We can't wait for Perthshire Open Studios this weekend. Now in its 10th year and attracting a staggering 18,000 visitors annually, it's no surprise this amazing event has grown in popularity year on year. By nature, everyone loves a wee nosey and peek behind the scenes and this is the perfect opportunity to see where our talented local artists and creators work, what inspires them and where - in the style of MTV cribs - 'the magic happens!'
We caught up with the super talented local artist Alison Price as she got ready for this year's open studios and found out more about how she spends her busy days. From puppy training to paintings of Ed Sheeran on a boiled egg we cover it all!
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
After the school run and dog walking is done, it starts with a cup of tea and trying to catch up on emails or admin that needs done. I help out with the Perth Creative Community Collaborative who support art/craft and reading and writing groups in Perth. We have been in the process of applying for funding to keep our groups running so there is often admin to take care of on the back of this. I find its best to clear that type of work first so that I can focus on artwork.
My studio is the spare room in the house so its quite small and overcrowded with work and the paraphernalia that comes with being an artist. To help me get in the zone I sometime use mindfulness drawing techniques to help forget the stresses of day to day life and get me started with some drawing. My design was called 'Oor Wullie Noo' and was auctioned for £18,000 in aid of The Archie Foundation. I'm more than likely listening to BBC 6 Music while I'm working in the studio. A lot of my work is done while I'm out walking, either sketching or just being in the landscape can be inspiring, especially when it feels like things are not working out or if I'm "stuck" with a piece of work.
2. What signals the start of your weekend / days off?
Weekends are generally family time – so a slow start to the day is the start of a weekend. We got a puppy about a year ago, and as it’s the first dog either of us have ever had a dog and its been a bit of a challenge at times. We have been going to dog training classes regularly and its been a great way of learning all about our furry friend and teaching both of us and him how to get along.
As well as catching up with all the boring housework and washing, we try to get out and about for a good long walk up in the hills or out to a beach- we went to Kings barns for the first time recently – Its my new favourite beach.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I was responsible for creating one of the Oor Wullie sculptures during the Oor Wullie Bucket Trail in Dundee last year marking 80 years since he was first published. My design was called 'Oor Wullie Noo' and showed how he might look as an 80yr old man and was eventually auctioned for £18,000 in aid of The Archie Foundation.
I also accidently caused a little bit of a viral sensation a few years ago when my husband shared a photo on Facebook of an easter egg that I had painted for my son of Ed Sheeran which we aptly named 'Egg Sheeran'. It somehow ended up being picked up by a crazy amount of websites and had over 250,000 likes and 30,000 shares. All because I painted an egg for a bit of fun!
Top of your bucket list?
Worst job you’ve ever had?
I can't say that I've had any bad jobs to be honest. But working in a call centre made me realise that I needed to do what I really wanted to do.
Who or what inspires you?
My mum. She is such a strong and independent woman and nothing seems to phase her.
Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again?
Going to St Kilda was an experience I would repeat in a heartbeat. It's been a fascination of mine for years but I became really passionate about it recently after reading a book and visiting Dunvegan castle on Skye where there is a small section dedicated to the history of the island. I was very lucky to be given a voucher for a day trip to St Kilda as a Christmas present from my husband. The whole trip was amazing, from staying in Uig on Skye and exploring the area, to the 4 hour trip out to the islands which were covered in mist for the entire visit!
There are lots of visitors to the island now so it perhaps doesn’t feel quite as isolated and remote as you would imagine, but even spending a brief visit there filled me with admiration for the islanders who lived within the rhythms of the land and left me in awe of the landscape that is like nothing else I have seen. The bittersweet sense of knowing that visitors to the island were one of its downfalls makes it hard to justify wanting to return, but I would love to explore more of it.
What’s the best part about your job?
The freedom to follow my instincts. So many times I start out with a plan for the day but life has a way of throwing things in the mix that take you by surprise, happy accidents that lead you to a new technique or way of working or even seeing something in a different way. Being able to respond to chance keeps me interested.
What’s in the perfect day off breakfast?
Either a black pudding and fried egg doubler or pancake with bacon and maple syrup neither very healthy I'm afraid.
Complete this sentence; The best things in life are….
Alison is taking part in the amazing Perthshire Open studios starting on Saturday 2nd September. She is open daily from 10am - 5pm (closed on Tuesday and Wednesday) and can be found as part of the blue route venue 81 on Cavendish Avenue in Perth. Find out more here >>>
Tammy Fleuchar is Club Manager at Fit4Less gym in Perth City Centre, fitness fanatic and loves keeping Perth fit and healthy.
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