Hope you'll swing by for a look, a bite and a chat next time you are in Howe Street.
We think this is over now... (please don't blame me for tempting fate if I'm wrong)!
And - I saw this little guy hopping around in Quartermile the other morning, so it can only mean one thing; spring is with us at last.
We have celebrated the turn of the season, albeit a little late, with a new (actual, holdable, on-the-tables) menu. Lots of wee tweaks to old favourites, plenty of fresh salady things and the usual industrial quantity of scones.
On the walls we have some new work from Melanie Williamson, who I hope will be familiar as I have been showing her paintings on and off for pretty much the whole time we have been here. I love them - and they get better every time new ones arrive in my humble opinion.
Hope you'll swing by for a look, a bite and a chat next time you are in Howe Street.
The spring is even elusive in Scotland, and this February's Beast proved how unpredictable the weather can be at this time of year! We really (foolishly) thought that we might have missed the 'worst' of it when we came back from our hols a week later than usual..
Thanks everyone for putting up with slightly erratic opening hours and framing delays; the latter due mainly to our suppliers having their own problems getting out and about.
The cafe is now showing new work from three artists, all local; two new to us and one returning for another visit!
Peter Jones (image above, of Portobello's beach cottages) is based in Portobello, Edinburgh' seaside village, which is why it features often in his work!
Much of Peter's work is based on the architecture of Scotland, but his style is far from stuffy and the looseness of his line and watercolour interpretations often makes the walls dance.
I love the trees and clouds that peek over rooftops as much as the mellow yellow stone and wobbly rooftiles! Peter does carry out quite a few commissions to order, but also roams the nation drawing whatever takes his fancy.
Anne Nicolson has been bitten by the art bug and just loves to create; having studied graphic design and spent all her life dabbling in projects, in retirement she has joined a number of art groups and says that her favourite place is her shed, '"packed from floor to ceiling with my 'art stuff'".
Her studies of plants, flowers and butterflies are all based on observation and she carries a fantastic sketchbook of images gathered from walks in the country which perfectly explains the journey from observation to finished artwork.
Our third artist this month, Bernadette Levoir, is native to Stockbridge, although like myself she originates further south! Portraits and still lifes are 'her thing' and she does it so well that we keep having her back!
Many a discussion has been had in the cafe about our mutual work and our lack of ability to control it; a conversation I always love as I know how often it is repeated all over the world and right through history by us insecure art types!!
I'm back on the big piece that I abandoned temporarily at the end of last year due to lack of working hours (and light). I can't wait to finish this, but not in a bad way! It has been a good journey and as usual a learning curve; there are many plans jostling in my head however so it will be no time before I am back with multiple canvases jostling for space in my little corner..
Another year, another winter break. We are nearly up to the seven year mark on Howe Street! This January we went once more to Thailand; probably our twelfth visit to the country and very probably our favourite trip yet!
So to all who ask 'why do you keep going back' and 'what do you like about it', my answer is...
(Photos not chronological!)
We stayed a week in Chiang Mai (Air BNB), a week in Chiang Rai, incorporating a three day cycle north to the Mekong and Golden Triangle (local, excellent bike tour company, local family-run resorts) and a week in Bangkok (AirBNB) with a day's cycle trip courtesy of GoBangkok bike tours.
Flew from Edinburgh with Etihad via Abu Dhabi, internal buses and flights in Thailand various companies.
And yes, we are already planning next year's trip...
...until the new year - so please come and see all the new work by myself, Ingrid, and the excellent selection of postcard sized originals which we are selling with all funds raised going to the charity "It's Good 2 Give".
That is a selection of my work, above; I've had some great sales early on but there is a lot of work still to go as I have been a busy bee this year, and I'm pleased with the direction in which my work has gone in 2017. Who knows what I'll end up doing in the New Year - but that's half the fun!
'Tiergarten" - above, was the last to go on the wall - still wet! Inspired by a lady I met in the woods in Berlin (as you do) it has attracted a lot of interest in the first week, but is still available. All the available work is now on my website at www.ingridnilsson.co.uk
Please drop me a line via the website or our email firstname.lastname@example.org
if you want to reserve anything until you get in to have a look! I can ship work abroad or in the UK as well.
Above and below, some of the really stunning and interesting pieces that have been donated for our charity fund-raiser. All the work is priced between £50 and £150 with 100% of the money raised going to the charity. For more information on "It's Good 2 Give", Lynne McNicoll and the Ripple Retreat, visit the website at www.itsgood2give.co.uk (or come and ask us at Bon P!)
