Wednesday, 9 March 2011

All white - inside and out

Last week, during some almost balmy spring weather, the joiners were hard at work in the new Anna Macneil studio building a partition wall and putting up new shelves. It is looking good.

This week it is back to winter and we woke up this morning to a blanket of snow. The studio seems to look even more like a Swiss chalet when it is covered in snow. I spent the day out there trying to make the inside white too. The painting has to be done before the heating goes in, so it was rather cold and I had to work hard to keep warm.

The morning was spent removing the nails and screws that were all over the walls and filling in the resultant holes with filler. Then a mug of hot soup at lunchtime thawed me out a bit and I got going with the painting. Last week I bought a "Paint Pod" system and I have to say it is proving to be a good system - very clean compared with the traditional method of rolling. By mid afternoon I had covered up all those bits of wall that were yellow.

It will need another couple of coats, but it has already made a difference.

Work has had to go on around getting the new studio ready - last week we sent off a big order to Canongate Jerseys & Crafts in Edinburgh and it included this wallhanging - inspired by the Pictish Stone in Elgin Cathedral. The red panel beside it is one that I painted many years ago. The only reason it is in the picture is that when I wanted to photograph the wallhanging, the easiest place was hanging beside it - there is a convenient nail in the wall which usually has a calendar on it.

Next up I have to make several large wallhangings for various galleries and we have bags, hats and scarves to make for Iona Abbey and Stirling Castle. I need at least 36 hours in a day and 10 days in a week - preferably hours and days that other people don't have! If the rest of the world would just go into suspended animation for a few days I might be able to catch up.

Tomorrow I will spend a couple of hours at the computer and then head out to put a coat of paint on all the walls. I shall leave the ceiling for Mary to do on Friday!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Commuting on a spring day

Work has started on getting our new studio ready to move into. One of the drawbacks of this move is that I will have to become a commuter again - something I have not done for many a long year!

However, on a lovely spring day like today, there could be a lot worse ways to drive to work. The road from Inverness to Inchmore is along the shores of the Beauly Firth. Just as I was leaving Inverness - over the railway bridge at Clachnaharry, I was met with a wonderful view of the end of the Caledonian Canal, so I pulled into the lay-by and dug out my camera.

A little further along the road I stopped again and looked back towards the Kessock Bridge.
Then, once I was at the studio I found a few more things to photograph, like the front of the building and then as I stepped into the studio, the texture of the wooden threshold caught my eye. The building is very old, and you can certainly see something of this in this piece of wood.

It was lovely to be out on such a beautiful day, so I walked around a bit taking more pictures - the view I will see out of the windows once we are working here, and then from the next lane, a view looking back at the studio through the trees.

I don't suppose that every day will be as lovely as today - nor will I normally have time to stop and enjoy it. It would not surprise me if we still have winter weather to come, but today was full of the promise of spring and encouraged me to look forward to the next few weeks of hard work whole we get the studio in shape.

A good bit of news yesterday was that BT confirmed my telephone number and connected the line - so if you need to contact us at Anna Macneil, the new number is 0(+44)1463 831567. Email and web address remain the same. The postal address is:
The Workshop