Checking out the big wheel on Princes St
As last year, my friend Bill appeared from Portsmouth for a little break from the hurly-burly of the pre-Christmas month - for both of us!
Last year she arrived in time to help hang my show, but this time I was a little early, or she was late... who knows? Anyway, it meant that we got to play instead.
A true busman's holiday - spent a very pleasant morning in the Portrait Gallery - loved the peaceful beauty of the tree in the hall.
I was also doing some research for a commission that I am sneaking in before Christmas... more soon!
In time honoured fashion, we managed to happen upon a great wee exhibition in an obscure location - sculptor/toymaker/artist Sam Smith in the Anstruther Fisheries Museum.
A touch on the wintry side in Fife - but I love getting out and about in December, the beauty is still there, but bleaker.
Meanwhile, back in the 'Burgh.... our winter show goes on, with very good attendance so far.
This is 'Sanctuary' by Alan Lennon, on show in the studio gallery with...
... Senja Bownes, our artist in residence No 2.
This is 'Beyond Kintyre' - a stunning piece that captures the winter sky looking from West Port past Machrihanish to the islands and Ireland.
A fond farewell to 'Lillie Duc' - my poster girl for the winter show. She has left for a new home in Cumbria, with the usual bittersweet feelings that accompany the departure of a work that I am really pleased with.
Plenty more to see on the walls from myself, Senja and Alan, right up until 22nd December.
We are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of copies of Leo du Feu's book in stock; an ideal Christmas gift - or for yourself...
'Landscapes and Birds of Scotland'
With our usual tight turnaround - we don't have the luxury of closing for hanging as there would be a riot of hungry 'sconners' - I took a deep breath on Thursday night and began the unwrapping...
The wrapping of the previous show took place very quietly while a German language class took place in the cafe!
A long night - but the morning brought just the bright clear day that I had hoped for. Nothing worse than a blizzard to put a damper on a show opening!!
Finally getting to see all my work in daylight for the first time.
In time-honoured fashion, a couple of Senja's wall of oil landscapes were still tacky on hanging... it's nice and warm in Bon P so they'll be dry soon!!
I am just so impressed at the amount of work the other artists put in with their work; so many brand new paitings up on the wall.
I imagined us all working away in our separate studios over the last few weeks...
A visit mid-morning from Leo du Feu, who has shown with us a few times and will be doing so again in May 2014.
Stuart is working on a little light renovation of a huge old frame.
Away with the old, in with the new; Senja completing the swap of work.
Susan Smith is Leo's mum and a painter/printmaker; today she popped in to see the show and her contribution as part of the Greenpark Weavers, the group she runs in Linlithgow.
All set in the cafe-gallery
As usual my wine-topping, canape shuffling and talking (!!) inhibited my ability to take photos of the busy space. We were delighted with the turnout however and thank everyone who came along!
Stuart's canapes looked set to eclipse the art at one point!!
Alan Lennon's wall in the studio-gallery. Like Senja, Alan has given us a whole new collection of work, which is fantastic.
It is always great to see the fireplace take on a totally different character and energy with the artist's vision.
Senja's collection takes in the East Coast, Ireland from West Port and some more local views of Edinburgh and the Pentlands.
Ingrid Nilsson, Alan Lennon, Senja Bownes
Starting to tire... the last debate takes place in the back room. Those of you who follow the blog regularly will recognise the blue guide-dog puppy jacket; this is Pippin, the third trainee dog to visit Bon P on a regular basis as part of her schooling. I think she is the most relaxed of the three!
Senja Bownes - detail
Last light; the curtain falls on an amazing day.
A good number of red dots on the night gave us a real boost; we are as ever so grateful to all of our customers, buyers, guests and friends (all the same usually!) who make it all possible.
The show runs up until 22nd December; there are still plenty of amazing works for sale - we have been busy bees!!
We are into the last couple of days before the winter show! Now is the time that - hopefully - the two rooms will come together into a smorgasbord of art, craft and foodie delights in preparation for the opening on Friday.
First on the wall is Alan Lennon - who works close by in Stockbridge as a web and graphic designer. His 'other' occupation is painting these fantastic figurative pieces; like many of the artists we have shown, we met Alan first as a cafe customer and only slowly discovered his hidden talents!
So... we are very proud to be presenting his work as part of our winter show! I think it looks fantastic taking over the fireplace wall of the Studio-gallery.
