It's that time of year again - the annual RGI (Royal Glasgow Institute) show - this one is the 150th. This little picture (its only 10cm square) has been selected and I am proud as punch. The opening is a week today, when I'll get to see it in situ and get a good gander at everyone else's work - this one is particularly brilliant.
My painting was painted a few weeks ago, after visiting the rijksmuseum for the first time in over 20 years - they had this special exhibition on, comparing Degas's early self portraits with Rembrandt's work. It was a fascinating show and I must have spent at least an hour just sitting staring. There is something incomparable about seeing oil paintings in real life, and the Degas paintings I hadn't seen even in reproduction before. But what mainly fascinated me was how small they were, but how magnetic, and when I got home I really wanted to try and reproduce the effect.
There is something about small that enraptures me and I will be painting at least a few more of these little works. There are few painters in Glasgow that seem to work small which I think is a shame - there does seem to be a real pressure to work big and although that has its own attractions for me I don't think it is the only way to paint and it is not the only way to make a painting worthwhile.
(will now go and get off my soapbox)