Thursday morning.

The sun remained out for our final tour of some scattered venues that we missed earlier in the week. The dream of seeing and critting every venue seems rather optimistic now, but we hit more than half so it was still a good effort.

34. McLeod & Duncan et al. A real family exhibition held in the family home. We met Nanzie McLeod, local author, who called me “bearded one” and told me I looked local. Julie has all Nanzie’s previous books and bought her more recent one which the author signed. Downstairs, Jules Duncan’s relief pictures of dinosaurs and Braille and partially eaten chocolate bars and optometrist boards are very inventive. Please mind the step, however. Always mind the step.

35. Jennifer Pettigrew. A lot of variation in styles while remaining fairly neutral and accessible. Warm golden abstracts that I could see in showhomes and restaurants and furniture stores. My favourites were photos of boats masts in the sky that were inverted and photoshopped to give an illusion of water.

30. Reinhard Behrens. Very odd but in a good way. Reinhard does gorgeous illustrations of camels in the desert and remote villagers and Venetian canals and sepia 1920s expeditions, all with this little yellow toy submarine somewhere in the image. It’s called Naboland and has quite an alien feel although I’m not sure I get it. Despite this, I had to admire the dedication given to the installation in the venue. Margaret Smyth’s work is a little more grounded and features clockwork dolls and caged birds. Both are a little spooky.

28. Tracy Butler. Tracy’s Korea-inspired pastels just remind me of how few exhibitions have been solely seascapes and puffins this year. Highlight was a mixed media tiger in golds with a fantastic crackle effect through it. And what a lovely person too!

IMG_028727. Mark Bannerman. Surreal 3D renderings. The Scotch Pie Fight has proved very popular. The images have a strange Victorian freak show feel, making them even more interesting.

71. Adrienne McStay. Sculptures of pretty big acorns and oddly scorched boulders. Not quite my cuppa but Julie lapped it up.

70. Jewellry. I’m not best placed to comment.

65. Mairi Clark. Abstract landscapes in big blocks of colour are a bit hit and miss for me. The ones I liked were more down to the colours and general composition rather than what they said to me.

63. Ian Rolland. Perfectly delightful local watercolour landscapes and Parisianesque St Andrews cafe culture. Doesn’t stand out against its ilk but there’s only so many ways to paint these kinds of subject with this kind of media and after six days and dozens of venues, a certain sameyness is unavoidable.

4. Liz Yule and Angus McDonald. Same as 63, really, although Breakdancers on the Royal Mile has that X Factor. Hundreds of red dots suggest far more enthusiasm than perhaps I have and Julie described one of the floral works as masterful. At this stage, I was getting hungry and a little grumpy.

2. Marlene Byres. Landscapes but this time done in mixed media and embroydery and cotton. A fresh approach.

1. Horsburgh. James More Horsburgh paints angry seas and the boats that braved them. Excellent movement and light and I’m not just saying that because he’s famous. So even though it’s predominantly subject matter that I like to avoid at Pittenweem, it’s impossible not to admire the scale, skill and precision in the work.

43. Outbye Gallery and Ovenstone Artists ¬†Outside Pittenweem in nearby Ovenstone, Lynsey Ewan does huge oils of out of focus fruits and flora that make the journey worthwhile but there’s so much to choose from here and so many different styles, especially if your tastes are a little more avant garde.

The Festival finishes on Sunday, but that about wraps it up for us. It’s been a great week in the East Neuk and the best Pittenweem we’ve seen in the four or five years coming here, helped by the weather and our fabulous lodgings and grandly underpinned by the fine food at the St Andrews Cheese Company, from which I’ve been pestering m’colleague Stoobs with pictures of my lunches. The variety of work, while I haven’t done it justice and have probably made it sound quite similar in these posts, has been very broad indeed. And judging my the amount of red dots scattered around town, that recession thingamebob might be on the way out.

Pictures will be added to the last few posts tomorrow night when I’m back in the land of wi-fi broadband.

Until next year …

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