I first met Ruth Nicol back in 1997 when we both worked for a now defunct life assurance company. We worked in the I.T. department, which in itself was pretty much as you’d imagine: dull, soul-sucking, and barely bare-able.
My best memories of those days were the department nights out at The Auctioneers pub and other similar hostelries in Glasgow.
Since then, both our lives have changed dramatically. We’re both married, have kids, don’t work for that company any more, and perhaps more importantly, have discovered the creative streak in ourselves; me as a writer, and Ruth as one of Scotland’s foremost contemporary landscape artists.
I recently went to the Open Eye Gallery in Edinburgh for the opening of Ruth’s latest showing: Urban & Rural Scottish Landacapes, which sees her work displayed alongside other artists including Glen Scouller, Chris Bushe, Mathew Draper, Barbara Rae, Ann Ross and Anna King.
Ruth’s work stands out a mile. I’m proud to be able to call her a friend and watch as her work gains top interest from all over.
If you live in the UK, you can see a short one-minute documentary about her on the STV website here: http://player.stv.tv/programmes/new-direction/2013-01-14-1759/
If she doesn’t inspire you, I’m not sure anything will.
In other news, work is still ongoing with the front cover for my forthcoming book, BACCARA BURNING.
Its already been through a couple of drafts but something just isn’t right. It doesn’t feel like it’s quite there yet and I can’t put my finger on it.
The book, which is the sequel to my 2009 paranormal novella, STELLA, will hit the bookshelves on March 1st, so it’s got to be tied up soon.
And if that wasn’t exciting enough, I’ve also got a new chapbook out on April 5th. LIVING LEITH will be my spring poetry release under my pseudonym, Chas Stramash.