~ Experiences, Projects & Jottings of Painter Jan Clizer, Specialist Painter of Scottish & Celtic Music Subject Matter ~

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wholesale Catalogue Now Online

Finally.....the 2010  Fine Art Reproductions Catalogue is available for online use.  If you have a resale license and would like to check it out, please contact me for the password.  This is a new thing for me, and there is always room for improvement, so I welcome your comments!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Cathedral Square Revisited

An unexpected treat came my way yesterday in the form of an entertaining slide show & energizing cuppa & conversation at Bella Rose, my favourite local caffeine source......friends Dorothy & Geoff, recently returned from a brisk winter's visit to Glasgow kindly shared pictures of the adventure.  An odd trance-like state set in for the day, with image after image of my own collection of purely Glaswegian experiences & perceptions arising thru the mists (aye, maybe it was the yoga class directly after!).  At any rate, a couple of Geoff's excellent shots of St. Mungo's, or Glasgow Cathedral reminded me of a brilliant afternoon spent exploring the massive edifice & surrounds (for a 360 degree view of the interior, click St. Mungo's....for history & info, click Glasgow Cathedral).  The atmosphere in these huge 'chambers of spirit' does my head in.   The sheer drama they create, both inside & out, by their existence upon the earth, rising hundreds of feet in the air & having been conceived, designed & constructed with such simple tools & equipment.....& the human factor of effort, labour, & struggle.....I am in eternal awe.  The painting you see here is a wee record of my visit - one of the small stained glass windows from the outside....being chosen as subject in contrast to everything else being so overwhelmingly BIG!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Flying -Sailing - Moving in the Mind

"  8 Sept '09  Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam
Just emerged from viewing ""  The Art of Flying,"   mid-15th century bird paintings at the airport's mini-Rijksmuseum.  Inspirational enough to penetrate the fog of jet lag & sleep deprivation.  Beautiful large canvases of fowl of all kinds, some domestic, some wild, including a big work sporting colourful members of the parrot family from every continent amicably sharing the viewer's space........Pastries, heavy luggage, fish & cheese delicacies, the latest interesting paperbacks, & the Holland bulbs…..love this place! Jeremy Clarkson & Bill Bryson’s latest books…..”

…..found an unfinished scribble this morning, bringing with it a flood of cheering images and impressions from Amsterdam airport….good thoughts on a January morning!   Unseasonally balmy for January in Idaho, it is….sharp, freezing breaths give way to merely mild, cool air during  a fast walk, bringing calm sailing to mind.  

A recently completed commission for Inverness yacht
‘Moonfleet’s’owner  was painted to celebrate not only the grace and beauty of the big craft, but her dramatic Highland backdrop of Scotland’s famous Loch Ness and the ruin of Urqhart Castle on Strone Point. About two miles distant from Drumnadrochit, the castle has been standing in some form since at least the early 1200’s, and has seen an active and often bloody history.  I can just imagine floating craft coming upon the castle from this same angle, centuries ago! 

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Growing A Web Presence

Oy, I'd much rather be in front of the easel, paints mixed and ready for applying to the nearest surface,  than in front of the laptop, papers spread in disarray, searching my brain for words.  Nae bother - it's all creativity, in one form or another, so an end to the wingeing (temporarily!!). 

Joanie Gagnon San Chirico, a dynamic, highly productive mixed-media east coast artist has developed a great site which will be going public tomorrow:  ProfessionalFineArtNetwork.com .   Organized to help facilitate connections between fine art professionals and those who utilize their services (mainly in the public art sector) it's a good-looking, well-organized site which I'm proud to have representing my work. 

Scottish notes of interest:
The beautiful watercolours of Joseph Turner have come to light in their annual unveiling at the Royal Scottish Academy Building in Edinburgh.  Gifted to the National Galleries by their collector, Henry Vaughan, it was stipulated in his bequest that these delicate watercolours should only be shown in January when natural daylight is at its weakest, so they will not fade. This limited exposure has resulted in the works retaining their natural brilliance and luminous colours.  Aye, reason enough for a visit to Edinburgh, midwinter or no!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Homage....to Fromage!