The other wall will be filled by Senja Bownes, our 'other' artist in residence; this is actually the current layout as Senja is last to hang - on Friday morning.... we like to cut it fine.
Maybe it has something to do with drying time...Senja - have you finished yet!
Somewhere in the middle will be... Stuart's marvellous Movember MO!
All donations welcome for this genuinely excellent charity effort.
This year I am actually becoming strangely fond of the furry lip.
It's a worry.
Calendars for 2014 with images from last year's output by myself will of course be available for a budget £7.50, plus my Christmas cards - see below - which are going fast....
Oh and the front room.... well, the Cafe-gallery is all mine this year!
Stuart is still framing some of the smaller works....
There are many little works of original art for those with less budget or wall space - in fact I haven't done anything too collosal this year.
Until this week; because of course it is totally logical to start a metre square piece with four days to go...
Working title, 'Esperenza's rest': this is how far I have managed to get! I'll see how far I get in between coffees today....
Still to be photographed - the Greenpark Weavers!
I will add their contribution when it is all in place in the Cafe-gallery on the dresser.
Most of my work for the show is now up on my own website - www.ingridnilsson.co.uk
for a sneak preview! Still a few more to add....
'Claus family Christmas' - this year's Christmas card
I feel that I have been absent from by blogging duties; for this I apologise. All has been a whirl of activity in Bon P as I swap shows and paint in every spare minute for my winter show. Stuart has been fighting a war to keep us stocked with scones and work his way meticulously through his piles of framing as we approach the gift-giving season
Life in the multitasking world of Bon!
I has written before on the subject of communities, and 'finding the tribe' - the groups of people who keep our business going and want what we have to offer.
This winter I'm thinking about this more than ever; it has been a tough year with plenty of troughs to match the peaks, but we are still here..... thanks to you peeps!
The blog title refers to this simple request - remember us in the hurly burly of Christmas season! It is easy to lose the small places among the giant corporates at this time of year, but we survive by the support of our customers, and this winter we could use a little push from you all; pop in for a scone, pick up a calendar, maybe a wee painting.... tell your friends how much you like us! (Tell us if you like us - that is always good too.) And thank you all for everything you have done already - it is always appreciated and never taken for granted.
Hopping lightly off my soap box... Geoff Bradford, wooden construction
The second last show of the year is up and ready to view:
Geoff and Sarah Bradford are showing in the cafe-gallery at the front of the building (while the rear descends into chaos with my painting and Stu's framing...).
I first saw husband and wife team Geoff and Sarah's work in the (very lovely) Number Four gallery
in St Abbs; it made sense to see their work in the surroundings of the East coast as much of what they create is informed by the proximity of the sea in their native Northumberland.
Sarah Bradford, oil on board
Sarah Bradford, oil on board
I always love the change that takes place when I rehang the gallery, and the front cafe area is no exception; the space has become a far calmer area, with the subtle tonalities of the sea and landscapes sitting quietly on the walls.
Geoff Bradford, collage
Meanwhile, back at the rockface... I am still working away on new paintings to go into my show, which kicks off on November 22nd.
I will also have a presence at the Edinburgh Art Fair
next weekend - showing with Lynn Hanley,
whose work has been gracing our walls this autumn (briefly usually, as so many have sold!).
We also have some very exciting work coming in from Stockbridge artist Alan Lennon, new to Bon P and hanging alongside myself and Senja Bownes this Christmas. More soon...
And finally... (see, this is what happens when I don't write for a while!)
Get on out there and grab your copy of the Herald
today, where we appear in the magazine in our first big scone review! The tension is palpable in the Bon kitchen this morning...
The Ingrid Nilsson / Bon Papillon calendar for next year is now in stock in the gallery and available to buy online - flip over to the 'shop' page for secure payment options.
We also have some new card designs in, (see below) as well as (sorry) Christmas cards featuring the 'Claus Family Christmas'.
If you would like multiple calendars or cards delivered, please email me at email@example.com
'Tidal Stripes' available as a greetings card
'The Acrobat' - (long tailed tit) greetings card
'The Viewforth Two' - painted as a commission in early 2013. Available as a greetings card, and appearing on the 2014 calendar, as are the two images above.
"Claus Family Christmas"
Autumn is very much with us on Howe Street; the change in light and colours, the increased demand for soup and all things toasty...
Time for a new show!