The piece below by Peter Capaldi is still with us - so please give me a message or drop in if you want to make an offer as this is a truly unique and excellent piece!
That's all for now - so come and see us! Small businesses rely on this time of year to make up the rent payments and the bills, so we are wholly in favour of local shopping! We had a very busy Small Business Saturday and are ever grateful to our wonderful and loyal band of customers.
Hope to see you all over the midwinter, festive, Christmas period; we are closed 24th - 27th December, (inclusive) but open again 28th - 31st Dec and 3rd - 6th Jan.
Sorry! It was pointed out to me today that the 'shows' page had our winter show beginning, somewhat cryptically, on Thursday November 2017...
This should read - 'from 5pm on Thursday 30th November 2017'
Apologies for those who came early, and we hope to see you again soon.
Below some sneak previews of work from my show (Ingrid Nilsson) and the postcard sized pieces that we are selling for excellent charity
'It's Good 2 Give'
Hope to see you all soon - show runs right up and over Christmas! (We are closed 24th - 27th inclusive this year.)
MORE TO FOLLOW SOON FROM - SCOTTISH ARTISTS AND CELEBRITIES!!
Autumn is with us and so we come to the last couple of wall-changes of the year. The current show presents work from four artists who we have come to know during our time at Bon; Aileen Grant and Rona MacLean have showed with us on a couple of occasions over the years and so make a welcome return. Anupa Gardner has given us some of her fantastic prints for the first time, and Emma Sutherland has switched medium - previously we have shown her oil landscapes, and in this show some fascinating semi-abstract works using encaustic, beeswax and pigment.
Aileen has recently moved 'up north' near Applecross, giving her excellent opportunity to indulge her love of the outer isles in both print and paint. Her work always has a life to it that is born of much 'en plein air' sketching.
Rona works in a range of print techniques; screen printing has come on a lot since my time at college and her multi-layered pieces fascinate me! Her recent work is also very much focused on trees, which always appeals to me and many others.
Anupa is another artist specialising in printmaking and shows a collection of lino cuts and screen prints with us in her first visit to Bon. I love the way she uses her imagination, drawing and print techniques to add a twist to wonderfully familiar domestic subjects.
Emma's pieces have a fantastic patina created with the use of encaustic and beeswax; the surface is tactile but strong with delicate pattern and drawn areas; deceptively simple and tranquil.
Last but not least a forewarning that our winter show opens at 5.00pm on Thursday 30th November; all welcome for a good chat, some of Stuart's tasty bites and a peek at what I've been up to in the studio these last six months or so. (That's Ingrid Nilsson for those unfamiliar with the blog!)
We are also repeating our sale of postcard-sized art originals for charity; this time in aid of Lynne McNicoll's charity 'IT'S GOOD 2 GIVE', to help with the continued work at the Ripple Retreat in the Trossachs, providing respite for families of children undergoing cancer treatment.
The Retreat was built and opened this year with all money raised by the charity: www.itsgood2give.co.uk
We are very lucky to have our own business and run it as we please; which often means a lot of work but also a great deal of job satisfaction!
The multi-strand nature of what we do, and the fact that we do it all ourselves is very much our USP and we intend to keep it that way. The only problem is those little occasions when it all mounts up a bit more than we want it to!
Thus we have had a pause in the framing jobs we take in this month and hope you will bear with us for a couple of weeks while we catch up with orders. There is little more intimidating than a stack of deadlines and no time to get the work done.
Hopefully all will return to some degree of normality by mid-September and we can start out with a nice clean list. Looking forward to - gulp - Christmas orders and my 'end of year' show starting sometime in the dog days of December when I have filled all (maybe - you haven't seen the pile) of frames that I have stockpiled with this aim in mind...
See you over a scone soon?!
Our summer break came a little later this year, tucked neatly the week before Festival takes over the city for a month. We tend to be fairly busy during the month of August, so apologies in advance if 'your' table isn't always waiting for you! It can be pretty unpredictable too, so please give us a ring if you are in need of a definite reservation. No change to opening hours for the Festival period; 9-5 Wednesday to Sunday and closed Monday & Tuesday in the cafe.
This year's week in the sun took us to Granada and Malaga, partly because the flights came in at a good price, partly because we really, really wanted some SUN, and partly because two good friends has independently recommended both cities to us over the last year. Good choice.