Cheese.....one of the essential basic food groups, surely!  The heady smells and interesting stacks of edible geometric shapes in various colours make the wee cheese shop on Edinburgh's Victoria Street one of my favourite places to stop, just sniffing and gazing in fascination at the mouthwatering varieties of curdled milk!   This painting is in homage to one of life's best treats - a flavourful slice of cheese!
Oil on gallery wrap canvas  12"x12"   $400

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Aye, tomorrow begins Celtic Connections in Glasgow, and I'm here in Idaho!! Must be poor timing on my part.....a short weekend's attendance in '06 has made one of my many goals to spend at the very least a week at this world-class folk music festival, held in a variety of venues around the city over a period of 3 weeks.  May it be an outstanding success, and rewarding experience for all involved!   Since I'm not on the road at present, what better way to honor the spirit of the festival than to put some renewed energy into getting the best out of that lovely old fiddle of mine?  Normally playing on my own, it was a great surprise a couple weeks ago to show up at a jam in Garwood and immediately be instructed to sit down & play, as fellow celtic musician Carlos Alden (Celtic Nots) was among the group of high-caliber pickers and grinners:  Elwin & Shirley Schutt, Marcus Smith, Darrell Hawkins, Mike & Martha Stone, Geoff & Nancy, Dian Newell & John Sylte (Dead Fiddlers Society).  The endorphins flowing from being around good musicians and music must be on par or exceed those one gets from running!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Dark Nights & Glowing Sunsets

Winters in the northern hemisphere....to some, unbearably long & boring. To me, an excellent opportunity to dig into favourite things during the long hours of darkness: learning new tunes & polishing up old ones...attempting to make at least a tiny dent in household & studio tasks, watching a little telly, laying out new paintings....the list seems endless. But opportunities turn into burdens when unbroken by a bit of fun, so I'm thankful for musician friends who drag me out of the studio occasionally for sessions. Plain old enthusiasm for life & living always returns after participating in a good lively evening of music & craic.

Back in the studio, the first landscape for 2010 is a sunset over the Beauly Firth & surrounds. Atmospheric conditions make Highland sunsets real stunners. Attempting to imitate the beauty and depth of colour and distance was a humbling experience, but true to form I HAD to give this wintry scene a shot! You are looking across a frozen tilled grain field of Redcastle Estate on the southern shore of the Black Isle. I suppose living in regions thick with conifer forests most of my life helps me appreciate the hardwood trees of the UK....their interesting sillhouettes, most stark in winter, and I love the long rows of them, planted who-knows-how-long-ago along thoroughfares and property lines, now grown to huge, stately landmarks, many with distinct histories of their own.
Oil on canvas, 24" x 36" $600 framed

Friday, January 1, 2010


The New Year has come & I'd be fibbing if I said I was prepared....my normal mad 'cleanup & clearout" to start the new year right just didn't take place....PRIORITIES!!! Who wants to clean when there's family & friends, music to play, paintings to create, & an overwhelming amount of details to face off in the printing/marketing operation of this painter's studio?! Maybe I'll do a 15-minute pickup today, just to see if I can get a glimpse of the actual worktable surface.....!

New off the easel: Memento Mori Oil on Canvas 20"x13"
A favourite image I've aimed to paint for several years, this is my interpretation of a headstone in an Edinburgh churchyard. A fine art form I know little of is stonecarving. Such expressive manipulation of such a cold, hard, difficult medium. Burial works are examples I find particularly striking, communicating cultural values & info to those willing to observe. This headstone is an excellent example of the practice of indicating the occupation of the deceased with tools of their trade. Stone itself can represent so many things...solidity, security, harshness, & relative permanence. Primarily singular in colour on it's own, a stoncarving's years of exposure add the beautiful touches of a variety of hues through weathering and plant life, bringing character & personality to the work. An educational chat with a retired stonemason in Auchenblae has raised my appreciation for the stamina & dedication of those who take up this demanding trade.
Framed $950