We have hung the new work in the Cafe-gallery this time, capitalising on the wonderful light flooding through the windows of an afternoon. The Studio-gallery continues to show Senja Bownes' collection of work from this summer in Machrihanish and East Lothian.
Kittie Jones - 'Trembling wren' (screen print)
Stanley Bird - "African grey"
Kittie Jones - 'Bass rock gannets' (screen print)
Ingrid Nilsson - 'Lillie Duc'
Stanley Bird - 'Nine and counting'
We are delighted to have the work of both Kittie and Stanley, both artists that we have got to know over the two-and-a-half years of Bon's existence.
Our 2014 calendar, featuring my work from the year, will be coming very soon.... and mark down the evening of 22nd November in your diaries - Stuart has agreed to produce some of his finest canapes, we'll be popping some corks and hosting an evening of food, drinks and art with the opening of my (Ingrid Nilsson) winter show.
All the work I managed to get done in-between coffees!
'Twas a dark and rainy night on Thursday when I abandoned Stuart early for a trip 'out west' for the opening of Leo du Feu'
s solo show at the RGI Kelly Gallery.
As we had been involved in the framing of the vast majority of the show and have a continued interest in Leo's work (he is showing with us next spring alongside his mum, Susan Smith), I figured that it was worth the journey. No disappointment as the hanging by the RGI was very good (inspiration there) and the show looked fantastic. Great lesson in use of space and managing to fit a good number of images into a space without appearing crowded.
Leo uses watercolour and acrylic in a very strong way; I love his confident use of colour, which we hoped to echo in the framing; we have already repeated this particular frame for another artist (and myself!).
The show also marked the publication of, and included many images from, Leo's new book 'Landscapes and Birds of Scotland: An Artist’s View’
Leo du Feu - 'Aberlady Curlew'
Meanwhile, autumn creeps in slowly, but not unwelcome this year I would imagine; for once it follows a summer that no-one could complain at and the continued balmy conditions are spoiling us further!
Day-off trip to Roslin Glen saw us on a very genteel meander along the river and woodland.
I would love this as a garden - with a few trees of course
Back to the city for a very special meeting with the man in the fright wig; the press opening of 'Andy Warhol: Pop, Power and Politics' at the Scottish Parliament.
The show is a collaboration between the Parliament, Carnegie UK Trust and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and presents a selection of Andy's work within the political sphere. Sometimes the connection is a touch tenuous, but all the images are fascinating and well selected, mainly from the collection in Pittsburgh.
It was a real treat to escape from the often ubiquitous Campbell's soup cans and consumerist ephemera that has somehow overtaken much of Warhol's other work in the public domain.
I was fascintated by many of the portraits of queens, leaders and politicians; of particular interest to me was this pencil image of Mao, as Warhol's original drawings don't often appear in exhibitions. His series of images and words portraying the Kennedy assassination, carried out in the wake of his own shooting, were another highlight, if very hard to photograph!
It seemed very apt to see this man of contradictions in his camouflage self portrait surrounded by the media, still as hungry for his images and ideas as they were in the sixties. It is interesting how relevant Warhol's work still feels in a much more 'advanced' 21st Century; maybe testament to how little we have really progressed?
Of course, I found myself photographing frame details for Stuart!
'Andy Warhol: Pop, Power and Politics' opens today and runs until 3rd November.
Viewing slots need to be booked although the exhibition is free to view. www.scottish.parliament.uk/warhol
or 0131 3485454
"Lillie Duc' " - another for my winter show completed, although I still have to finish off paintings Stuart's elaborate frame!
I feel that I have been absent from the blog too long this month - not for lack of news, but lack of time to compose it!
Yesterday finally saw the end to one of our larger framing jobs - for one of our exhibitors, Leo du Feu.
None of Leo's work will be staying with us this time (he'll be showing at Bon P next spring) - all of these are heading for the RGI Kelly Gallery in Glasgow, where the show, "Landscapes and Birds of Scotland" opens 4th October.
Leo du Feu: 'The Bullers of Buchan'
Spent some time hopping up and down on tables rearranging as Senja Bownes's work goes to new homes - her show 'Machrihanish, McTaggart and Me' continues on in the gallery until mid October, although her work will remain a strong feature in our collection beyond this date. Well worth a look for early Christmas presents as there are some beautiful smaller works that perfectly capture Scotland's 'big-sea-and-skyscapes'.
