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  1. It was recently pointed out to me that not many people know what I look like! This may not be a bad thing, I think, but apparently people like to see faces and know who they are talking to and I think I understand this. Either way shortly after this conversation I was offered the chance to have some photos taken courtesy of the wonderful Spring Fling PR team which consists of Matthew Shelly and Colin Hattersley. So despite being a bit camera shy I managed to look quite like...well...me...and here they are. 

    ailsa black in the studio with jack

    In the studio with Jack...there may be a biscuit being dangled just out of sight!

    ailsa black in my studio in carsethorn scotland (1)

    Oh dear the biscuit has disappeared and now Jack looks slightly worried!

    ailsa black in the garden in carsethorn

    In the garden...Jack is starting to get used to the idea now...no biscuit involved!

    ailsa black in the garden in carsethorn scotland (3)

    Jack is having a break at this point!

    ailsa black in the studio again with jack my collie

    Jack is fed up at this point and obviously not too keen on this painting hence the tongue sticking out!

    Of course if you would like the chance to meet the real me in the flesh I'll be taking part in the Spring Fling open studio event next weekend 27th to the 29th May at Kirkbean village hall...hope to see lots of you there!

  2. As usual this year I will taking part in our local Spring Fling Open Studio event from 27 - 29 May at Kirkbean Village Hall. I'll be there from 10.30 to 5.30am the Saturday, Sunday and Monday of the bank holiday weekend.

    Everyone coming will have the chance to win an original Ailsa Black framed mini painting.

    bluetits and blossoms

    I love using the Village Hall it's a really bright and airy space. The local community run a brilliant cafe in the hall all weekend with home made soup and cake so you can have refreshments too.

    village hall

    It's a great opportunity for you to come and meet me. I really look forward to chatting to everyone and updating them on my work. Some people come back year after year to see what is new. People also get the chance to meet Alan my partner who features in quite a few of my paintings and of course our dog Jack who is happy to meet and greet as requested.  

    One of the things people enjoy the most is seeing my new paintings and there is always a large display of new work with paintings available in lots of sizes from the tiny to the large with prices to suit all pockets. I will also have a large selection of prints and cards available.

    colourful painting of scottish harbour village scene

    I will set up a work in progress corner too so you can see sketchbooks and how my ideas come together.

    the biggest berry

    I also have a childrens corner and there will be free colouring in sheets with all paper and pencils provided.  Kids can take home their own hand drawn greetings card too, all for free!

    I'll look forward to seeing some of you there!

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    In the Shop Window with Ailsa Black, Dumfries

    Monday, December 12th, 2016

    Our most recent ‘In the Shop Window’ is with Scottish artist Ailsa Black. Read a little glimpse behind the scenes of Ailsa’s successful business. Her back story, inspiration, previous jobs and Ailsa’s fantastic achievements.

    Ailsa Black, Dumfries

    My Business: I paint and from the paintings make prints, cards, calendars and a growing range of lovely goods. I sell these through my website and to trade. I work with galleries to sell my paintings, undertake commissions and license work for production.

    Starting Out: I studied Graphics and illustration at Grays School of Art in the 80’s. After art school I moved to Edinburgh and lived there for 10 years and had lots of different jobs. In 2000 I moved back to Dumfries and Galloway and started working as a manager for a big charity. It was quite a hectic job and as I approached 40 I decided it was time to start being more creative and started painting in my spare time.

    Previous jobs: Arts worker, outreach worker, photographic sales assistant, barmaid, fish processing assistant, administrator, support worker, charity manager … I could go on …

    Ailsa Black

    My “typical” working day: Up quite early about 6.30am and have breakfast and go out with my collie dog for a beach walk. I try to be in the studio between 8 and 9am. I check my emails and reply to any messages on social media. The mornings are generally spent doing admin tasks, packing orders, answering trade enquiries etc.  I try to have admin work done by lunchtime but in reality it often goes well in the afternoon. Ideally I try to start painting after lunchtime. I’ll have a break for tea and often go out again either for a walk or a bike ride. In the evening I usually carry on working and plan my next painting or work on small paintings at the desk in the living room.

    Self employment highs: Making your own decisions!

    Self employment lows: Not having a predictable income stream and the mortgage still needs paid …

    Inspiration: I love where I live and this is my inspiration. I try to spend as much time as I can out of doors and watching wildlife and the amazing birds and sea mammals we have round here. From my studio I can see porpoises, otters, seals, flocks of birds, deer … you name it.

    Ailsa Black

    Find Me: All my stockists throughout the UK can be seen here.

    Business Achievements : I do love seeing my work on cards with charity names like Oxfam, Marie Curie and the RSPB.

    Longterm goals: I’m working with an agent who is helping me license some work in the long term I plan to take a step back from selling to trade so I have more time to spend being creative.

    Ailsa Black

    Promotion: In 2014 I was shortlisted in License This! which is a brand licensing competition. As a result I now have an agent and am working on expanding my range of products.

    Popular and Favourite Products: Cards and prints never go wrong but it’s lovely to have a big mug of tea with my art on the side.

    With Hindsight: Don’t try to do everything yourself.

    At Home: I have paintings by Nikki Monaghan and Val Macadam and a print by Vicky Mount….I love them all.

    In my Private Jet: St Kilda

    Favourite Independent Shop: Loch Arthur near Beeswing.

    Favourite destination in Scotland: Dumfriesshire

    Favourite Scottish Tourist Attraction: Edinburgh

    Favourite Scottish Restaurant: My neighbours are all great cooks!

    Favourite TV Show: Still Game

    Best thing about Scotland: Stunning scenery, amazing wildlife, big open spaces, deserted beaches, changing light…

    Do you believe in Nessie? Yes, of course.

    Favourite Holiday Destination: Scotland, but I love the Lake District too.

    Ailsa Black

    Shop Scotland profile page – Ailsa Black
    Website – ailsablack.com
    Facebook – www.facebook.com/ailsablackart
    Twitter – twitter.com/AilsaBlack

    Big thanks to Ailsa for giving us a little glimpse into her world. Look out for another In the Shop Window interview coming in early 2017.