Lets go back in time

It's the end of winter, February 2022. I have spent over 11 hours traveling, on one bus, multiple trains and a taxi to arrive in a small hamlet called Ackergill, a mile outside the town of Wick in the far north east of Scotland! Why did I come here? In February? Why did it take so long to get here? 

Train from Inverness to Wick is 4 hr 15 min and goes via Thurso!

To draw of course. It turns out I struck it lucky too, I have a newly done up cottage literally on the beach, with the waves licking the garden steps at high tide and not only is the weather amazing all week but the cottage is a like a cosy duvet. I spend the week taking big walks up the massive sandy beach which is backed by huge sand dunes and overlooked by a castle. Go for runs, take the odd wander into to Wick. There is not a lot going on but it has a lovely riverside and some interesting history. And of course I draw.

In fact I draw for 8 hours a day. No business admin, no online sales to package and send. No stock deliveries. No procrastinating or housework. No planning what to feed the family for dinner. Just me sketching. Just me and my fine nib pens, my pencils, sharpener, paper and my iPad. Just me and the view out the window of the the North Sea and the quiet. 

A week later I had completed a successful, productive art retreat and was back on the train (for another 11 hour journey), ready to convert my haul of new drawings into finished prints and posters.

And this began my new annual art retreat. A week to 10 days away from my home studio to concentrate solely on drawing, to kick start my process of creating new work for the year ahead, heading to a new location to take photos to build up my texture library and discover new scenes and landscapes that might become a future artwork. 

Why didn't I do this years ago?


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