Managed to escape for one of autumn's loveliest days to take my mum up to Dunkeld; she has been holed up in darkest Warwickshire painting trees ever since....
The Dunkeld sycamore is actually a mere baby compared to the oak next door, but is spectacularly beautiful in it's own right.
Meanwhile, I've been trying to keep up the work at the easel as my own show at the end of the year looms closer!
This one from earlier in the year - 'The Emperor's Wife' has departed for Basel in Switzerland; as ever it is a slightly mixed feeling seeing her go! Also means that I have slightly more work to do to fill my own walls in November!!
The big hair is still very much in evidence, although I haven't managed as many moustaches this year... still time though and Movember approaches!
My calendar has been briefly delayed as I decided to add a Christmas card to our shelves this year, which of course I have to paint...
Calendar and new cards should be with us very shortly - meanwhile Marie is busy transferring from sketch to canvas, although as ever it is often the initial drawings that I like as much as the paintings....
Long may this beautiful autumn sun continue!
'Codename: The Duchess' Sold from the Arusha Gallery, see below
...I seemed to break everything I touched! Apologies for the lack of raw chocolate brownie this week - my mixed burnt out. Sorry I can't deliver any artwork... the back axle of my car snapped on the way home one dark rainy night (on the mend soon we hope!). Senja Bownes
And apologies that my blog has been absent - all of my technological devices have gone wobble. No Weebly for four days and no emails on my phone. Pigeon post is the way forward.
I learned to spell Machrihanish, a skill I shall doubtless now carry for the rest of my life, possibly long after I can remember why. It's like the fact that I know 'la robinet' in French, but have never, ever used it.
This time it is for a good cause... Senja Bownes, our new 'Artist No. 2' opens her amazing show 'Machrihanish, McTaggart and Me' this Saturday at 12-3pm
We had a ball serving food somewhere else for a change...at the amazing opening to 'Eye Spy with my little Eye' at the Arusha Gallery, 25 Palmerston Place (I include the street number as we got lost, in the rain...). Entertainment courtesy of the Ladies Guerilla String Quartet. Stuart won't let me forget the moment when, putting together a wee food platter for the ladies, I turned to him and asked 'How many of them are there?'..... Senja Bownes
I did lots of thinking while waiting for my computer to work... aided and abetted by an excellent blog post from James Radcliffe (used to play on Sundays at Bon P) which echoed my 'Communities' post of 24/3. Check his blog post 'Finding your tribe vs Dirty black magic' at www.jamesradcliffe.com
Next up - postcard show at the Gallery on the Corner,
Dundas Street - two teeny tiny ones from me among many other gems going for a song!
The nights are sneaking in slowly and the leaves will soon be on the turn...must be time for a change!
This September sees a new and very exciting show from Senja Bownes
, who has been showing with us from our inception oh-so-many-moons ago.
Senja has spent a large portion of the summer in her painting gear on the beaches of Scotland working on the paintings for this collection.
Taking her inspiration from one of her painting idols, William McTaggart, she has followed in his footsteps from Machrihanish on the West coast to Cockenzie Harbour on the East, working outside on location wherever possible.
The resulting images are not just a tribute to Mctaggart, but the story of a love affair with Scotland and the sea; the every-changing light and myriad colours that grace every inch of our shoreline.
We are also delighted to be taking on Senja as a permanent exhibitor and Bon Papillon artist in residence; her work will be joining mine in the back room as we take a wall each for the next year.
We will still be presenting the work of other artists in the front gallery-cafe area, as well as keeping a constantly rotating show of our work.
The 'Open Studio' approach will develop with Senja coming in for some quality painting time, and hopefully some classes/workshops developing in the new year....all very exciting!
Another of Bon's contributing artists popped by for her birthday last week - Susan Smith and her fellow-artist son Leo du Feu
stopped by for cake (and a surprise crow from me). Good fun was had by all, and how Susan managed to head off and teach yoga after that cake platter remains one of life's mysteries...
Susan and Leo will be showing with us next spring in their first joint exhibition. Leo has a solo show coming up at the RGI Kelly gallery, Glasgow, in October. Keep an eye on his website
for more details.
Meanwhile, back at the studio; I'm busy working away towards my annual Bon P Show in November/December, as well as cooking up all sorts of ideas and collaborations for the coming months!
Machrihanish, McTaggart and Me opens on Saturday 14th September.
Senja will be in on the Saturday to chat about her work!