Auld year's nicht

Hiya! It's Stewart here, with the traditional end of year wee look back at the year that was. Join me!

Mostly between mid-January and the end of February, I added 36 new landscape drawings. These take around 8-14 hours each to draw, so as you can imagine I had an almost permanent hand cramp! Still, it was great to finally add the Forth Bridge to my range.

Next up, I added 15 new items and fully launched my Alternate Scotland range. I really enjoyed making these pieces, which are all based around 'what if?' imaginings of alternate realities for Scotland. One of them, 'Swim Wi Nessie', proved to be my most popular item of 2019.

It was a quiet year for my Scots Sayings illustrations. I'd already drawn so many of them that there wasn't really a lot left to add. Nevertheless I found a few, not least of which was 'Ye cannae shove yer granny aff a bus'. Did ye notice that I managed to deck out the two versions of the bus in the liveries of what were once Scotland's two biggest bus fleets?

No mention of 2019 would be complete without remembering it was the fifth anniversary of the indyref. To mark the occasion, I added a lot of new political drawings. After one special month with a greatly expanded range, I finally ended up with around 15 new designs. One of them has proved quite popular

In addition, I added a range of postcard sets and two maps of Scotland in Scots language. And that, I believe, is everything new I've made this year for Indy Prints. 

Outside of Indy Prints, I was involved with a major new project by Business for Scotland. Called Scotland the Brief, at its core it's a detailed look at the country's finances and our future prospects.

I also made music. This is quite a personal method of artistic expression, which I have dipped in and out of for over 20 years. Most recently, I recorded some classic Scots songs for Hogmanay. I actually sang these ones, which include Auld Lang Syne. So at least I now know the words to that!

Lastly, but definitely not for me the least, I was able to find the time to create two new abstract paintings this year. I really had hoped I would have managed more than that, however it was not to be. If you're interested, they are the first two paintings shown here.

What will 2020 hold? I actually don't know. Once again the last few months of the year have been so busy that I've not got around to planning for the next one. 

However, Scottish culture and Scots language themes are what interest me the most richt noo. So I think you can expect to see new art appear related to those. I much prefer drawing ideas from my imagination along those themes, rather than drawing something straightforward, so there probably won't be too many new landscapes. 

Beyond that is only idle speculation. Will I finally make a new t-shirt design? Will I manage to make more than two paintings? Who can tell?

As you've probably noticed by now, it's been a busy year. I wouldn't be here, doing what I am doing and engaging in things I am passionate about, without your support. Thank you so much for being here, for reading my words and for supporting my work. 

I hope you have a guid Auld Year's Nicht. Lang may yer lum reek!

– Stewart

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