easel, constructed from 4 x 2 timber, to handle any size up to 7 or 8 feet x 6 feet. Many fine artist's tools are to be found in the DIY stores, especially the kitchen and paint departments. Spatulas, scapers,rollers, scrubbing brushes, graters and cutters of various kinds all have potential uses in the studio.
Below are some images from the working sketchbooks, which may or may not be used as the beginnings of a new painting. Some may hide for years before being rediscovered and eventually used.
Many visitors to the studio ask how the information for paintings is gathered, so I hope this goes some way to show how I work. Like most artists today, I also gather inspirational material using a camera. This is alright as long as the photo doesn't control the finished image.
Here is a sketch from one of the sketchbooks, showing part of the landscape
at Roag on the Isle of Skye, across Pool Roag from the studio. The weather
was fine and sunny so there was no great excitement in the image but the
shapes and balance led to the idea of using collage and acrylic layers
to produce something better.