Granada had us from 'hello'; stunning city an easy bus-ride from Malaga airport. Never seen so many olive trees than we passed on the drive, and I was actually craving olives desperately by the time we reached our destination. Luckily, they keep plenty of the best ones in-country and we had more than our share over the next few days! Vegetarian food is still a challenge, even with my improved Spanish language skills thanks to Speak Out (www.speakoutwithconfidence.com) but what we did manage to order successfully was delicious; patience pays off in the end.
Definitely worth booking online for the Alhambra; it is always going to be full in July, but getting ahead of the queues and into an early slot for the palaces was a real boon. Book up to three months ahead via Ticketmaster, pick up tickets in Granada on the day (or day before to be really organised!).
We just loved wandering the streets of the different areas, climbing hills and finding lesser known gardens and merchants houses open to the public. We even lucked out with a classic Spanish guitar festival opening with free performances on Stuart's birthday. A really memorable evening.
I had reservations about Malaga, to be honest, but any initial wobbles were dispelled by the fantastic atmosphere that pervaded the city. Relaxed, friendly and very beautiful, there is so much to do and see; I am a convert!
Absolutely no food problems here - I have never seen so many restaurant options in a small city centre. The proliferation of galleries and museums also gave us plenty to do (and plenty left over for the next visit!) as well as the obligatory wandering in historic, sunlit lanes and seaside promenades.
Add in the beach, castle, cycle hire and a beautiful wooded climb to the Monte de Gibalfaro and you really have an amazing combination of experiences, all in the glorious sun and lingering evenings that cannot fail to lift the spirits.
Now back to business... the FESTIVAL SHOW is up and ready to go, featuring a handful of our favourite gallery artists; see the 'shows' page and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates and images. Or, far easier, come and see us at 15 Howe St and grab a coffee and some chat.
Bon is delighted to be once more hosting the show for the Parkinson's art society, who meet in the cottage at Edinburgh Botanics once a week, ably helped and guided by artist Harriet Bruins.
There is a great variety of styles and subjects, all by artists living and working with Parkinson's; money raised will be going to Parkinson's Edinburgh.
Thanks to everyone at the society for helping organise and of course create all the artwork for us to show!
The opening on Friday night was great fun and a chance to catch up with all the group, friends and families.
The show is open normal gallery/cafe hours (Weds - Sun, 9-5) until 16th July.
Anyone wishing to donate to the group - get down to Bon P and buy one of these fantastic works of art!
We also managed to fit in our second trip to the Ripple Retreat this week, where we hung prints by Ritchie Collins, Stanley Bird and Lynne Hanley, plus two original works by Hatti Pattisson and Ingrid Nilsson (me); all work, framing supplies and printing donated by our friends, the artists above plus Doricmor, Capital Glazing and Ashworth & Thompson.
We also hung a gallery of art in the (amazing, glass, ripple-roofed) corridor which consists of pieces that have personal meaning for Lynne and the charity.
More information about the Ripple Retreat, Lynne McNicoll and her amazing charity It's good 2 give (and how to donate or raise money for them!) on their website www.itsgood2give.co.uk
Lastly, advance warning! Bon Papillon is closed for the last week of July, from 24th, for our annual recharge!!
We had the best day earlier in the month helping out Lynne McNicoll's amazing charity 'It's good 2 give" with their work on the Ripple Retreat, a new facility for young cancer patients and their families created entirely from donations to the charity. Lynne's charity work is legendary and tireless, so it is great to be able to help with the hanging of artwork at the (now fully open) centre.
We will be returning next month to continue the hanging of donated artwork and pictures that have special meaning to Lynne and the charity, when it will be great to see the transformation of the incredible building - still a work in progress when we were there!
A few spaces remain for artworks in the main room and bedrooms, which we are filling with the help of some of the wonderful artists that we have got to know via Bon over the last six years. More news on this when we hang in June!
We had the luckiest break with the weather on the day we visited - blue skies and sun all day, and the slightest of breezes. The retreat is on the shores of Loch Venachar on the edge of the Trossachs, and has one of those magical 'middle of nowhere' feelings that I love about Scotland.
Handily, a national cycle route also happens to skirt the loch, so we needed no encouragement at all to hop on the bikes for a wee spin around the area. Such a beautiful route with tracks through the woodland, forestry commission trails and a lovely rolling minor road the other side of the loch through Brig o' Turk.
Our next visit will be in June, which also sees the opening of the Parkinson's Art Society's show at Bon Papillon; dates to follow!
Anyone wishing to donate to the charity or get involved in fundraising can find details on the website at www.itsgood2give.co.uk
Ingrid, and Stu sometimes